Imagine me in this scenario, I’m in my art exhibit and I was getting calls and text messages about my friend and business partner who’s in the hospital due to Covid-19. His status was not looking good. I’ve been worried since he got admitted and even got more worried when he was no longer replying to me while he was in the ICU. After a long day of entertaining guests, in between smiles and laughter, while hiding tears, and anxiousness, I finally get home. I go into my office, opened the lights, sat on my chair, and saw on the desk all our payables in need of checks with his signature. How on earth am I going to withdraw money from our bank?! With added fear to my fears, out of desperation, I knelt on the floor, cried an ugly cry, and begged God to just take the dog that my friend gave me instead. By the way, the following morning I was awakened with a text message that my healthy, pet chicken in the garden died for no apparent reason. The dog was blessed and spared.
What you’ve read is not a script from one of Tim Burton’s dark comedy movies. Sadly, and embarrassingly for me, it’s all true and I did the worst things in the face of fear.
This happened last year but it was only a few days ago when I shared this story with my friend and business partner. I bet you have correctly guessed his reaction. Though friends who knows us found this story hilarious, I honestly feel bad and I wonder if I should have just hemmed and hawed that part of my story. But come to think of it. It was a story that held a lot of truth that reflects the current situation most people find themselves in now. It was also a story that I personally needed to go back to so I can recheck the kind of faith that I have.
Remember all the soap operas and the stories of family members in the hospital with their still alive, but faintly breathing, loved one and they are already talking about the money and properties that will be left behind for them? I used to judge them for being so heartless and greedy, but now I know I’m not seeing the whole picture. When you are placed in a situation of the same tune, and you live in this world where uncertainty, heartbreaks, losses, and disappointments constantly feed your fears, you have the tendency to become the person who forgets who God is. We don’t really forget that there is God but we forget the kind of character that He has. This is something I’m always guilty of. I fear because I fail to remember who my God is.
At age 32, I started to write and record my Last Will and Testament. This was a few months after I gave birth to my daughter last 2018. Every year I update it. I have three reasons for doing this. First of all, I get extremely paranoid about certain things due to my Paranoid Personality Disorder so when I was blessed with a daughter, my death was something I saw that I must be prepared for to ease my fear for those I will leave behind. Second, I worry that, even if I’m better now, my suicidal tendencies might come back and I don’t want to cause added confusion to the chaos in the event that, God forbid, it successfully happens. And I never saw death as something taboo or morbid because that’s how my dad raised me. From time to time he would give me instructions on what to do when he passes on. Just like me, he too worried and feared a lot. Going back to my reaction during that time when I saw the payables on my desk, I now process that incident to be the overflow of the accumulated fears I have been harboring in my heart.
Difficult situations reveal our deepest fears. Our fears reveal the status of our faith.
Being prepared for the worst is okay but dwelling on it to the point of constant anxiousness is damaging. We all have fears and living with them, consciously and unconsciously, impacts us and the people around us. With fear we handicap our logic, discernment, and responses toward circumstances causing us to fall short, backslide, mess up and hurt even those we care about. With fear, we become our worst selves. We fear not because we know that there are things beyond our control but because, admit it or not, we lack faith and so we want to play god and be in control.
We need to learn to live our lives in faith and not in fear. I know this is easier said than done because up until now, I would occasionally find myself in its black hole. But I did have tons of moments of getting out from it. The feeling of fully letting go of fear and accepting God’s power over my life always made me feel His love. We’ve felt love but God’s love is greater than the love that we can give or we know of. It is the kind of love that, as written, so perfect it can drive away all fears. And the only way to destroy our fears and experience God’s perfect love is to have faith in Him.
I may not be sure how my friend felt after finding out that I acted the way I did at the moment I could have not. If I were in his situation, I would have felt the worst feeling I could have possibly felt being the very sensitive person that I am. It was an awkward moment but I also take this as a spiritual exercise that at all times, to have an unshakable faith in our ever faithful and good God. Look back at the fearful seasons you’ve gone through and I’m positive you’ll see that it never contributed to how you successfully endured it all. It was always our faith that allowed us to break the walls of fear that surround our lives.
Now, remember, every time you are faced with any kind of fear, ask yourself, “Who is my God, and how’s my faith?”