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Faith


summer22

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I don't even know if I am going to be able to explain what I am thinking...but I am going to try because this is so hard for me to comprehend from a spiritual perspective. What is faith? I have horrible anxiety and I worry about everyone all of the time, I am always anxious and want to be able to make sure that everyone is always okay...I wear myself out mentally, emotionally and physically. I know that I live out of fear and not faith and I DO NOT want to live this way, I am miserable living this way. I do trust Heavenly Father completely...however...you know how "they" always say "do what you can and Heavenly Father will do there rest? Well I overwhelm myself by doing absolutely EVERYTHING I can!! I drive my teenagers anywhere that seems even remotely scary for their friends to take them, I watch my younger children like an absolute hawk, I feel like I have to be 50 steps ahead of everyone all of the time. BUT as my children are getting older I realize that I have to let them go...I have to let them grow and learn...so if they are asked to go with one of their friends and they need to drive on the freeway for example...do I drive them (because I CAN take them and I am always willing to) OR do I allow them to go with their friends and have faith that Heavenly Father will protect them?

For example...in an instance where a mom contracts the zika virus during pregnancy...some baby are born with birth defects and some babies are not born with birth defects. In these instances can we have faith that exactly what was "meant to happen" from a spiritual perspective happened? Can we have faith in Heavenly Father in these cases? Should we have faith and still get pregnant if we know that we can very likely be exposed to the pika virus and that it could potentially harm the baby? Or should we not get pregnant to avoid anything potentially harming the baby? What does it mean to have faith in these cases? What would our Heavenly Father have us do?

Does any of this make any sense? It is so hard to explain how I feel...are we punished by Heavenly Father by not doing enough? Will He protect us if we are meant to be protected? How do we live with faith and not with fear?

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This is something that I also struggle with.  I wish I had the answer for you (and me).

Scripture tells us that "perfect love casteth out fear".  I have tried for years to figure out how I am lacking in love since I live most of my life in fear.
I recently started a thread on this in the main forum - the difference between belief in God and trust in God.

This is one of my biggest challenges.

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This is medical and habits of thought more than spiritual.  I have had major problems with both depression and anxiety all of my life (middle 50s) and finally getting a handle on it due to recently going on thyroid and finally having exercise actually do something good to my body and mood.  I also have a severe sleep disorder that requires major medications that often back fire and cause the very problems they are meant to cure because my 'normal' levels for dopamine and serotonin are so narrow.  Once one tablet of kelp sent me from feeling great to crying at the thought of getting out of bed.  Thankfully not usually that sensitive but it has taught me so much how my emotions are affected by things I can't control...by things I am doing becausecI want to be a better wife, mother and friend and not just spend the rest of my life stuck hiding in my bed out of physical and emotional pain.

I have no clue why Heavenly Father has not healed me or other members of my family when are strongest desire in our lives are to serve him and our fellowmen.  I know I will be healed one day but most likely not in this life and so I make choices that are required to protect myself and my loved ones even if this means asking to be release from callings, not attending the temple, not attending church very often and removing the possibility of having any more children (I had two) after I discovered the progressive nature of my disorder wouls be hastened (and had been in major ways already) by pregnancies.

So what I am telling you is get to your doctor and don't let them give you medications until they run blood tests to check hormones and other issues that can trigger depression and anxiety.  I would also encourage you to find a therapist you are comfortable with and who is supportive our your religious beliefs.  From my personal experience, I know the Spirit is always talking to me and meant to help me with making my life choices, especially on how I should help others, including my children, but physical issues out of my control can cause so much static I can't hear him.  At those times I rely on my common sense and talking to others and then I tell God my decision, ask him to let me know if possible but if the lines are down at my end, then to please put roadblocks in my way so it becomes hard to accomplish and I will rethink my decision.  So far that seems to have worked out well for me, but every person has to come to ther own decision and what works for them

Because my 25 year old daughter has had such significant problems since she was 12, she has no experience where she can trust her inner feelings (she is diabetic along with other things and moods change when sugars do) and so she has decided that for now she is putting the whole question of spritualty aside until she can come to a point she is not constantly wondering what is making her feel this way besides her own 'real' feelings and thoughts.

