Sunday, October 19, 2014

Overcoming Fear & Moving Forward in Faith - part 1 Understanding purpose

Learning How to Overcome Fear & 
Move Forward in Faith


Fear works directly against faith. 
Fear pulls me away from the Lord
When my faith is strong...

  • I am happy, confident, and even energetic.
  • I remain calm as difficulties arise, I see things in perspective, and I feel the comfort and guidance of the Spirit. 
  • When confronted with a new difficulty, I ask, “What am I to learn?” instead of asking “Why me?”
 When fear overcomes me...
  • I am anxious and worried about the future. 
  • Those are hard times, lonely times. I don’t feel like I can handle things. 
  • I am likely to be easily upset and over react to problems. 
  • I become paralyzed or find myself caught in emotional loops of despair. 
Fear is something I am well aquanted with.

I often have feared the unknown...
As a result, I have always tried to be proactive in order to control my life as much as possible and prevent any unknown surprises.

Shortly after we finished medical school and the birth of my last child,  I had a bout with depression that was mostly caused by fear.  I felt certain that my picture perfect life was not going to last and that a large trial was coming to shatter my world.  

I was very fearful and I thought… 
“Maybe if I am better and do more spiritual things,  I will be able to avoid this trial.”  
Instead of feeling peace, I began to be overwhelmed with the never ending ‘to do list’ that I created.  I knew no matter what I did that I would always fall short.  I became paralyzed by my fear.   
When I look back at that time period, I realize that I did not understand the purpose of life and the purpose of difficulties in this life.  I wished to avoid them at all cost.  

Most of us wish to avoid hardships… 
No one wants to loose their job, or have a child with a disability, loose a loved one, suffer an illness, or struggle with emotional problems.  

The truth is… 
We would all like this life to be like a Disney Cruise! (I use that analogy because we all would like to have everything taken care of for us and our families.  We want to have this magical, wonderful adventure complete with a happy theme song… you’ve seen the commercials… isn’t that what you would like you life to be?)
Well, we didn’t sign up for a Disney Cruise… 
We signed up for something more like a navy tour complete with our own boot camp. Now you may find that to be a discouraging, disappointing thought…
"Why would I chose that?”  You may say. 
As part of God’s plan for us we chose to come to earth, we were not so much focused on the ride, but on the end result. 
 “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. . . .Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”- Gordon B Hinckley
We knew life was going to be challenging,
 but the ride was intended to get us somewhere important…
 it was to help us BECOME someone better than we were.  

It was to help us become like Jesus and prepare us to live with Him.  


THIS LIFE WAS TO PREPARE US. 

A life of ease would never have done that… it would never develop the strength of character and faith and determined righteousness that we needed to learn in order to be...
"Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ."  
Paul continues saying… 
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.Romans 8:17-18
Thomas Monson said in a speech after the death of his wife,
 “Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than what we were, more understanding than what we were, more empathetic than what we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before..." 
"This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow.
Understanding the purpose of our trials and difficulties can help us combat fear and press forward in faith.

As I accept those things that come to me and pray for extra help to go through them, then I find peace and I find strength to continue on, and gradually I get more and more understanding.  Despite all of the bad and the difficulties in the past two years I can look back and see growth and I can see good.  That gives me faith and hope that the things right now that I don't understand will also work for my good and will help me to grow.  

So everyday I choose faith over fear.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for articulating what I have felt personally and deeply. I am also a young widow. I was 31 when he didn't wake up. 4 kids as well. Again, thank you.

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  2. I needed this tonight and for the past month.....or year. Lol. I am not happy life hasn't gone the way I wanted. I need to have more faith and a long term perspective so I can have peace. Thank you

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  3. Jeanne T./ Las VegasOctober 19, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    Veronica, I just read this article, and your blog for the first time. You have no idea how real fear is for me these days, and how you feel/are when you're living in a place of fear exactly explains how I feel. Thank you so much for these insights and this article/blog!

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