As some of you may know, I have been battling many demons this year – some health-related, some work-related, and many personal struggles. Throughout these trials and tribulations, I have acquired a few new insights into myself and have noticed the gaping chasm that I am either unable or (shudder) unwilling to cross in all areas of my life. To put it in the parlance of the Easter sermon from church this weekend – I have hit my brick wall. This brick wall is of my own creation and somehow I must break through it if I am to progress.
What is this wall? The bricks of it are worry, anxiety, indecisiveness, and pessimism. How do I manifest this? The biggest brick is that of worry. I worry much less now than I did in the past, but still it is a major part of my life. Most of my decisions are made to minimize worry (or change) – many to the detriment of what I need to do. Combine this worry and my natural sense of pessimism fuels one of my major problems – hypochondriaism. I am guessing that much of the pain that I have felt in the past two or three months have been fueled by this sense of worry and pessimism (and a dose of stress, to be sure). It is this pessimism that leads me to think the worst of any possible situation. Even now, I have been thinking of the worst case scenario from my last procedure and have been planning on what I should do now – before I have any clue of how it went. This leads to a downward spiral that never seems to end.
Worry, anxiety, and indecisiveness fuel another of my life’s battles – that of work. I’ll be honest and say that I dislike work. I like most of the people and some of the things that I do, but in general, work has been more drudgery than a positive experience. Worry and anxiety play a big role in this matter – worry in that I fear the unknown and anxiety in that I won’t be able to fit in or have enough knowledge in whatever new endeavors I may follow. My current job has been my first “real” job (by “real”, I’m discounting jobs that I had either in or before college) and fear not having the safety or security of a job has kept me chained.
But now back to this wall that interferes with so much of life. There is a root solution to this, and it is one that I find incredibly difficult. It is a matter of “faith”. It is clear that my worry and anxiety is fueled by my limited faith (Matthew 8:26 – “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”). I have had this confirmed in a discussion a few months ago with a friend who told me that I was probably the strongest Christian he knew who had so little faith. That comment stung then and now, but it is true. This is a prime area that I need to focus on – by letting go and having faith.
At the Easter sermon I attended yesterday, one of the things we were to do is to fill out a card describing our own personal “brick wall” and that the pastor would pray to help us overcome this obstacle. Any guesses on what my card mentioned? Helping me to extend my faith and learn to let go and give my life completely to God. With more faith, my struggles with worry (Matthew 6:27-29 “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” or 1 Peter 5:7 – “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”), anxiety (Phillipians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus”), or pessimism (Matthew 19:26 – “With God, all things are possible.”) should be overcome.
Part of my struggles with faith has been discerning what I should do. I have asked for guidance, but my ears aren’t attuned to hear the words of the Lord. I have only heard the words of the Lord in times of extreme stress in my life and I have heeded the guidance. I pray for guidance, but I’m oblivious to many of the cues. Others have told me they see the direction I am to go, but I am still blind and deaf. This is an area of my life that I must tackle and attune my ears and heart toward God.
Pray for me. Pray that my faith is strengthened and that I learn to be attuned towards the will of God. Thank you.