For some people who are hurting, they’d rather feel the F word you learn to not say as a child, then to have Faith. Perhaps you even started reading this blog hoping I would shout out the F word at the top of my lungs. Believe me, I’ve been there. Losing a child, being cheated on, being rejected by various companies for a job, wanting something so badly and it being so out of touch, not feeling ok in my own skin, being criticized within ear’s reach, being betrayed by a friend, having my daughter actually say she doesn’t love me or I am not her real mom – are moments when the banned F word comes more to mind than Faith.
Then a voice on the radio butts in and says…” It’s better to have Faith than Fear.” What – are you kidding me? How can you have faith when your child is battling for his life, when your house caught on fire, when your spouse left you, when your parents got a divorce, when no college accepted you, when you became paralyzed in an accident, when depression consumes you, when no one around you believes, when you financially lost everything, when your best friend dies, when you can’t have children, when you can’t kick an addiction, when you ended up in prison, when you’ve been abused, when you accidentally hurt or killed someone, when the love of your life has been diagnosed with cancer or whatever tragedy has shown its ugly head?” Well, it’s not easy, but by experience, it is easier to have Faith than Fear. You may not believe me, but here is my story….
My story starts with – I am a slow learner to Faith. Over the years, I have filled in Faith with many of the other F words from frustration, fanatical, fed up, fatigued, fixated, flippant, floundering, flustered, foolish, forgetful, fragmented, frail, frantic, frazzled, fried, frivolous, furious, and fussy just to name a few. For many years, faith was not even something I thought about. It was not something I wanted or something which seemed important. In my life, truthfully, many of the F words come up on a daily or weekly basis. Pick your top 5 F words in your life and, believe me, I have a story that fits perfectly in my life. Just because you proclaim to be a Christian, doesn’t mean it is always easy to have Faith. Sometimes it is just plain hard. Like you, we know how to put up a good front. Yet, at some point, the armor around our hearts won’t be enough. By experience, the devil is always luring around and doesn’t live between the lines. He loves to kick you when you are already down. Many people will say, right after accepting God or being baptized was the hardest time they ever had in their life. Think about it – this is the time the devil feels the most betrayed. So why believe – if it is not going to be roses? If God is omnipotent – why can’t he make all of the bad go away?
Like the woman on the radio, learning how to have “Faith than Fear” is a process. It is not an overnight revelation. What “Faith over Fear” means is not that life stops. It doesn’t mean life is void of emotion, but it does ask – what do you do in the darkest of times? What do you believe in? To be completely transparent, I’ve been the woman on the couch not wanting to live another day. The woman who didn’t understand either hers or God’s purpose. Every day to choose God continues to be a daily commitment. It takes grit, hope, and perseverance. It is something I believe in my gut. Many times I still start in the fearful place, but this never ends in a win. It usually ends with me being beaten up in a boxing match. This is how I know it is better to have Faith. With fear or any of the F words, you have loss of confidence, loss of perspective, loss of sleep, and loss of life. With Faith, you have gifts of hope, opportunity, and spirit. What you learn is Fear or the other F words never gets you anywhere, but Faith gets you vision. No one ever gets anywhere when they are stuck in a bad F place, but you can climb mountains when you have Faith. As we all know, there are plenty of mountains to climb.
My father was right when he said you either have Faith or you don’t. So how do you get Faith when you are looking straight in the black hole? First, my advice is not to solely have Faith through the rain, but also the sunshine. Faith is not a temporary thing. To find Faith can be a different journey for different people. My suggestion is to find a church that speaks to you and start going, pick up a Bible and start reading, talk to someone who believes, or begin talking to God in a conversation either by writing it down or speaking directly to God. Ask yourself why you don’t believe. When one of the other F words starts creeping in your mind or you are losing sleep or can’t eat – this is a good time to give up what is not working and finding out what works. No pill can take away all of the pain. Seek to find answers to all of your questions. One thing I caution you on is to expect roses to happen as soon as you have Faith. By experience, having Faith does not change life from happening, but it does help us survive life and know we are not alone. The definition of Faith is “Complete trust and confidence in a higher power”; which in my life has helped me rise up more than I have fallen down. It has helped me keep life in perspective. So if you want perspective rather than being frustrated, fanatical, fed up, fatigued, fixated, flippant, floundering, flustered, foolish, forgetful, fragmented, frail, frantic, frazzled, fried, frivolous, furious, or fussy – then I advise you seek “Faith”.