Faith and Fear

I'm a very analytical person. I analyze problems to figure out the best solution; I analyze good things to see if they can be made better; I analyze myself to try to understand why I do what I do.

The subject of this post relates to the last example. 

I'm 55 years old. I've been through a lot in my life - some very, very good experiences and some very, very, very bad ones with the mundane sprinkled in for kicks and giggles.

I feel like I've analyzed (really - overanalyzed) every single one of them either at the time or years later.

I have realized about myself that when a big problem comes at me, I immediately go into figure-it-out mode. I begin mobilizing. I start working on a plan.  I try to decide my next step. 

At that point, I'm usually not afraid.

It's later - after I've been mobilizing and planning and deciding for hours or even days when the exhaustion hits me and the fear comes at me.

And boy, does it come - with a vengeance.

There will be moments of peace in the middle of this fear. At those times I feel proud of myself and how I've managed to keep calm in the midst of a storm.

But this serenity never lasts long.

To my credit, I assume age and experience have given me a little more resiliency. I've seen God work in my life enough times to occasionally be able to draw from that history and apply it to what I'm dealing with at the moment. 

I'm finally learning that God is the One who gives me peace; I'm not the one who makes it happen.

But the fear never completely stays away. Even while knowing the aforementioned truths, it still always comes back - with a vengeance.

During my teenage years, I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as well as panic disorder. I went through a period of about a year when I was agoraphobic and only left my house for work (a necessity) and church (because it was the one place outside of home where I felt safe). 

So, I'm used to the fear. I'm used to the nerves, the stress, the pressure. 

It doesn't make it any easier to cope whenever it does return - with a vengeance.

For instance, today I received some medical bills that I thought had been taken care of. At the moment, my husband is out of work and I'm trying to make up the slack - but  haven't been able to because of being sick myself while also taking care of a lot of family issues. 

I'm scared - and to add to that, I'm ashamed I'm scared. 

After all, I've seen God do so much in my life with my finances. 

I've been given extra hours at work right before I received a big unknown expense. I've gotten checks from random places, like a refund of an overpayment or the rare child support check, when I didn't have enough for that month's bills. I've been given money without asking around the time my bank balance was incredibly low.

And sometimes these amounts were almost exactly what I needed.

Though I've never been well-off (lower-middle was the highest class I've ever been and at times even that was a far-flung dream), I've always had enough - somehow.

So then why, when I see a few bills, does my heart jump into my throat and I start feeling sick to my stomach? (I guess the stomach issues could be due to physical illnesses I deal with - but I digress.)

I want so much to have faith. I can't even say that I've never seen God work in this way. He has, many times - in my own life.

But...

I...

Don't...

Eventually that fear always comes at me - with a vengeance.

Maybe it's simply a human thing. 

I'm not accusing them of lying, but maybe those who brag about always having great faith, those who constantly say "everything will turn out fine," have simply forgotten the times they too were scared, the times when opening the mail was terrifying, the times they avoided looking at a bank statement or credit card bill as long as possible.

In other words, even though it seems everyone else has this anxiety under control, maybe I'm not the only one who deals with it. 

The fear comes at them too - with a vengeance. 

Most likely everyone struggles with fear - but God is God for anyone who relies on Him.

I'm not alone.

In the meantime, I guess I need to get off this computer and into my analytical mode and figure out how to pay these bills. After all, He doesn't actually write the checks.

(And, oh yeah... I guess it would be a good idea to remind myself who God is and what He has already done while I turn all this over to Him and ask Him to provide as I'm doing so.)




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