Sunday, January 27, 2008

Debilitating Fear

Note: This is the post that I've been wanting to write since I heard the news about my uncle's death, but I needed time to sort out my thoughts.

Fear can be debilitating. After getting news about my uncle's death, there were so many "what if" questions rapping their knuckles eagerly at my door. A few minutes after taking the news in, I realized that the SMS could have been about one of my parents or even both of them. I had sometimes prayed to God that if it was His will, I would love to be able to go back to Indonesia when one of my parents died (not in a situation where I'm almost giving birth or that I'm renewing my residence permit or something else that makes me unable to go to Indo).

Then I started realizing that my husband could die before me and fear started slithering inside, ready to choke me. My brain kept on asking me, "What if Arttu dies when you're pregnant? What if he dies before you get pregnant? What will you do next? Will you continue living here or will you go back to Indonesia? What if...what if...what if...?"

Being born and raised as a planner made my brain automatically started asking me those uninvited questions. More and more questions popped out...

I used to have a problem hearing people say, "If it's God's will, then I'll do this and that." Why? Probably because I've seen some of them prayed and fasted with all their might without doing their parts. They even used other people's resources without permission and then they dared thank God for those "blessings" and they told those people whose resources they used, "May the Lord pour His blessings upon you."

However, recently I've changed my mind. We DO have to do our parts, yet the bottom line is: since I believe that He's the God that created everything and that can take away our lives just with a twitch of His eye, that means that EVERYTHING else is under His govern. Of course I have free will and I can do anything I want to do, but still if His time has not come yet, no matter how much I want it to happen NOW, it won't happen. And if somehow I can force it to happen NOW, nothing good will come out of it.

I was gripped by fear during one night while lying awake in our bed, thinking about the "what if" questions...but at the end of the reflection, I was reminded again that God wouldn't give me more than I could bear and that His plans were good plans and not evil plans. I was reminded to surrender to Him completely and to let go of my worries and my need to control everything or at least to anticipate everything.

And then it struck me how WELL He'd been taking care of me. I started remembering that when I moved to Finland, I had NO idea how I could find a Finnish course or how my husband could find a permanent job or how I could find friends in Sodankylä or how I could find some income online or how I would survive in this cold country, but in due time everything worked out well, haven't they? Even MUCH MUCH MUCH better than my wildest hope. All I needed to do was trust Him to open or close doors for me and wait for His perfect time to unfold.

Well, as you can imagine, only then I could start drifting to sleep peacefully. I breathed a sigh of relief as I left the rest of my worries to Him and just left them there.

Ironically, I find that trusting God isn't as easy as ABC. In normal circumstances, when everything seems to work out just fine for me, it seems easy to trust God. Oh yes, God has provided everything I need and I needn't worry. Life couldn't have been better!!! I'm on a roll!!! YIIIHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAA!!!

However, no matter how much I WANT to trust Him with all my heart, mind, and soul, in critical situations, I doubt and worry and fear.

But then again, without those doubts and those critical situations, I wouldn't be able to let my faith grow, would I? So let me just let my faith be shaken and stirred...and hopefully I'll always cling to God and surrender to Him at the end of the day and become more graceful and gentle and more loving and more teachable...until my last breath.

Image taken from here


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your Uncles death.
    Life can certainly test us sometimes.
    Your faith has been shaken, but as you say, it can still grow and you can still hold onto it. Which is the important thing.

  2. MrsArcticRainbow27 January 2008 at 22:17

    I get feelings like this occasionally...and more often than not, it happens when I am laid in bed, in the dark.

    I am just thinking and then the thoughts go racing away with me. Funny that, how its always in the dark... like some dark energy taking us over...when in reality we know it will be okay in the morning.

    I very rarely feel the same in the morning and the light comes!

  3. hey sweetie:) I'm so sorry to hear about your uncles death. and I know where your coming from with all those question because I lie in bed thinking about the same stuff if I pass what would happen to steven and the kids. Life is crzy sometimes but we all have to lay ours lives in gods hands and hope for the best. big hugs to you and your family.