Decisions on children should be between you and your husband and God and if you can't trust your own spiritual feelings at the moment, than rely on your sense of self and your husband.  Our bodies and minds have limits we did not place on them, but we accepted to endire them to the best of our abilities (and for some that may mean living a life of hell until they only see suicide as the only possible choice) so we should never judge because we don't know others' internal struggles.  Few of us can even comprehend our own.  But God knows all and loves us and wants to give us all the blessings and mercy we will accept no matter how long it takes for us to grasp that held out hand.

(Ther are some cases that people intentionally choose evil, but if you are trying to be loving and serving others, I have no problem with believing your motivations are good and you are trying your best.

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Thank you JLHPROF...It is so hard for me too, so hard! I know that I have anxiety and I always have so I think this is just something that I will struggle with, maybe I should take something for my anxiety or talk to someone and I would feel better.

I will go and look for your thread, thank you for mentioning it! I don't think I am lacking in love, I truly don't...but you are right on about that Scripture...I feel like I love people with all of my heart...so I always think "perfect FAITH casteth out fear." I do TRUST Heavenly Father with all of my heart...I just want to know how much does He expect me to do? Or I blame myself for so many things because I feel like I can control things to an extent and so when they go wrong I blame myself. In those instances I want to know if it was God's will for that to happen or did it happen because I made a poor choice? And that is where I get stressed, anxious and depressed. If I knew that Heavenly Father was in completely control I would feel so much more peace...but I put so much stress on my own shoulders that I feel overwhelmed and sad almost all of the time...I am wearing myself out.

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Added some content to the above but it won't accept the edit so I am hoping you notce and read this one instead:

This is medical and habits of thought more than spiritual.  I have had major problems with both depression and anxiety all of my life (middle 50s) and finally getting a handle on it due to recently going on thyroid and finally having exercise actually do something good to my body and mood.  I also have a severe sleep disorder that requires major medications that often back fire and cause the very problems they are meant to cure because my 'normal' levels for dopamine and serotonin are so narrow.  Once one tablet of kelp sent me from feeling great to crying at the thought of getting out of bed.  Thankfully not usually that sensitive but it has taught me so much how my emotions are affected by things I can't control...by things I am doing becausecI want to be a better wife, mother and friend and not just spend the rest of my life stuck hiding in my bed out of physical and emotional pain.

I have no clue why Heavenly Father has not healed me or other members of my family when are strongest desire in our lives are to serve him and our fellowmen.  I know I will be healed one day but most likely not in this life and so I make choices that are required to protect myself and my loved ones even if this means asking to be release from callings, not attending the temple, not attending church very often and removing the possibility of having any more children (I had two) after I discovered the progressive nature of my disorder wouls be hastened (and had been in major ways already) by pregnancies.

So what I am telling you is get to your doctor and don't let them give you medications until they run blood tests to check hormones and other issues that can trigger depression and anxiety.  I would also encourage you to find a therapist you are comfortable with and who is supportive our your religious beliefs.  From my personal experience, I know the Spirit is always talking to me and meant to help me with making my life choices, especially on how I should help others, including my children, but physical issues out of my control can cause so much static I can't hear him.  At those times I rely on my common sense and talking to others and then I tell God my decision, ask him to let me know if possible but if the lines are down at my end, then to please put roadblocks in my way so it becomes hard to accomplish and I will rethink my decision.  So far that seems to have worked out well for me, but every person has to come to ther own decision and what works for them

Because my 25 year old daughter has had such significant problems since she was 12, she has no experience where she can trust her inner feelings (she is diabetic along with other things and moods change when sugars do) and so she has decided that for now she is putting the whole question of spritualty aside until she can come to a point she is not constantly wondering what is making her feel this way besides her own 'real' feelings and thoughts.  I have been told by the Spirit this is her path and right for her and .i am not to fear I will somehow lose her, though I am sad she doesn't have the joy I have had through my relationship with God.

Decisions on children should be between you and your husband and God with input from your doctor as well as personal study of the medical issues.  The internet can be vety informative but read sites that are not promoting primarily products and are tied tonmedical institutions to get accurate info.  Mayo Clinic is excellent and so is WebMd.  

And if you can't trust your own spiritual feelings at the moment, than rely on your sense of self and your husband.  Our bodies and minds have limits we did not place on them, but we accepted to endire them to the best of our abilities (and for some that may mean living a life of hell until they only see suicide as the only possible choice) so we should never judge because we don't know others' internal struggles.  Few of us can even comprehend our own.  But God knows all and loves us and wants to give us all the blessings and mercy we will accept no matter how long it takes for us to grasp that held out hand.

