Sunday, February 23, 2014

Crisis of faith: the storm before the calm


Yesterday, I had what one would call a crisis of faith when life situations and life decisions caused an intense doubt and internal conflict and I often feel there is nowhere to turn. Recently, our landlord sent us a letter stated that they were raising the rent, which we knew they were going to do but it brought a decision that we weren’t expecting. We either have to sign another year lease and our rent raises only $60 or stay month-to-month and our rent raises by $110! We are planning to move after two years but to be tied to another lease is difficult because what if a new home opportunity came before us when our lease wasn’t up yet? Do we break the lease or do we let this home opportunity slip by? That’s the problem with crises of faith, a lot of “what if” scenarios come up that may be impossible but you can’t help but think of them. This led to my husband, Joe, talking about sacrifices in order to move and live where we would like. He talked about giving up things and he gave the examples giving up my cat, Kairi and having another baby. This made me very upset and shocked.

As I was left to those thoughts rolling in my head all day. And the more I thought about it, the more upset I became. How dare he make such suggestions especially this week when we marked my due date and honored the memory of Ziva! The tears came like waterfalls. I sat at the kitchen table, listening to uplifting songs on YouTube trying to feel better when I broke down and cried out to God to help me. Then I reached out to my friends on Facebook. The support I got caused even more tears and I knew that I wouldn’t feel any better until I talked to Joe. After we settled in for the tonight, I opened the conservation. And boy was I wrong! Joe was not asking me to give up my cat or my dream of having another baby. I felt better and after trying to go to sleep, I got up and did my usual midnight Internet search and I found some quotes which helped me.
1.      “Crisis are part of life. Everybody has to face them, and it doesn’t make any difference what the crisis is” –Jack Nicklaus, American golfer
It is so true and I often forget that we are not the only ones who face crises either it be financial, medical or family. Everyone has crises when the bills keep coming and they don’t care if your hours have been cut or you just had to put new tires put on the car. They want their money.
2.      “Come a crisis, we want other people.” –Danny Boyle, British film director
If life is going smoothly, we often think we don’t need other people but when a crisis hits we run for the nearest person. We need the comfort and support. We don’t need answers, at least not right away, we need the human contact and to hear that everything will be alright.
3.      “When some crisis occurs, couples don’t have the resources to deal with it because they’ve been so busy getting on with their lives. They haven’t learned how to sit down and discuss things.” –Janet McTeer, British actress
I learned this lesson the hard way. If you don’t confront someone and talk about what needs to be discussed, you’ll end up being resentful and it will build up until you explode. So if you’re angry with someone, talk to them about it. You’ll often find that the person doesn’t even realize that he or she hurt you.
4.      “Seeds of faith are always within us; sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth” –Susan Taylor, American journalist
Our faith grows with each crisis. Each time, I’ve faced a crisis and God has seen me through, my trust in Him grows. I know that God will not abandon me but you can’t stop the human brain from getting on the runaway train of “what ifs” and worst case scenarios.
5.      “God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it” –unknown
There are countless Bible verses which demonstrate this principle. Here’s a few of my favorites:
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” 2 Corinthians 5:7
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor   forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13
            So if you are in the middle of crisis of faith, don’t hold it in. Reach out and talk to someone who trust. Sometimes just talking about can help relieve the stress. It may not give you a solution but it give you support you’ll need to get this the situation. We can’t do it alone. God designed us to be social people. He gave us a support system to help us. He can even speak through these people. I have often prayed about something and the answer was given to me through a friend. I don’t think she knew she was being used by God to give me my answer but I recognized an answer when I hear it.