  4. Amel, this was a great post! I can tell that you are growing so much by going through difficult things. I think we all get those same worries sometimes, but the fact that you realize you can't continue to dwell on them, and that you can put it in God's hands really shows your spiritual maturity.

  5. You have so many good points in this post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings ... I was so touched by your sentiments. Sorry for your loss, God bless.


  6. i'm sorry to hear about your uncle's death..

    and as for your fear, you have nothing to worry about! if something did happen, which it is not, everyone here would support you!

    or at least i would!
    : )

  7. I'm deeply sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am not sure who wrote the following poem, but it's one that has always been comforting to me.

    God watched you as you suffered, and knew you had your share.
    He gently closed your weary eyes and took you in his care.
    Your memory is our keepsake, with that we will never part.
    God has you in his keeping, we have you in our hearts.

    Nothing could be more beautiful than the memories we have of you.
    To us you were someone special. God must have thought so too.

    All our lives we shall miss you, as the years come and go,
    but in our hearts you will live forever. Because we love you so.

    God saw you were getting tired, and a cure was not to be.
    So he put his arms around you and whispered "Come with me"

    With tearful eyes we watched you suffer and fade away.
    Although we loved you dearly, you were not meant to stay.

    A golden heart stopped beating, hard- working hands to rest.
    God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best.


    Your faith will be tried and tested... but it's clear your faith has grown because of it, and you realize that. I think that that is one of the most important things.

    God loves you.

  8. Sometimes, I do think of the 'what if...' questions, Amel. I guess it's normal. We don't want to think about it, but still we couldn't lie to ourselves about the possibility that anything can happen.

    Oh, I'm not all good in handling this myself, Amel. I just hope that we do not have to worry too much about tomorrow. Just focus on the present days and hold on to our beliefs to gain strength and be prepared in whatever circumstances. God Bless! :)

  9. Sorry for the loss of your uncle. This is a meaningful post & it brings a lot of sentiments to me. I just loss my eldest brother to cancer last year. Coincidentally, it was his 100th day prayer today. I wrote a letter to him :)

  10. My heart hurts for your loss.
    As I read this post, I felt your journey. God's word is all I seem to have these days and let me tell you, it is an abundance of wisdom and blessings. Thank you for sharing this post with us.


  11. To everybody, I just wanna thank you for your comments and your kind words. :-))))

    The World According to Me: Thanks for your kind words. Yeah, faith must be tested in order to be given a chance to grow he he...Unfortunately the process isn't fun HE HE HE HE HE...

    Mrs Arctic Rainbow: Yeah, there's something about nighttime and darkness, isn't it? I think it's because you can get really lonely during that period of time...during the day you can meet people or even talk to strangers, but during the night the brain loves to contemplate he he...

    Stacy: Thanks, Stacy!!! So sometimes you think of those questions, too? You're right, though...we're safe in God's hands. ;-D BIG HUGS to you too!!!

    Kathy: Glad you enjoyed reading this post. :-))) And THANKS for your kind words. Growing in God is a tough process, but I want to grow more and more...

    I remember that during my premarital counseling, my counselor said that I should rely on God, esp. since I'd be far away from my own parents and brother. She was right. I can't rely on humans. :-)))

    Speedcat Hollydale: It's MY pleasure to share my thoughts, especially if other people enjoyed reading it, Eric. :-)))

    THANKS for your kind words about my loss. I've been doing much better ever since I called my parents and found out that they were doing fine even though they were sad. :-))))

    Jay: THANKS for your kind words and AWWWWW...THANKS for your support, as well!!! It means A LOT to me! :-)))) I LOVE the blogosphere he he he...

    Katelyn: THANKS for your prayers and the BEAUTIFUL poem! The poem really makes me smile. :-))))

    Choc Mint Girl: Yeah, the brain loves to get us prepared, I guess, eh? He he he he...

    I know what you mean about worries. You're right. Let's just face one day at a time. :-))))

    Janice: So it's already 100 days passing by? I can imagine how much more significant his death was for you since he was your eldest brother. I hope his family's doing fine now. :-))))

    Liquid: THANKS for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed reading it. You're right. We should read God's Word more and more.