Reading through the article on the stages of faith and identity from birth to teens, I saw that the authors asked the reader to think of faith in a wide range of view other than Islamic, Christian, Buddhism or Judaic faith since faith extends beyond the different religions. Therefore, faith is an integral and centering process that involve the formation of beliefs and values. These beliefs and values make the individual have links with others in loyalties and trusts and ground their personal stances. I believe that faith is a very important aspect of human development as it allows one to face and responsibly deal with the various challenges of human life and death. It is true as stated in the article that faith development focuses mostly on person's connection to the world and also is integrated to an individual's other developmental processes.
The article states the 7 stages of faith development as biological maturation, cognitive and emotional development, and psychological experiences, the role played by cultural and religious symbols, meanings and practices. I feel that there is an interconnection between faith development and individual's other development processes, and therefore, successful faith development requires successful development in other areas. From the article, we see that all human practice faith regardless of the object that they worship. Faith, therefore, is the scaffolding that ultimately gives coherence as well as direction to an individual's life that links them to the shared loyalties and trusts and provides a structure that guides and supports in dealing with the difficult situations. Therefore I strongly believe that there is an interconnection between favorable development in the other aspects of life and fruitful faith development since we all have faith in something whether internal or external, eternal or temporary.
For my faith development process, my personal experience is that when I was a teenager, I experienced what would be my first experience of the true meaning of Faith. I used to live with a distant relative, who was poor and a single mother with three children of her own. She received a notice that she was about to be evicted from her apartment since she had too many people living in her apartment which was not in accordance with the rules. The apartment was only approved for her and only two kids and therefore I and one other kid were the excesses. She told me I had to leave and I had no place to go. This sad news made me terrified and I was filled with agony and stress hence I went to take a nap so that my head could cool down to allow me to think of the next step to take. While I was sleeping, I heard the voice of God from a cloud talking to me with an echo saying, "You will be fine". As soon as I woke up, my relative with whom I lived with told me that she had just got approved for a bigger apartment and that I could still live with them. I was 19 years old and I believe it was the voice of God. At a younger age, I would probably believe it was a mere illusion which God had nothing to do with. However, I believed it was God and from that moment my faith started to be stronger and stronger. Since then, everything in my life has been guided by faith which has become stronger over years. Therefore, I support the idea that development of faith, like other aspects of human development, involves movement from one stage to another and is not always systematic or predictable.
Dykstra, C. R., & Parks, S. D. (2016). Faith development and Fowler.
Fowler, J. W., & Dell, M. L. (2004). Stages of faith and identity: Birth to teens. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 13(1), 17-33.
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