I had a wonderful time taking my son Dillon to his first concerto competition. Dillon is not much of a talker, so it was nice having him trapped in a car for several hours. Along with many other things, we talked about his fears. When I asked him what he was most afraid of, I thought his answer showed incredible wisdom, even if he did admittedly steal it from Professor Lupin (and JFK). He said what he most fears is fear itself.
That is so wise because the Scriptures teach us that faith and fear cannot coexist. Ironically, I’m quite frightened by that fact. Aren’t I weird? People often write and tell me I am a woman of great faith. They are basing that on my conversion. While I understand what they feel, I don’t see it that way. I could do nothing else. I had to learn about the gospel. I needed to know what was true. I am nothing without my faith in Christ and I wanted to make sure I was serving Him as He was to be served. It is hard for me to see that as great faith.
Instead, what I do see is all my fear. I know that could keep me from what God would have me do. I don’t want it to. I want to confidently do whatever He wants. I want to be His completely. And yet I am overwhelmed with fear most of the time, which hinders those noble goals. Fears about understanding His will, fears about my future, fears about my children. Fears about the never ending bills. Fears about being able to keep up with my schedule. However, my biggest fear right now (aside from never being able to adequately provide for my children) is that I will be unable to trust anyone. Betrayals are hard no matter who commits them, but sometimes who the person is does make a difference. For me this latest one has.
I’ve been overwhelmed with doubts about everything, even (foolishly) the gospel. I’m so grateful for a Heavenly Father who doesn’t condemn me for those thoughts. He has patiently waited until I could calm down and then said. “Ok, you’re having doubts. Rather than get all panicky, let’s look at the gospel again.” So we did. I studied, examined, thought through it, and prayed fervently. I came to the same conclusion. This is the restored gospel. I’m glad I get to be a member. Whew! Yet all my other fears are still weighing on me.
As my fears crash around me incessantly, He keeps reminding me of one passage in particular. “Look to Me with every thought. Doubt not Fear not.” I’ll keep trying. Every time fear creeps up, my goal is to just look to Him. I CAN trust HIM. The sacrificial atonement alone is evidence enough of that. So from now on I will try to do things even better. When I’m exhausted and don’t think I can do one more day, I will look to Him and ask Him what He wants me to do. When I cannot pay a bill, I will look to Him. When I get asked out on a date, (you know…whenever some godly single LDS man moves into the area in 600 years), I’ll try to say yes and not panic about what kind of person he is really. When I ache all over and just want someone to let me rest my head on them and hold me, I will look to Him. I’m assuming that is included in every thought.
Prayerfully, as I get better at this, it will become natural instead of instructive.