Faith and Anxiety
faith and anxiety cannot coexist
Often times in life we go through shifts. Our lives shift each year as we grow older, it shifts as we change locations, as we enter and exit relationships, the list goes on. Some of these shifts occur in-voluntarily, however most occur based on our own free will. So what do you do when you make a decision to change your own trajectory? How do you deal with the consequences of your own decision to re-arrange your routine? The answer is, I have absolutely no idea.
So lets rewind, about two weeks ago, after several prayers, tears, late night discussions and reflection I decided to quit my full-time, salaried position at a global investment company. I had no other job offers or even interviews lined up. But it was my decision to completely step out on faith and trust God to provide me with a job that suits my interest and desired experience. Now, I know you are probably thinking “How are you going to pay your bills?” “why would you leave before you found another job?” “what are you going to do?” and trust me these questions were echoed by concerned family and friends. To which my reply would be “I’m going to step out on faith”. Before I go any further, I want to paint a picture of how I view having faith. Picture a large tree, tall, old and sturdy. Imagine its long branches stretching out and little ole me clinging to the thick tree trunk. This tree trunk is my security blanket, my job, I’m high enough off the ground that I won’t fall, but low enough to only eat off the low hanging fruit. I’m uncomfortable, yet safe. I have one free hand to grab fruit, but the other is constantly wrapped around the tree for safety. Stepping out on faith for me meant completely letting go and stepping on a branch not knowing if that branch could support me, but believing and trusting in a higher power keeping that branch strong enough for me to find happiness. Meanwhile, I’m watching other people frolic, hopping from branch to branch or cling to trees of their own. Finally, I reach a point where I want to be free, I want to eat the fresh fruit at the top of the tree and feel free to let go. In my prayer time, I told God repeatedly that I do not want to leave my tree trunk until he gave me his say so, because at the time I was unsure if what I was feeling was burnout from work or complacency. So when I finally received confirmation from God, i did it. I jumped on a shaky branch with both feet and felt happier than ever to finally be free.
Now lets fast forward to the present, my anxiety has been on level twelve almost every working day. I’m constantly refreshing my email to see if a job has moved forward with my application, I’m answering every spam call just in case its an employer, and thoughts of doubt and settling are swirling around my head constantly. Basically, I was feeling fine on my tree branch, until I decided to look down. Now I am in this constant battle between anxiety and faith. Two things that cannot coexist together. You cannot truly have faith, if you’re still clinging to your back up plan, you cannot have total faith if you don’t let go. That means letting go of all the thoughts that cause you to doubt yourself and God. Anxiety is your mind questioning outcomes, challenging your decisions, casting fear on every decision that has brought you to this point. Faith is not a question, it is not a challenge to God, faith is not fear. Faith is trust, not knowing the outcome but doing it anyway. Though you may feel its human to worry about these things, you cannot allow your mind to go there every day.
“faith is not fear”
You may be familiar with the popular bible verse “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Philippians 4:6 . Well what do you do when you’re anxious about EVERYTHING? The answer to that question is something I’m still trying to work out. And honestly, if it weren’t for my friends, family, and amazing boyfriend I’d probably be going crazy. So for now I’m going to continue my self-care, doing activities that I enjoy and giving myself grace to have a bad day, but not seven. I’m confident the shift in my life is setting me up for a new trajectory I could have never imagined, and I cannot wait to share with you all what happens next.