(Ther are some cases that people intentionally choose evil, but if you are trying to be loving and serving others, I have no problem with believing your motivations are good and you are trying your best.

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Summer22, having faith in God (Heavenly Father) does not mean that trials will not come, nor that bad things will never happen. Children will get hurt, teenagers will make mistakes as well as parents. Careful that while watching the fragile eggs, that you do not become the one to break them. 

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Thank you Calm, I appreciate your thoughts very much. I do believe that I have terrible anxiety...but do you not think that in this case I also need to choose to have faith to overcome my anxiety? 

I am so sorry for all of your struggles, you have been through so much and you sound very strong!

What did you mean by your last sentence in parentheses?

Thank you for your advice, it is very helpful!

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Well, I can only comment on your anxiety issue. I just finished a 10 week class on social anxiety, run by the local anxiety association, and it never really goes away but they teach you how to manage it and it works! things that used to bother me I just challenge my thinking and I can do things that before I never would be able to. Also when you worry never worry alone, tell someone! maybe they can help you put things in perspective so you don't have to worry or have anxiety about it. I could go on but this will suffice for now!

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I mean some people's brains are so damaged, suicide is logical to them though everyone else can tell there are other options and God is not going to hold that against them.

My uncle killed himself when he started going blind.  No one doubts it was the result of a brain tumor that had already eaten up a third of his brain, but his kids were still desperately hurt and angry he didn't say goodby or give them the chance to say goodbye. God wouldn't need to feel the pain they did, though he may have felt sorrow and he can remove both the fear and pain of my uncle so he rejoices in eternal life and help his children to forgive him so they only feel love and anticipation in seeing him again in the future.

Yes, you should exercise your faith to the best of your ability, but that does not mean thatis the only thing you will need if you are truly faithful and listening to the Spirit. No one would secondguess someone with a broken leg going to get a cast put on it after or even before seeking a blessing.  Seeking medical help through possible drug treatment or therapy for emotional or mental issues is the same thing as as getting a cast and using crutches as necessary...or a walker the rest ofone's life if one is crippled with arthritis.  I recommend a cognitive therapist, the freudians and alot of others aren't usually worth the time and money imo as the research doesn't indicate consistent results).  ACT and Mindfulness are good strategies but have become popular and are being picked up to make a buck by some so look for a therapist with goid credentials and experience.

If your medical picture is complicated or drug treatment by your PCP and therapy isn't working, don't be reluctant to push to go to a psychiatrist even if it means a wait.  Mixtures of drugs that are tailored to individuals are being found to be more effective so even though one is taking a variety of drugs, overall it has less negative impact and more positive, but it takes knowledge that PCPs often lack.

Have you looked for articles that talk about chronic depression and other disorders on lds.org.  I would encourage you if you haven't already and maybe reread some of the more recent ones as they are including information about seeking help and what is appropriate.

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Thank you Duncan, I am so glad you are feeling better!! I do try to share my feelings/worries with my husband, but he often gets frustrated with me telling me how crazy my worrying  is and how it isn't fair to him...so then I get embarrassed and feel guilty and don't want to share with anyone. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Calm said:

 

Thank you Calm< you have been so helpful! That is a great idea to go an look up articles. I know that I have anxiety, but I always second guess myself thinking that I can get by, that I am doing okay and that the way that is think is "Normal". I have felt pretty depressed lately as well, but again I think that I am fine and it isn't "that bad". Thank you again!

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Yeah, my husband has a huge problem with me discussing my problems with him because he feels like he is failing me, so he says nothing and never criticises me even when he should, which is at times worse than him expressing his frustration.  And he has a psychology background, though organizational pysch, but he took the same constructive listening classes I did, so I know for sure he knows what is needed and just isn't in a safe enough place inside to do it, though I have done my best to help him not feel judged when I realise what triggers it for him...though since he won't open up, it is reading his face and body and checking with the kids for their impression (he has a messed up family in his early childhood...doesn't everyone?).  Course I got the better grade. :P

He is much better with our kids thankfully.

