On Faith And Our Fears

There is an advertisement airing now on TV in which a woman says you cannot be full of fear if you are full of faith. It is supposed to be uplifting and positive but I think that is incorrect and misleading. I think it is possible to have fears despite having faith. I also think it is normal to have doubts and fears.

I do have doubts, insecurities, and fears. I had many of them after my husband unexpectedly passed away.  At the time, I was worried that the other shoe was going to drop, or that something was going to happen to me or our son. I wasn’t trying to live without faith. However, when your entire world is rocked, it is normal to have doubts and not know when all be again be okay.

Throughout my grief journey, I have developed a stronger faith. For me, without it and our loved ones, I don’t think we would have made it. I remember the struggles of the early days, of feeling like I was in a fog and couldn’t think. I couldn’t answer a question in the first few days when asked. Part of me was broken. Part of me was lost that day.

Now, two years later, those broken pieces are healing. The light is coming back in. The part of me that was his wife is gone and I am a widow. However, I am blessed with memories, photos, and a son who has a lot of his dad in him. I expected to grow old with my spouse so those expectations have had to change.  It has been a challenge, but I am feeling more positive and hopeful.  That is a blessing.

Another thing I have heard that troubles me is when preachers say you can just claim what you want and the Lord will give it to you.  Also, that if you are truly in God’s will, no harm will come to you.  These are not always the case. The expectation that all will be right if you desire it enough can be very painful when reality sometimes sets in.

As my husband went to the hospital and the paramedics, doctors, and nurses worked on him, I prayed that he would survive. I didn’t want to lose him.  I didn’t want to say goodbye and I wasn’t ready to do so. Despite my earnest prayers, that was not the answer. Instead, my husband passed away.  I did get to say goodbye, but he was already gone. He was already in Heaven.

I don’t always understand the ways of God, but I truly believe that He is loving. I believe that He cares for us. I believe that He will be there for us. He promised to be with us during the trying times in our lives. Like the Marines, He is always faithful. Despite my questions, that helps comfort me. 

Speaking of faith, let’s remember Job from the Bible. He believed in God but lost everything — his wife, his children, his property, his animals, his vocation. Even in his loss, Job still worshipped the Lord and believed that he would be okay. He had questions and doubts. He also had faith and knew that despite all the losses, the Lord would stand by him.  His life certainly was full of tragedy yet he still believed. Job’s faith is a comfort to me.

Have you noticed that there are quite a few scriptures about not being afraid, not worrying, not doubting, but instead putting our faith and hope in God? It seems that He knew we would have struggles, fears, questions, and doubts. He knew we’d need Him. (Graphic and fear image are from Power Point clip art)

Here are a few of the scriptures that have helped me:

  • “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” — Isaiah 43:1
  • “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” — Psalm 46:10
  • “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” — Romans 8:38-29
  • “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10
  • “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7
  • “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” — Psalm 23:4
  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11

On The Challenge Of Finding Inspiration To Write

These days it is hard to find the inspiration to write and then post a blog. I only wrote one in January and this is the first for February. I have been thinking about what it is that is making it so hard to turn to this outlet that I so appreciate.

I suppose it boils down to the stresses of everyday life, concerns about the health of loved ones and loved ones’ pets, losses and deaths that are unexpected yet still happen, lack of hugs or physical contact, and both school and work at home. Also stresses that we hear on the news, how adults are acting and treating others, and so much more.

Also, I have been busy with projects around the house, laundry, general upkeep, dishes, and taking care of three meals every day for the two of us plus snacks. After all, I have a growing teenage who eats a lot. My son does help out but many days his focus is on school. We all have to do this, but some days it is hard.

We also truly miss seeing our friends and family. We are staying home from pretty much everything and that has been really tough. We are doing our best to be careful and help our loved ones stay healthy. So the visiting times have had to be creative and out of the ordinary. We are homebodies and do love being home doing our own thing. Still the lack of interaction can be a challenge.

I regularly remind my son that this is not how the teenage years are supposed to be.  And yet, this is reality for him and his generation. They are dealing with depression, frustration, self-doubts, and loneliness. For the most part, they cannot do the things together with their friends that I remember doing as a teenager — sporting events, theater practice, hanging out, concerts, and dinner and a movie out.

Thankfully, there are the Internet and Zoom meetings. My son and I do calls with our friends and family. It is not the same as being in the same room with them, but it is better than no contact at all. We also do online church and school and work meetings online. There is a lot of bad in the online world, but we are doing our best to focus on the good. We enjoy the positives of the contact we can have with others.

All of this negative is often hard to deal with. Yet, we try. We get up each day to try again. We try to finish work projects and school assignments. We work on the chores of the house, including laundry, housework, and the groceries chosen and purchased. We also make a point to have time to do fun things, have a chance to talk about everything, laugh, share a good memory, read a book, watch a movie or TV show, savor down time, and exercise.

We also make sure to get enough sleep and enough rest. My teenage son needs so much sleep these days. He is growing each week and so plenty of sleep is very important. Many days we have a late start. I try to have that be okay since we are doing our best. We often work later to be sure enough time is given to our work.

My family has lost a few loved ones due to this damn virus, as many others have. I hope and pray that no one else has to suffer that fate. We also have friends and family who have lasting effects of COVID-19. It is tough virus and sadly is very real, as much as some may want to deny it.

My prayer is that we will soon be healed from this. In the meantime, I hope and pray that we can do what is necessary to take care of each other, to be kind to each other, to wear our masks, to social distance, to avoid large crowds, to wash our hands, and to be aware of what we are doing and how we are acting.

We can make a difference if we can truly love one another. We can take care of each other, even if it is at a distance. We can bear each other’s burdens. May we do just that and always, always love.