Tracy Parise of Rumford says that her faith in God helps her to know that “everything will be okay” and she believes that when we trust in God, we are provided with what we need. Submitted photo

For Tracy Parise of Rumford, her faith in God is what keeps her grounded in life, she says. Now 46 years old and married to her husband, Joseph, for 22 years, Parise says having faith helps her know that “everything is going to be okay.”

A practicing Catholic for most of her life, currently she watches the church services of the Parish of the Holy Savior online due to the pandemic. Before the pandemic, she sang in the church choir along with 45 to 50 other members of Holy Savior.

In February this year, she and her husband opened a gift shop in Rumford, Port to Port Imports, and she says that her faith has also guided her through the anxieties that often come from owning a new business.

“Business-wise, just having faith that’s it’s gonna be okay. This year has been horrible, (it) has been very hard to open a brand new business. Those moments when we’re like, ‘I don’t know if we can keep our doors open,’ (then) somebody comes through the door.

“And when the worries (happen) about not being able to pay our business bills and, all of a sudden, we get a call from the economic developer and they say, ‘Hey, did you know they just opened up the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) to brand-new businesses?’ So, we were able to apply for that and just when we thought we weren’t going to get it, it came through.

“Some people wouldn’t say that that’s based on faith, but I believe that that’s based on faith. When we trust (in God), things are provided.”

Parise also credits God and a co-worker with helping her get off the “wrong path” in her life when she was in her late teens and early 20s. At that time, she had some drug problems, she said, and her co-worker spoke to her honestly, telling her that she needed to stop taking drugs and get help. “She was my angel in that moment,” Parise said. “That’s a lot of trust and a lot of faith. I didn’t go to a program, I just did what I had to do.”

But when it comes to one religion or another, Parise insists that not any one religion is better than another. “You have to (find) what your ‘right’ is, what path that you want to follow and sometimes it’s not the first path that you’ve tried. Don’t be afraid; just try,” she said.

She also believes that it’s important not only to have trust and faith in God, but also “in the rest of humanity. Be mindful about what’s going on around you and treat others the way you would like to be treated,” she said.

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