Therapists are so easy to talk to because I know they aren't going to be burdened by my pain so I am not harming them by talking to them.  Online support forums can be helpful too, but sometimes there are toxic members so don't feel bad if you need to step away because it feels off.

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That is an interesting way to look at it...maybe in some way I should be grateful for my husband's frustration...it does open my eyes wider to the issue. And way to go on getting the better grade, bragging rights are always good :)

 

Yes, I am definitely considering speaking to someone for sure, I do think it will be a big help! And that is good to know that it can feel off online at times, thank you for all of your help, you are great!

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1 hour ago, summer22 said:

Thank you Calm< you have been so helpful! That is a great idea to go an look up articles. I know that I have anxiety, but I always second guess myself thinking that I can get by, that I am doing okay and that the way that is think is "Normal". I have felt pretty depressed lately as well, but again I think that I am fine and it isn't "that bad". Thank you again!

You can always find someone who has it worst thsn you do so surely you should be able to get through what you have...but that is logic and your body and emotions don't listen to logic.  That part of you can't feel others' pain to tell yourself yours isn't that bad, just because someone has cancer doesn't mean your broken toe doesn't hurt like hell.

And if your body can't heal itself and so often it can't because you don't have the selfishness or desire to put yourself first and the rest of the world a far second and that is a good thing.  So make use of the gifts God has given us through medicine to make healing easier, and if not actual healing, at least enduring.

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16 minutes ago, Calm said:

And if your body can't heal itself and so often it can't because you don't have the selfishness or desire to put yourself first and the rest of the world a far second and that is a good thing.  So make use of the gifts God has given us through medicine to make healing easier, and if not actual healing, at least enduring.

Thank you so much!! You make great points!

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Don't turn yourself into a martyr because sacrifice is a good thing.  God wants meaningful sacrifice from us and not needless, as do those who love us if they are mature enough.

My grandma used to make apple pies from scratch for us almost every Sunday when we lived close enough to drive to.  They were delicious, best pie crust you ever tasted ( she used lard).  Besides the pie, the last decade or so of her life we would get each Sunday a recital of how hard it was for her to make the pie crust because of her arthritis, how much pain it was and she would show us her red, swollen knuckles.  I am sure every last one of us would have preferred to eat the horrible vending machines pies before having her go through that pain, but instead we got to believe we were selfish enough to care more about tasty pie than we did her.  It may have given her life meaning to make that sacrifice, but her drive to ensure we were taught to properly appreciate sacrifice turned it to ashes instead.

Struggling on your own, refusing to make use of all the tools God has given us to make our lives better, starting first with His Spirit and Word, but also with science and friendship and computers and washing machines and Village Inn for great pies with no pain, makes me wonder if God feels a bit towards us like we kids used to feel towards Grandma, as in he's not the one wanting us to suffer as much as we do.

Don't reject God's bounty because you think there is only one way to receive his approval and that is by trusting i N Him alone and rejecting his servants he has sent to care for us because for some reaon it feels more noble, more pure to act like that.

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These are great points again, thank you Calm! You are so right, I know that Heavenly Father does not want us to suffer. I know that He is aching for us to learn the lessons that he so desperately wants and needs us to learn so we can stop suffering. Thank you for helping point me in the right direction so I can get myself closer to where He needs me to be!

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46 minutes ago, summer22 said:

Yes, I am definitely considering speaking to someone for sure, I do think it will be a big help! And that is good to know that it can feel off online at times, thank you for all of your help, you are great!

Hello summer....

I'm glad to see you are going to talk to someone... you definitely need to be able to open up about what you are feeling, etc., honestly and frankly.  And not have to feel guilty about making someone feel frustrated... thus adding guilt to your plate.  

There is a beautiful treatise on faith in Hebrews 11:1-40... I read these verses every now and then... another thing I do that helps me is when I pray about something that has been troubling me, I envision myself kneeling before the Savior and placing these troubling issues at his feet, asking him to ease my fears, to give me strength and understanding, and for his hand to be upon me.... 

One thing that you said stood out to me... that you were so anxious to make sure everyone was alright that you would drive your teenagers anywhere that seems even remotely scary for their friends to take them... Summer, do you think that in such a case that your state of anxiety, fear, or worry makes you any emotionally or mentally safer at the wheel than their friends?  What would you do if an emergency did occur while you were driving.  Would you be a strength for them, or would you panic because you would be so keyed up and anxious?

