on faith.

Yesterday I was sitting in my Doctor’s office waiting for her to come in to see me. I have been to the doctor’s office more times in the last year than any year ever before. I am not a scheduled person, so appointments and check-ups are rarely on my radar. I’d rather be doing anything than visiting the doctor. But this year has been different…

I have been very open about my struggles with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. For the last year, I have battled fear and worry daily. I would love to share my whole story, but it would take up too much space and I want to talk about something else. The main points are as follows:

-I made some major life decisions to correct and turn from some unhealthy things happening in my life last summer.

-After taking some necessary, but extreme measures to get my life back on track, my mind and body started to go down hill.

-After failed attempts to go to counseling, I decided to try medication.

-The medicine sent me into a complete nervous breakdown. I was waking in fear and nothing could calm me down. I couldn’t be left alone and I couldn’t leave my house.

-I stopped the medication and began taking Xanax daily for my anxiety.

-While the Xanax has helped, I have never returned to my old self.

This brings me to my doctor’s visit yesterday. I have been agonizing over this decision for months, but I finally decided to ask her for more help. I finally decided to try a new medication.

I cannot tell you how scary it is to put your mind into the hands of a small blue pill. A pill in a class of drugs which has failed me already once before. What am I doing?

On the wall hanging in my doctor’s office is a picture with a quote. I sat there yesterday, curled up in the chair and read this:

“Faith is not thinking God can. Faith is knowing God will.”

Um, excuse me? I beg to differ!

For anyone out there battling with faith and doubt and worry and anxiety and all of the “what ifs”, hear this. Faith is not a measure of how certain you are. If it were than it wouldn’t be called Faith…it would be called certainty. I have no idea how my body will react to this new medication and I am scared!!!!! I am scared because I tried a similar medication already and it broke me. It left me in a pool of tears, doubts, worry, and misery. And do you think I didn’t pray that it would be the answer I was needing? My husband and I prayed everyday to no avail.

The truth is that we have few guarantees in this life. We are guaranteed that God loves us and we are guaranteed troubles. We are guaranteed sunshine, but we are also guaranteed rain. And it’s not God who is controlling or manipulating the hurts and losses in our lives. No, its the result of a broken world. A world infected by darkness, evil, and violence. And we go through fire sometimes. For many it feels like the fire will never end.

I think about my friends suffering in chronic pain, or those who are unable to have a baby. Those who have lost loved ones. And those who, like me, seem to have lost their umbrella.

So what is faith? All I can say on the subject of faith is that for me it means I keep taking steps forward. I might have days of standing still or stepping back, but when I am being faithful, I know it means being brave, keeping my focus on the One who never leaves even when the rain just keeps pouring down. It means doing things afraid sometimes.

This morning I woke with the usual fear rushing through my body. I sat up, grabbed my husband’s hand as he prayed for me and I swallowed that first little blue pill. I took a step. And as tiny as that step might seem, it was a pretty huge one for me.

We shall see what tomorrow brings…

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One thought on “on faith.

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