Man it’s been a while. But I guess you don’t need me to point that out, eh?
I’ve been a bit lazy, I’ll admit, but also not quite sure what to write about. You see, last year I spent much of my media time focusing on my depression and the difficulties of life, and I didn’t want this year to be like that; but I felt I couldn’t write unless there was some profound new ‘thing’ I’d learned and needed to share with you. I know that that’s not a reason to write, but it certainly feels like my writing is useful when I have some new perspective to share that might help someone. This year, I’m not sure that I’ve had much of anything profound to share, and thus haven’t known what to write about… such a conundrum.
Today, though, I thought I’d share a little bit about one of my struggles, not yet having overcome it, but still fighting through it. You know, because we’re all in the midst of our own inner battles. So, my current struggle? Handling change without fear. It’s something I’m quite possibly terrified of, although not for the reason you may think. I’m not necessarily afraid of the unknown; true, I don’t like not knowing what will happen, but I can push myself into it if I absolutely need to. What I have realised about myself these past few months, however, is that I truly despise change for the fact that I will feel left out or left behind. When my life changes direction, be it a new job, city, neighbourhood, church… I’m afraid of being left out in the thing or situation I’m leaving behind. Depending on the situation I’m facing, I’m terrified of moving forward into the ‘change’ because I might be forgotten or replaced in the thing I’m changing from.
I hope that makes sense?
I take a lot of stock into what people think and how much they care about me. Too much, in fact, that it often makes independent, decision-making situations that (obviously) require some sort of change stressful and full of anxiety. I’m afraid of making a decision no one would approve of, because if they don’t approve, maybe they won’t care anymore and maybe they’ll replace me when I make the change.
It’s a messed up view, isn’t it? Trust me, I know it’s not a healthy view. It’s probably one of the things that feeds my depression. In fact, this past week has been one of introspection and understanding why I’m like this, why I’m terrified of change, especially when doing it alone and without some sort of approval or agreement because I want to fight the hold of depression on me and this is just one facet of it. So I admit it: that’s my fear that I’m struggling with.
I heard a teaching by the Pastor of Hillsong Newcastle last week, and it’s shaking up this messed up perspective of mine (thank God). He spoke of David, and the faith David had when he went up to face the giant. Because not only was that giant huge and seemingly impossible to defeat, David was also being told all around him how small and unimportant he was in the fight, how unlikely he was to make a difference, how impossible it could be that he would have the strength to kill this giant.
Yet David ignored them. He chose instead to listen to the voice of faith. He knew that what was inside of him was greater than what he was facing. He chose to see possibilities, and to see past the obstacles, his father’s objections, his brothers resentments, and Saul’s lack of belief in him. The kind of faith that David had saw the giant, but looked beyond it and saw only the possibilities. (1 Samuel 17:26)
Ultimately, David had to see past his own insecurities.
That sentence right there hit me. It was like that moment where the clouds part and a light from heaven shines on me and angels start singing their grand “Ahhhhhhhhh”…….. JUST kidding. It was nothing like that. But it did challenge me on my perspective. In fact, it’s still challenging me to not fear the things I’ve been so terrified of. I’m so scared to move forward and embrace change in life because I don’t want to be replaced or not cared for anymore. But Jesus never forgets me. He never replaces me or casts me out. I can choose to view my giant (that is, my struggle) in front of me with a faith that is bigger, that looks beyond my own insecurities and sees the possibilities of victory because of Jesus Christ in me.
He knew that what was inside of him was greater than what he was facing
And this great and all, but come on… what does this look like every day as I fight this mental struggle? Well, to me it looks like reading His word and believing the promises He says about me, rather than listening to the demeaning and belittling voice of what the enemy tries to make me believe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s easier said than done! In fact, I’ve spent very little time in Scripture this week, even though I was impacted by the teaching I heard. I had decided at that moment I would dedicate every morning to learning His promises. Yet I’ve managed to consistently put it off… so yes, I was deeply convicted with this message, but I still struggle to actually make the daily change of looking to faith and not to fear. Actually saying this out loud gives me some sort of accountability to fight harder for my faith each day.
It’s not easy. My hope in sharing this is that I’ve encouraged at least one of you out there today by knowing that you are not alone in your struggle of faith over fear. My advice? Just don’t let go of God in the midst of your fear.
Don’t stop fighting for faith.