I never really understood the term faith. Growing up, I just knew that it was something that was meant to flow within you and enable you to do things that you otherwise didn't think you were capable of. Like riding a bike without training wheels for the first time; I was always used to feeling my cousin's hand on my back that I didn't even realize the moment he let go. I was fine until I became aware that I was doing this on my own. And then I lost control and fell.
Eventually, I gathered the courage to try again. This time, I pedaled that bike on my own with the wind softly brushing through my hair. I felt free. I felt victorious. I felt what faith was through the feeling of trusting my cousin's teachings and trusting my capabilities to learn from them in order to do it on my own.
That level of faith, now that I look back at it, was easy. As I grew older, the deeper practice of it became difficult for me. Like putting things all into God's hands and letting him take complete control. Then preparing myself for the moment he put me behind the driver's seat and told me that it was my turn to show what I have learned.
My prayers entering into 2018 were that God teach me how to be a more faith-filled woman. Faith requires trust, and I have lacked genuine trust for some time now. It has been a beautiful journey, though, learning how to hold trust in my hands and apply it to my life. We often consider trust as a dangerous risk because it can end up getting us hurt. But step by step, I am learning how beautiful this unpredictable abstract is. It's freeing in a way that I can't explain.
Walking by faith isn't just a stroll in the park. It requires moving mountains, trekking through storms with no umbrella, walking blindly and only feeling the soles of your feet hitting the earth beds. I found myself not being faith-filled because I doubted my capabilities. I didn't believe that my soul could practice faith in full capacity since I held so much fear. But one day, a thought hit me. Why ever sit and pity yourself and accumulate the belief that you are incapable of moving mountains and bringing your dreams to fruition, when the same powerful energy that you used to tear down the soul that God molded into a strong-tower with his own two hands, could be used to give you wings and help you fly?
My beliefs and perspectives of myself were hindering me. My fears were handicapping me. All the power that I was using to doubt myself and tear myself down could have been power used to affirm the strength and ability that truly resided at the core of my soul. I couldn't live like that anymore. I couldn't be OK with wasting such power on not trusting in my pieces. So I had to reevaluate my journey of faith.
Walking by faith is a blind and fearless pursuit. I have to remind myself daily that I have the strength to walk this way. Otherwise, I'd end up right back where I remained stagnant for so long: In the midst of my fears believing they were home.
I read somewhere that fear and anxiety produce a false sense of security. I believe that's why I grew so comfortable entertaining them. They hindered me from doing much, which at the same time I thought protected me from hurt and pain. I remained cradled in the hold of my anxieties. Those things that would have been accessible to me had I taken a step on faith, began to vanish. The blessings and wisdom that God wanted to pour into me were blocked by my fear of opening up.
Fear is like a house with no windows and no doors. We tend to not see or know anything outside of it. My fears became blinders in my life, and I was stuck in this house that was definitely not a home. Fear is not a place to live. I found myself barely living at all. It was more so me just dragging my feet through my days. Once I began applying faith, I felt strongholds being lifted off of my spirit. My shoulders felt lighter. That was God telling me that it wasn't my weight to carry, it was his.
I am on a fearless pursuit in this stage of my life, meaning I am taking the time to see what lies on the other side of all the things that intimidate or scare me. So far, it is everything that I needed. The things that have the ability to help me grow as a woman, the things that help to nourish my soul and help me to bloom, those are the things that I am finding when I am living fearlessly. I had to let go of the false security that I thought my fears were giving me. They weren't shielding me from hurt, they were bringing pain to me by keeping me from all that I deserved and so much more.
William Shakespeare wrote a quote that hit home the exact moment I read it. "Our doubts are often traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt." As I continue forward to pursue a more fearless lifestyle, I aim to keep that thought in mind. I am faced with many doubts, fears, and anxieties daily, but I am learning how to replace them with powerful thoughts that give me the courage to even just attempt so that I gain the possibility of grasping the wonders of life. I remember that in order to walk by faith, I have to rely on my vision and not on my sight.