Today I felt the need to share with those I trusted that I was not doing ok. I began to wonder to the darkest places of my mind and started to allow myself to believe in everything but what I already knew. Afraid and alone, I wanted some relief. My comfort zone had been impacted and I had no idea what I needed to do next. In the middle of two things, I so desperately wanted to hold onto my faith but fear was gripping my heart. Isolation would be far better than sharing. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and I didn’t want to move from this bed. I just wanted to lay here until everything goes back to normal. I said to myself, “I hate this new normal.”
When faced with feelings and emotions that hold us hostage our humanity may force us to hide and/ or run to a place of where things feel comfortable, or even isolate ourselves. Religion tends to drive the idea that one should over spiritualize what’s happening in our lives by forcing us to ignore what is happening. To ignore it by placing faith over it. But, what happens when the faith you have isn’t enough, what happens when fear is in the driver’s seat and the faith that we are holding onto isn’t enough to keep us going?
I am reminded about the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.” He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14: 34-36) You see in this specific passage of Scripture even Jesus felt emotion, it says that He felt “grieved to the point of death.” I might even go as far as to say that maybe even fear. Even being the Messiah, the righteousness of God, Jesus, still felt what most of us feel today. Instead of letting fear be the driving force of His life, Jesus made a conscious decision to do what was needed. Though He asked to have that cup taken away He still decided to say “Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.”
We so often hear this story; we give praise because of what Jesus did. What we forget is that Jesus had to decide to follow God even though His emotions may have told Him to do otherwise. Instead of deciding to face this task alone, or to just keep quiet about how He was feeling, Jesus decided to tell those He trusted. He had to allow Himself to be vulnerable and trust that those closest to Him would stand with Him. He also needed to be honest with Himself and God by acknowledging that is was not ok and He was struggling. He didn’t try to cover it up by over spiritualizing what was happening or what was going to happen. Instead He took what He was feeling and gave it to God. Though this couldn’t have been easy. He still decided to trust God in the midst of His turmoil. He consciously chooses to believe in God’s plan. So, the same has to be done for you and I, every day we have to make a conscious decision to trust in Gods’ plan and all his promises. We must choose to believe that He is for us. That doesn’t mean covering up our emotions with faith; it only means that we must acknowledge our feelings by being honest with God, trusted friends, and most of all ourselves. By doing so allows God to take control over the situation good or bad and ultimately, He will give us peace, one that surpasses all our understanding.
Contributed by – Shani Ford In the midst of my pain I found a God who fiercely sought after me. In 2017 I was in a broken place lost, living without purpose, and wanting to be found. Through the love of God I was able to find a peace that would change a rebel into a righteous women. I am from California, but currently living in Chicago, Illinois. Now walking a path to help change people perspectives on what it means to walk in God’s grace. I believe since I was able to find happiness, and true joy that everyone I encounter should and can find it too. Through The Sanctuary I have been able to grow in my walk while pursing the life that God has called me to.