Faith’s Thoughts: Irrational Fear
The courtship of Terry and myself was a whirlwind. It was exciting, magical and beautiful, but also very scary. It took so long to find him, so I was nervous that it wasn’t taking that long to fall in love with him and trust him. I was looking for him to hurt me. I needed constant reassurance. I put him through it. What a trooper he was. My underlying issue was that I was concerned that Terry wasn’t ready to love me. It was the resounding thread of the people who voiced concerns, so I was sensitive to that and looking for ways where he may have displayed disinterest.
When we first started dating, Terry would send me flowers at work. He sent chocolate covered fruit and teddy bears too. I had never received flowers from anyone, then suddenly, I was receiving them constantly. What was better than the flowers, were the notes which would be attached. I remember it had been about a month of me not receiving a gift from Terry at work. That morning on my drive to work, I was telling my best friend, “I guess that’s over. He was just doing that to impress me and now he’s done.” Of course, I didn’t express to him that I was looking for him to disappoint me. Later that day, I received a beautiful arrangement from a local florist! It was absolutely beautiful and had my cubicle smelling glorious! The best part was the card. It read, “Thought I was done, huh?” I was amazed! How did he know to send flowers that day? Truth is, he had ordered that arrangement the previous week. The phone call to my best friend on the ride home from work was interesting. I told her about the flowers then asked (seriously), “Do you think he has my phone bugged?” LOL. See what I mean? Irrational fears.
There would be days when I was feeling overwhelmed with these fears and out of nowhere, he would send me a text, an email or a note saying something that was exactly what I needed to hear. Terry was so noble, so honest and so genuine that I couldn’t help but trust him. He didn’t let his pride get in the way and become defensive. I had talked to guys who became angry with my (very) guarded heart. Some called me names and told me that I would never find anyone. Terry didn’t do any of that. He pursued me patiently and lovingly, assuring me that he didn’t want to take from me, only give.
Once I accepted Terry’s love for me, I allowed myself to trust him. I started to realize what a gem I had. Unfortunately, the fear didn’t leave me; it shifted. I went from having irrational fears about Terry to having irrational fears about myself. I started to be afraid of everything. If I got sick, I feared the worse. I feared that I wouldn’t be a good wife. I feared that Terry would learn more about me and be disappointed in his choice. I feared Terry would wish that I would be more like Mia than myself. I feared losing my independence. I found every reason to fear that my imagination could muster. I wanted to make sure Terry knew ALL of my flaws from the way I chew loudly, the fact that I can only cook one meal, to my smart mouth.
I wanted him to make sure that he knew exactly who he was choosing. I would think of flaws in the middle of the night and text them to him. He couldn’t say “he didn’t know”. Once we became engaged, the fears intensified. I was excited to be planning my life with him, but my mind was having constant thoughts of fear. Some were so irrational that I couldn’t even voice them. I was afraid that I was saying yes to something that would eventually hurt me. Wedding planning was frazzling me. I was nervous and scared. The details of the wedding: my hair, my shoes, my makeup were making me nervous. Getting married meant moving and that was stressing me. Simple things in life were stressing me. I did not recognize this stressed, scared woman. I thought that it was a sign that I wasn’t in the will of God. But sometimes right in the middle of God’s will, there will be warfare. The fight isn’t about where you are, but where you are headed. I was headed to a love I had never known from a man. I was headed into a deep friendship and intimacy. I was headed toward a covenant relationship with an honest, kind, loving man of God, yet I fought every step of the way. I’ve always dealt with stress through writing. Sometime, I would write my thoughts. Other times, I would write poems. Below is a poem that I wrote during one of my therapeutic writing session to help me through.