I hope you will talk to someone very soon... and send you encouragement... and all good wishes...

GG

 

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16 hours ago, Calm said:

You can always find someone who has it worst thsn you do so surely you should be able to get through what you have...but that is logic and your body and emotions don't listen to logic.  That part of you can't feel others' pain to tell yourself yours isn't that bad, just because someone has cancer doesn't mean your broken toe doesn't hurt like hell.

This is so true and an important point.

Welcome Summer, I hope you find some relief.  I know with my kids, i used to really struggle with the 'what if's'.  Like "what if say they can go swimming and then one of them drowns?  How horrible will I feel to know I gave them permission?!?' kind of thing.  I hate the idea of those kinds of regrets, to the point that sometimes i just wouldn't do something just to make sure I wouldn't regret doing it if something went wrong.

But i've learned that that's no kind of life.  I have to believe that as long as i'm not being negligent that God is in control, and if something happens, that He will give me the strength to get thru it. It's a lot of work trying to be in control of everything all the time.  It's so stressful because it's a mirage and our minds subconsciously know it.  It's like trying to be in control of fog or smoke.  You're fighting a losing battle no matter how hard you fight. :)

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I read your opening post yesterday, so forgive me if you mentioned this. Have you had your thyroid checked? Like Calm, I too suffer with a thyroid condition, to the point that I cannot drive on the freeway, usually just side roads, or roads with a speed of 65 mph or less because my anxiety leaves me nearly frozen with fear.

I also worry too much about my children's safety. Or my being the fault of someone getting hurt. I often have to bite my tongue because I am super annoying when I'm a worry wart. I remember once when going on a trip with other couples to the mountains and staying in a cabin, that one of the couple's mother insisted that they not go because she had a strong feeling that something will go wrong. So the rest of us went without them, BTW it was an Elder's Quorum Presidency and their wives, so no real worry of drinking etc. We had a great time nevertheless. But I see myself in this mother all the time. Constantly worried someone in my family is going to get hurt. 

Any way, just know you're not alone, and this is a great board to get some suggestions or support from.

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

This is so true and an important point.

Welcome Summer, I hope you find some relief.  I know with my kids, i used to really struggle with the 'what if's'.  Like "what if say they can go swimming and then one of them drowns?  How horrible will I feel to know I gave them permission?!?' kind of thing.  I hate the idea of those kinds of regrets, to the point that sometimes i just wouldn't do something just to make sure I wouldn't regret doing it if something went wrong.

But i've learned that that's no kind of life.  I have to believe that as long as i'm not being negligent that God is in control, and if something happens, that He will give me the strength to get thru it. It's a lot of work trying to be in control of everything all the time.  It's so stressful because it's a mirage and our minds subconsciously know it.  It's like trying to be in control of fog or smoke.  You're fighting a losing battle no matter how hard you fight. :)

Thank you so much for the welcome and for your kind words. I agree with you that it is no kind of life...I know that Heavenly Father does not want me to live in fear. I want so much to live out of faith...it is just like you said...I am trying to control everything because I have taken the "do all you can do" to an extreme...I don't know what Heavenly Father expects of me and where He will take over so I do ALL that I can do and I know I go overboard...I just don't know where the balance is.

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

I read your opening post yesterday, so forgive me if you mentioned this. Have you had your thyroid checked? Like Calm, I too suffer with a thyroid condition, to the point that I cannot drive on the freeway, usually just side roads, or roads with a speed of 65 mph or less because my anxiety leaves me nearly frozen with fear.

I also worry too much about my children's safety. Or my being the fault of someone getting hurt. I often have to bite my tongue because I am super annoying when I'm a worry wart. I remember once when going on a trip with other couples to the mountains and staying in a cabin, that one of the couple's mother insisted that they not go because she had a strong feeling that something will go wrong. So the rest of us went without them, BTW it was an Elder's Quorum Presidency and their wives, so no real worry of drinking etc. We had a great time nevertheless. But I see myself in this mother all the time. Constantly worried someone in my family is going to get hurt. 

Any way, just know you're not alone, and this is a great board to get some suggestions or support from.

Thank you! I have had my thyroid checked, but not recently, I will definitely look into this. My whole family has some type of anxiety so I know that it is genetic as well. Thank you so much!

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