Faith? Or fear?

I do a whole lotta talkin’ on this blog without ever really saying anything.  I keep my shortcomings and failings and misgivings and opinions to myself.  But today, I think I’m going to change that.  You see, I am one of millions that attach myself to the “Christian” label.  I believe in God, I fully believe in the story and deity of Jesus.  But at the same time, I’m a fake. A big fat fraud.  A charlatan.

Everywhere in the news today, there is evidence of strong Christians.  They stare down their murderers.  They fight their captors. They work to make a difference, despite gut-wrenching stories, insurmountable odds.  When everything turns terrible for them, they stand tall and proud, their chin lifted toward the heavens, and they talk about how this, too, shall pass.

And then there’s me.

Life gets a little rough?  I panic.  Things don’t go my way?  I shut down.  I get bad news? I freak out.

I’m a huge impostor.  I pretend to be Christian, I wear the label of Christianity, but am I?  The answer to my own question is a resounding “NO!”

You see, I don’t live by faith. When life drags me down, I don’t hold my head high and face my demons with strong, unwavering faith.  Oh, I may tell others to have some faith when things are keeping them down, but do I follow my own advice? Oh no, not me!  I let my heart pound, my hands shake, and I claw my way through the rough times with fear riding on my back.  I don’t live by faith but by fear.

I came to this realization lately and it’s been on my mind ever since.  I don’t like worrying.  I don’t like the fact that I have a diagnosed anxiety disorder that makes everything seem even worse than it is.  I hate the fact that I let little things eat at me until I’m awake half the night, my mind racing over things that are outside of my power to change.  The problem is that when things go bad, worrying myself sick is my “go to” emotion.  And that’s what I’m trying to change.

The last few days, I’ve been on edge.  I’m being transferred to a different facility within my company and, although it’s still here in Indiana, it’s a bit of a drive from where we live now, so we’re planning on moving.  We toured an old country farmhouse in the middle of nowhere on Friday and put in an application that same day.  And now we wait.  And while we wait for approval, I think about the fact that my husband is still out of work and our credit isn’t great and we have huge student loan debt.  I conveniently forget that our renters’ credit is spotless and that my salary is, by itself, equal to what most two-person middle class households bring in per year.  I forget those things.  I forget to be thankful for what we do have and instead, I think about all the things that might be in our way.

I have to change this mindset. I have to find a way to remember that God provides and that if He intends for something to be, it will be.  If we don’t get this house, it’s not the end of the world.  Sure, we have to figure out what we’re going to do because we’re scheduled to move in exactly a month, but we’ll survive.  We always do.  

I guess my whole point is that I’m tired of pretending that I’m faithful when, in truth, I’m not.  No one who has true faith reacts like I do to problems.  But I’ve accepted where I am on my walk (which isn’t very far) and realize I have a long way to go.  I’m trying to make strides by truly living by faith.  Besides, faith feels so much better than fear.

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3 thoughts on “Faith? Or fear?

  1. You’re probably closer than you think. Courage is moving forward even when you’re frightened. I spend a lot of time with sweaty palms, worrying and wondering how things are going to work out, and typically imagining the worse case scenario…I think I come from a long line of anxiety-laden people! Best wishes!

  2. Rachel, oh man! Did this hit home! I recently went through a spell where my anxiety got really bad. In my experience it’s usually brought on by big changes (I’m graduating college soon and it’s both exciting and a bit scary).

    Anyway, sometimes anxiety can make you feel really down on yourself, but I’ve always taken a lot of comfort from this scripture from the Book of Mormon,

    ” 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” -Ether 12:27 (kind of towards the back)

    I think what sticks out to me is that we have weaknesses so that we can draw closer to Christ. I know that anxiety has been a big trial for me, but it also has helped me grow closer to God, as long as I don’t try to handle it all on my own.
    Keep fighting 🙂

  3. Pingback: Faith? Or Fear? – a devotional | At the corner of 14th & Oak

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