Yes, I just made up a word. Fearthfulness. I feel like I’m stuck in the path of it right now. It’s the combination of a heart that says, “I want to be faithful to Jesus,” with a mind that retorts, “but I’m afraid.” I am full of fearth.
Being faithful is defined as a long-continued and steadfast fidelity to whatever one is bound to. There is most of me that truly believes that God will take care of me. But then there’s fear. It’s that distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, and/or pain, whether the threat is real or imagined. I have that in my life too. Let’s illustrate this, because it seems to be a trend in many of my life’s situations right now.
Example number one: raising support as an income. You know, I don’t really doubt in my heart that God will deliver financially for our new family as Logan raises support for his job with Christian Challenge. But the fear begins to trickle into my mind as I look at our bank account and don’t see the provision I’m waiting for. I have faith, but then I have this fear too.
Second: I’ve been pummeled with personal fear in following several of our friends’ stories of sickness. Could I handle that if God chose my family to walk through such a journey? I’d still hang on to my faith in Jesus through a time like that, but the fear and dread that I feel as I think about it makes my stomach turn. I’d be faithful, but I’m still fearful.
Last one for now: I also am growing a baby. Soon, we’ll be meeting her. Throughout her time of gestation, I’ve been faithful in praying for our girl baby. Prayer is not always a natural thing for me to do, but I think fear has driven me to seek it out more. The fear that she won’t be healthy. Fear of complications. Fear of why I’m such a small pregnant person. Fear of extracting a baby from my body. Fear of feeding her. Fear of SIDS. Fear of being good at parenthood. Fear of sleeplessness. I’ve been faithful in praying, but mostly because I’m fearful.
I am weak sauce.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” [2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified]
I know the answer in my heart to this problem of fear that I am experiencing. Jesus has been speaking the quoted verse into my heart this week. This fearthfulness that I feel, it does exist, but it doesn’t originate from God. I know this. Faith and fear don’t make for a good mixed drink. Truly, the fusion of faith and fear leaves a bitter, flat aftertaste in my mouth. Even still, I keep joining the two, hoping for a better flavor this time, or something.
The road to eradicating fearth from my diet has proven difficult thus far. Coveting your prayers as I stumble, keeping in mind that even when I am fearthful, God remains faithful!