Faith over Fear. A popular saying found on T-shirts, signs, and all sorts of other items, meant to remind us to choose Faith when Fear is looming.
If only it were that easy…
We can pump ourselves up saying we got this, remind ourselves of our scriptures, say our inspirational quotes, or seek encouragement from our inner circle, but when we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a situation where our faith is being confronted by our fear, the tussle ensues.
I talk about and promote faith constantly on Destined 4 the Dub. You’d think I’d be a pro at this by now right? And I admit there are some situations for which I’m able to remain in faith without much of a struggle, but that has only come with time and plenty of difficult situations that helped to build my spiritual muscles.
But when certain Giants come for me, I admit – there’s still a struggle. COVID-19 has completely changed what life looks like for many of us, whether it be on a financial, spiritual, social, and personal level.
The coronavirus impacted me very early on. The day our daughters’ school closed, we went on complete lockdown, not leaving the house and ordering everything we needed online. I watched our governor’s daily briefings about the increasing cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey.
At the onset of the pandemic, I memorized Psalms 91 and said it every night as a declaration of protection from this virus. As I could control where we went and who we interacted with, my faith was winning.
And then the unthinkable happened – I found myself in a desperate situation, where my brother and close friend were both fighting for their lives in ICU after being infected. For weeks I went through one of the biggest faith-fights I had ever experienced. Ultimately my brother went home to be with the Lord, and my friend is on her path to recovery.
I began to struggle with my faith a bit. What happens when what I was believing for was not a part of God’s plan? The loss of my brother came to mind whenever a pandemic-related fear arose.
I began to limit my exposure to the news media and stopped watching those daily governor briefings. I went back to my protected bubble and hunkered down. As long as I could exert control over my situation, it was easier to strengthen my faith.
After a few more weeks, I had to reschedule Kassadi’s surgery (see last week’s post HERE for the backstory). I had been praying that the pain would just miraculously disappear and surgery would no longer be needed. But with her increasing pain, I knew we had to go forward with the surgery and expose ourselves to the unknown. Fear-induced procrastination was not allowed.
I decided to change the procedure location from the hospital to the surgical center to limit exposure. But I still struggled with what if’s in those weeks leading up to her scheduled procedure date.
What if we get infected by someone in the facility? What if she doesn’t wake up from the anesthesia? What if her knee is worse than the doctor anticipated? Back and forth, the Faith/Fear Tug of War ensued.
I prayed, declared Psalms 91 and Psalms 121, engaged my circle of prayer warriors, and constantly played encouraging and inspirational music, so I could fight off fear every time it approached me.
The morning of the surgery, I remember praying and giving the entire day to God, asking Him to cover us through everything we were about to go through, and committing to meeting Him that night to offer thanks for answering my prayers in His own way.
By the time we arrived at the surgical center, my body was experiencing the natural Fight or Flight response. I had to counter with the Freeze response – stop, breathe and pray. I desperately needed God’s peace to flood my entire body in that moment.
After a prayerful plea for peace and controlled deep inhalations, my heart rate and breathing returned to normal, and we entered the center. Was I operating on 100% Faith? Not even. I fought the entire time to block fear each time it tried to creep back in, especially during the actual surgery while alone in the waiting room. Normally I would have had the distraction and support from family and friends in that room.
However, that day it was just me and God. And this is where true change and transformation comes from – a divine encounter with no outside voices or distractions. And I had to just trust that He had everything in that entire building under control.
After a couple of hours, a nurse popped in to update me that they would be finished soon. Before disappearing behind the door, she informed me the doctor would be out to talk to me shortly. A new seed of fear threatened to spring up. I mentally questioned her words and demeanor to try and figure out how the procedure went. She didn’t say it went well, she didn’t offer any words of reassurance, what was I supposed to deduce from that quick encounter?
I had gained the upper hand in my personal Tug of War in those hours of waiting. And I was suddenly yanked out for another quick battle.
God I know everything is ok, you are faithful to your word and I trust You, in spite of all the distractions that tell me otherwise.
When our amazing doctor finally came to share the results of the surgery, I was finally able to breathe a thankful sigh of relief from everything that had been bottled up inside me. I forgot to text my relatives and close friends the good news. I just wanted to go see my baby girl.
And that night, true to my word, I thanked God for once again showing me that I can trust Him, no matter what.
God, you did it again. What a journey you’ve taken me on since the start of the year. But once again you have strengthened me for my next faith fight. Thank you for being so faithful to me.
Little did I know, 3 weeks later there would be another health-related Tug of War. I’ll be back next week to share more about that…
Do you have a situation where you are teetering between having faith and being fearful?
Can you use a time in the past when God was faithful to you as encouragement to choose faith over fear in your current situation?
Feel free to respond in the comments section… and share this story with someone in your life that could use the encouragement.
Follow Destined 4 the Dub for the Inspiration each week as we journey through the highs and lows of life!