Faith over Fear
I worry a lot. It’s not just here in New Jersey, I’ve always been this way. I just worry and think about all the things that could happen. I’m guessing a lot of the worrying comes from TV shows. SVU is one of my favorite shows, so that doesn’t help the situation for obvious reasons. And then just the world we live in… crazy things happen all the time, and they’re happening more and more frequently. Rapes, murders, robberies, shootings.
For instance, I’ll be walking by myself at night and pass a man wearing a hood. Nevermind the fact that it’s 10 degrees outside and he’s probably just trying to keep warm, no… in my mind, I think he’s wearing the hood so he can come mug me and I won’t see his face. And then he’s going to rape me too, because that’s what hooded figures do.
Well, turns out , I’m a crazy person. I should probably be more afraid of my imagination than the man wearing a hood in the winter.
My worrying at one point got WAY out of control. I used to think T.J. was going to get in a car accident all the time. Once I was for SURE my imagination was a prompting so I gave him extra kisses as he left. At that point, when T.J. arrived back home without getting in an accident, I really knew I needed to get help. I remember hearing a talk by President Monson saying,
Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time.
It’s a little out of context. I think he was talking about having faith in the gospel. But his words are applicable to this situation as well. And I think I need to relearn the lesson again.
When I’m constantly worrying, I’m not having faith that Heavenly Father will take care of us. Everyday I pray for our safety, yet I am doubting things will be okay. I need to cast out the doubt and have faith over fear.
But at the same time, we need to listen to the Spirit and act on our promptings because things do happen. That’s why it’s important to live the gospel so we always can recognize if our worries are real promptings or not. And of course, we need to be cautious and be aware of our surroundings. I was walking to the grocery store a couple weeks ago and I noticed this couple screaming at each other ahead of me. They were pushing each other a bit, but it wasn’t a full out fight yet. I was going to have to pass them if I were to continue on my normal route to Target, but I felt like Eva and I should go the long way around so I wouldn’t get in the middle of it. No big deal, but better to be safe, right?
Well, one more story, which is why I wrote this post in the first place. Today, Eva and I were walking around the mall, just like we do about every day. We walked into JCPenney, and all of a sudden I met eyes with a man and noticed he was with another man across the escalator gap. They were both big, middle-aged men, leaning over the railings, looking down over the first floor and something just felt off about them. They were wearing long trench coats, kind of creepy clothes to be honest. But it knew it wasn’t just their clothes that made me feel like something was off, because I see a lot of different styles and people out here in Jersey City.
Okay, so I’ve told you I worry a lot, and I’ll just think of things like oh, that guy might come after me. But I never really feel like I’m in HUGE danger. I usually now can recognize that it’s just my imagination and tell myself I’m just being crazy, chill out. But guys, when I saw those two guys, for some reason I immediately felt sick to my stomach. My pulse started going crazy fast all of a sudden. And I just felt like I needed to get out of the mall right away.
I grabbed Eva, put her in the stroller, and we bolted out of there. Who knows what would have happened. Probably nothing. But, man. Something did not feel right about being there. Who knows. But with all of the shootings (there have been two shootings at malls near us just in the past couple months), I couldn’t take a chance especially with Evabug there.
So, I guess the point to this post is that we shouldn’t let worrying take over our life. We need to have faith and trust in the Lord (and probably watch a little less SVU on TV). But we also need to live righteously so we can always have the Spirit to be with us, so if something is actually wrong, we can be aware of the situation.
I’m sure I’m not the only woman out here in the blogging world who worries… I’d love to hear some of your stories and comments about how you deal with it.
We live in perilous times; nevertheless, we can find hope and peace for ourselves and for our families. Those living in sorrow, despairing at the possibility of children being rescued from where the world has taken them, must never give up. ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ Righteousness is more powerful than wickedness. –Pres. Packer
Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. Cast out doubt. Cultivate faith. –Pres. Monson
As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. –Mark 5:36
Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come. –D&C 68:6
I can really relate with the car accident thing. I even go as far as tracking him on his phone to make sure his dot is still moving and not at a dead standstill. Worrying in general I think robs us of feeling joy for the good things in life because we’re too worried about any and all possible negative outcomes of the good thing. For instance, my husband got offered a great job with a firm and instead of being relieved and grateful, I worry nonstop about how I’ll never see him and our marriage will fall apart and I’ll be at home with screaming babies and hating my life. Ridiculous!! Thanks for post, Katie.
Sorry, it’s genetic. I used to stand over my dad (who was often sick) while he was napping in the recliner. I stood there to make sure he was still breathing. But I’m working on my faith too.
Babe! I adore your blog soo much!! I’m your newest follower on Bloglovin’ :-).. Hope you can follow back!
I read a book last summer called The Gift of Fear (http://www.amazon.com/The-Gift-Fear-Gavin-Becker/dp/0440226198) on a recommendation from one of my BYU professors. The general idea of it was that our subconscious usually picks up on much more than we realize, and more often than not, if we suddenly feel off about something, there’s a reason. If we just shake if off all the time, we can find ourselves in adverse circumstances. The author talked a bit about how you can think through things and see what other clues may have triggered whatever feeling you have at that moment. I didn’t buy all of his claims, but I thought much of what he said was a good thing for a smallish (5’2″) girl like me to at least be aware of. Especially for when I have kids and mommy instincts to manage as well.
Anyway, that sounded like a tangent and I am now commenting a novel of my own, but I just thought of that when I read your big-men-at-the-mall bit, and I would vote that you did the right thing. Maybe it was nothing, but it’s probably better to know that nothing happened because you left than it is to find out the hard way that their intentions were indeed harmful. It can be a sign of courage to walk away from something without knowing why!
There are my thoughts on the subject. Great post.
I was like that before! I worried too much. I worried about everything, my job, my school, my future…
I spent a lot of time thinking about my future and I was depressed.
I read a lot about this online, and I saw a lot of people worrying about all kinds of things all the time. Be reading more about people’s problems I realized that none of these things matter.
I worried about the future all the time… SPOILER ALERT: We all die at the end.
The more we worry the poorer our life becomes. Let go of it all.
I found out that 99% of things I worried about never happened.
Understand that realistically, none of it matters. Because at some point the Sun is going to go Supernova and take us and this solar system with it and guess what? Then nobody will really give a sh*t about you or your life.
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” –Lao Tzu