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

Things I Miss, Think About, and Worry About

Hi and Happy August. I just noticed that I didn’t write any blogs at all in July.  Sheesh.  I think this is because of a combination of being very busy with the family business, taking care of numerous things for our family, figuring out school options, being stressed out with the pandemic life, and not being inspired to share my thoughts.

I don’t know about you but these days I have a hard time gathering my thoughts in a coherent manner. I have a lot of worries about friends and family and these tend to cloud my willingness to write. And, I have so much on my plate to do that the writing and the thinking of that tends to take the back burner.

Certainly something I miss is my writing and the inspiration to do so. But we have been dealing with a lot over the last two years. The loss of my husband, the grief of that, and now everything that goes along with the world-wide pandemic. It is just too much some days and I have to take time to deal with that. I am thankful for my faith and all of my loved ones.

Here are some of the things that I miss, think about, and worry about as we continue to deal with our grief and our life during this pandemic. We still are primarily at home and limiting our outside activities and how many people we see:

  • I miss hugging my parents when we see them
  • I miss seeing and being with my brother and sister and their families
  • I miss holding hands and praying before a meal with loved ones
  • I miss a room full of our family for birthday parties and other gatherings
  • I miss our beach trip with family
  • I miss the beach house pictured above, the front porch, the table, and the neighborhood
  • I miss time with our in-laws and extended family
  • I miss seeing smiles
  • I miss meals on the beach house front porch
  • I miss meals out with friends and family
  • I miss going to church and singing in our choir
  • I miss having our friends over and talking for hours
  • I miss attending my son’s chorus concerts
  • I miss in person meetings
  • I miss going to the library and browsing the selections
  • I miss professional haircuts
  • I miss my husband’s voice, laugh, and hugs
  • I miss civilized debates without hate or malice
  • I miss people’s ability to agree to disagree
  • I miss having a day out for fun shopping and lunch
  • I miss not worrying constantly about my loved ones
  • I think about and worry about my nieces and nephews who are going off to school very soon, or who will be working.
  • I think about the fact that I am not able to grow old with my husband
  • I think about my son not having his dad there for his graduation and other milestones in his life
  • I think about and hope that soon life will be something that I can again recognize
  • I think about and am thankful that I have a faith in God/Jesus who loves me and has helped me through the worst pain
  • I worry about my sister, my sister–in-law, my uncle, my cousins, and several friends who are teachers and will be going back to school soon.
  • I worry about others in my family as they work outside the home and come into contact with people who may or may not be masking up.
  • I worry about my son’s school systems and all schools as they reopen during a time when so much is unknown.

I suppose that I am still more likely to see the bad in a situation and know that it may not turn out the way that I want to. That is tough and something that I continue to deal with. Ever since my husband’s unexpected passing, I know that the answer to a pray isn’t always what I want. It certainly wasn’t in that case. I hope and pray that I one day have the answer as to why that happened.

I pray that all of these loved ones will be safe and protected and that nothing will happen. I try to remain calm, but I have to admit, at times, I break down and have a cry about it.  Having those cries does help, as does reading my grief devotional book, my Bible, talking to my family, and reading notes from friends.

Along with all of these negatives, I have to share that I am so blessed to be able to work at home so I can be with my son as he starts online school. I am blessed to have a support system of people who have helped me through so much struggle and strife. I am blessed to have a faith that has sustained me in the darkest hours.

I hope and pray that you too have a support system, a faith and the ability to take care of your family and loved ones. If you are so inclined, please share some things that you miss, think about, and worry about.

I pray that we can be there for each other and build one another up. I pray that we can respect each other and learn about each other.  I pray that we will always love.