Why rush when you have forever
Knowing love ain’t going anywhere
Why skip any step in love and intimacy
Since love ain’t going no where
I used to rush it for fear that I’d lose it
Or knowing that it wasn’t real at all
But now I have it
The real thing
And I’m not afraid one bit
Of losing it
I want to experience every single step
slow and steady
My heart is ready
I’ve got forever with it, so why rush it
Fear and Faith, Faith vs. Fear
Terry’s Thoughts (T2):
When one is married to a person named Faith, sometimes when talking about faith can be confusing when talking about faith and Faith. Yet, it is important to remember that a person’s name can have a direct influence on how a person thinks or feels about themselves and their surroundings. It has been my observation that the faith of Faith is strong, but even the strongest faith needs support from time to time. This is the essence of being a helpmate and one of the things that we both had to adjust to as our relationship grew.
One of the things that I recognized about Faith was that she almost always looked at the bright side of situations and give people the benefit of the doubt. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t looking at the world through rose colored glasses, but rather believed that people had good intensions at heart and differences could be resolved through simple dialog. I, on the other hand, would consider myself at that time to be an optimistic realist. I looked at people and situations believing that for the most part people were good at heart, but the cold reality that some people can be so focused on their own personal ideas and beliefs that they wouldn’t hear anything that was contrary to what they thought or believed. These opposing views concerning life and relationships were things that Faith and I would have to work on together spiritually, emotionally and mentally.
As more and more people became aware of our relationship, many people would make assumptions about me or Faith. Some people thought that I was in a relationship with Faith because I wanted a “replacement” for Mia. Others thought that Faith was moving too fast because she had been a single mom and that I could be a good husband. While other people had their own ideas with no rational basis for the thought. It was during this period that Faith appeared to be having a miniature crisis of faith regarding her trust in the thoughts and opinions of others in relation to her personal beliefs.
This is not to say that I didn’t have my share of people who questioned me. Many of the people that I knew (especially those from back home), knew that if you asked me a question directly, I would answer said question directly. Several people asked me did I know what I was doing or was there other things at play that was expediting this relationship (read: pregnancy). I appreciated these people being so concerned about my emotional and spiritual health and were brave enough to ask me directly. Yet, there were a few people who created scenarios within their own mind to justify their own belief that we were making an incorrect decision. Some people thought that we had an obligation to get their approval to be in a relationship while others felt as though we should take time to allow them to get use to the fact that Faith was now in a relationship, even though she had been single for over 15+ years.
A few people that Faith cared about deeply expressed deep seated opposition to our relationship and it caused severe anxiety within our relationship. There would be many times which we would talk, and she would wonder aloud “I don’t know if I can take too much more of this.” When Faith starts talking about how her faith is wavering, it was time to change gears and become the helpmate that she needed…NOW! It would be during these times that I would rehearse the things that she told me she heard from God concerning the promises that He made to her. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith (the person) needed to hear words of faith about Faith so that he faith could continue to grow in relation to our relationship.
This does not mean that she was the only one who’s faith was challenged by opposition. There were some people who I really looked up to and respected refused to speak to me or ask me directly why move I would move in this direction at this point in time. One thing I learned early on in my walk with Christ is that when He speaks something to you that others may feel is impossible or improbable in a certain timeframe. He makes what seems impossible, possible. I’m possible. I am possible. The situation that He speaks to you is possible because He is possible as He the “I am” in the possible. I began to recognize that He placed Faith in my life not as a substitute, but rather a new phase in my life. When I started dating Faith, scripture regarding faith became more real and personal than I had ever thought or believed. Look back at Romans 10:17, now Faith (the person) cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. By me taking time to hear from God concerning who He wanted to be in my life, Faith came into my life.
Once I got this revelation, I was able to help Faith maintain and increase her faith in our relationship regardless of what others may have felt or believed. The doubt and fear that attempted to enter our relationship, would eventually wither and fade away as we continued to rehearse what we believed and knew we heard from God concerning our relationship. I knew she would be my bride and helpmate. For without faith in what was revealed to each of us and Faith to support me and me supporting her, we would not have reached the point where we would be husband and wife. Sometimes, you gotta go with what you know you know rather than what others think they know about you and/or your situation. I thank God for my personal relationship with Him and that I know what He said is true regarding my life.