Faith and Fear
I'm a very analytical person. I analyze problems to figure out the best solution; I analyze things that are good to see if they can be made better; I analyze myself to try to understand why I do the things 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 really, really good experiences and some really, really, really bad ones with some mundane ones sprinkled in for kicks and giggles...
... and I sometimes feel like I've analyzed every single one of them either at the time or even years later.
One thing I have realized about myself is 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 often be moments of peace in the middle of the fear. It's at those times I feel very proud of myself and how I've figured out how to keep calm in the midst of a storm.
It never lasts long.
To my credit, I guess, age and experience have given me a little more resiliency lately. 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.
But the fear never completely stays away.
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 practically agoraphobic and only left my house for work (a necessity) and church (because it was one place where I felt peace).
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 bear whenever it comes back.
Today I got some medical bills that I thought had been taken care of. Right now my husband is out of work and I'm trying to make up the slack - but I'm simply not able to.
I'm scared - and to add to that, I'm ashamed I'm scared.
I've seen God do so much through my life with my finances.
I've been given extra hours without asking just before I received a big unknown expense. Sometimes it's even been almost exactly what I needed. I've gotten checks from random places, like an overpayment or the rare child support check, just when I needed them. Though I've never been well-off (lower-middle-class was the highest "rank" 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 because my heart was displaced - 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.
Maybe it's simply a human thing.
I'm not accusing them of lying, but maybe those who brag about always having great faith that "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 medical report as long as possible.
In the meantime, I guess I need to get off the computer and try to get into my analytical mode and figure out how these bills should be paid.
(And, oh yeah - I guess it would be a good idea to turn it over to God and ask Him to provide as I'm doing so.)