Recently while having church online, it hit me how I have vacillated between my faith and fear in recent times. I have suffered from indecision and like most people, when faced with some hard truths, I chose what was familiar, what came naturally, I chose to hide in fear for just a while. After all, who could blame me seeing the times we live in? Of course, to my friends and family, I stayed positive and encouraging but deep within, I was a mess wavering between my faith and the statistics— I used that faith-fear line like a jump rope.
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You see, I used to love structure, control; knowing how things would pan out. But in recent years, I changed my mantra to ‘What will be will be, I just gotta live by faith and not by sight.’ Living by said mantra, last year, I put all I knew on hold and embarked on a journey with no certain outcome. I took a break from my career and life as I knew it and decided to work on myself and grow me. This next year or two would my transitioning phase I thought. Even though trying initially, I was beginning to enjoy the journey itself. However, God was like, you don’t even know what is coming to you, and the world. And just a few months into my adventure, the world came to a screeching halt.
With the advent of the COVID-19, things started shifting. I had just come back from visiting family in Italy over Christmas when some weeks later, they would inform me that they are shutting down for a few months due to the virus onslaught in their country. Well, that sucks I thought, but that was OK because they were safe and for us, the rest of the world that was neither China nor Italy, life went on. My family back home in Cameroon informed me life was normal, so I had little to no worries. But then, a few weeks later, things would go afire, the WHO would declare a pandemic and several governments will start shutting down. Basically, overnight, shit got real (excuse my French).
Literally the week the government would announce they are shutting down would be the week I was set to start on a new phase in my life. Up until that point, the lines were all falling in beautiful places, I was sure I was on the right trajectory. So, when that announcement was made, I jumped so high over that rope onto the side of fear.
I became a COVID-19 analyst overnight. I read everything I possibly could read on the subject, watched videos, listened to the news and gradually, I traded my daily devotions for a daily dive into the statistics. I would spend time every day with my cousin who was also on a tight lockdown, crunching the numbers and evaluating the progress. It was a few grim weeks and before I knew it, I was no longer doing these things to stay informed, it was a way for me to control my fear, to estimate based on the numbers when it would end. I needed to know when I would get back to my life. After all, I thought this move was what I was to do at this point in my life and career. I thought I had prayed about it and the cards were all lined up. So why did this virus not wait another year or two before hitting if it absolutely had to hit?
But something shifted in me and I gingerly stepped back over that line. Suddenly, I went cold turkey on my ‘fear control’ routine. I stopped the online searches and news updates I had set up. I just blocked it all out, the fear, the panic, the death tolls rising. I stopped resisting it all. I changed my perspective and looked at it in a whole different light. As much as we would like to believe we do have control, we have none generally, what we have control over is our perspective.
Fear has this way to suck up our energy, it has this lethargic feeling it brings over us that renders us so powerless. But faith on the flip side, while an uphill climb makes it easier to handle. What you believe is paramount, what your mind dwells on sets the tone for how your day will go. Fear will always lurk in the corner like that boy or girl YOU KNOW is the wrong itch to scratch, waiting for you to give it a chance. Faith, on the other hand, is like that decision that goes against everything you know; however, it ends up being one of the best steps you ever took. Beating fear is akin to beating an addiction, you take it a day at a time. You focus on getting through that day.
We as a world are facing times no one fathomed they’d ever experience. People are losing loved ones and the saddest part about this is people dying from this virus tend to die alone around strangers as family is not allowed around the sick in a bid to curb the spread. I have no idea what will happen to me, nor to you nor the world at large, but what I tell myself now is even if it doesn’t turn out as I had envisioned, or planned, one thing is for sure, it all comes together in the end. When that will be? I have no clue but at some point, it stops and we find our way back to building back our lives.
Not to sound crazy, but before this virus, the world had other plagues affecting it (I won’t dive into the stats) but we had people dying and still dying from all sorts of viruses and bacteria. After this virus, people will still get sick, people will still lose jobs and businesses, people will lose loved ones, people will still die. It may not happen on the stage that is the world right now, but it will happen, that we can be sure of. I think the main difference is the others never forced the world to its knees.
All I am trying to say is, it helps me see this as a phase that we have to go through. Far from the thought of being cliché, I myself hate when people spit quotes and Bible passages when I am dealing. My two cents simply are— if you are like me and have suffered fluctuating between having faith and living in fear, then maybe changing your focus is what you need to do, maybe changing your perspective will help you deal a little better.
I stopped seeing the virus and I actually started focusing on the positives, no matter how small or inconsequential they may seem, they uplift me. I have days when I wonder back into the fear territory but I am glad those days are becoming fewer and far in between. One positive is I am still healthy and however long it will take this too shall pass. What matters is us coming out healthy, every other thing can be rebuilt.
So, my dears, focus on staying healthy through today. And if you can’t be there for others as you will like to be or think you should be, remember taking care of yourself is also a way of you protecting others. If you have ever boarded a plane or taken any safety classes, you know safety begins with you. You can’t help your brother breathe if you yourself lack oxygen. You definitely can’t give what you do not have. Look at the lockdown, as you working alongside the health workers, those doing the deliveries, those working at the supermarkets. See your isolation as a positive, as you doing your part to bring the world back to some semblance of health. And like any other challenge, take it in bite sizes, a day at a time and you will find you will mostly be on the faith side of that ever so thin line.
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About The Author: Laetitia Moukouri is an experienced technical professional, writer and Editor-in-Chief at Letstalknationblog.com. She loves exploring people’s minds, through their written work, as she is a proponent for learning new things. You can connect with her on Instagram &Linkedin with Laetitia Moukouri.
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