Faith and Fear

This has been a kind of weird season for me. I thought I would write about it because maybe it’s a weird season for you too?!? Or maybe writing about it will help me see things more clearly?!? {That happens sometimes.}

Lately I’ve kind of felt like a crazy person. Let’s be honest, we’re all a little crazy these days. {I blame Facebook.}

I’m two months in to a new season in life — settling into friendships, into a new neighborhood, into a new home, and  making  trying to make decisions about calling, purpose and vocation, or as most folks would say making a living. It’s a lot. A lot. The decisions are piling up and I keep praying for someone to come and direct traffic around me. {If you know someone with a bright orange vest and a flag, send them my way please.}

About now, if you run in the same circles I do, you’re probably wondering what my enneagram number is. Because THEN you’ll have a better understanding of my personality and my motivations. But y’all I CAN’T EVEN land on a number. {You’re thinking I’m a six because of the duality and reference to the word ‘fear’ in the title and of course because of my indecision. But you don’t hear the loud inner voice questioning each word I type — one. Or know how hard it is to get in touch with my feelings and needs even though yours seem to be crystal clear — two.}

For a doer, a decision maker, a builder, an achiever {nope – definitely not a three}, these seasons of transition or indecision are hard for me. I feel lost. Lost without a map. Lost without a map, a cell phone, and a travel buddy. Yesterday I scibbled this in a notebook before a meeting. Like maybe the answer would just divinely appear…..

“what do you do when you don’t know what to do?”

I guess that’s the question that’s haunting me right now.

I know all the spiritual answers.

You rest. You pray. You seek wise counsel. You serve. You trust. You have faith.

The practical answers are harder.

“what do you do when you don’t know what to do?”

You succumb to the fear and don’t get out of bed for days?!? You move anyway?!? You wait for clarity and direction?!?

{Okay, those answers are kind of spiritual too. I can’t help it I’m a spiritual and a practical person.}

But really…What do you DO?!?

So anyway, back to this season, this hard season, this season full of questions and devoid of real answers, this season of transition. This season of fear. This season of faith. Yep, you haven’t heard it yet but the faith is there too. That’s the crazy-making part. They way they co-mingle, the fear and the faith.

They are two loud voices in my head, constantly vying for my attention. One voice, full of faith. And the other, full of fear. I argue with them both. They argue with each other. I tell them to quiet down. {Yes, there’s lots going on up there.}

And most days when I get the slew of transition questions {“how’s nashville?” “what’s happening on the job front?”…} I spew out whatever garbage they’re selling, unfiltered — and it’s either real inspiring or a total trainwreck. But when I am real honest with myself and with others, neither voice feels completely believable, completely honest, completely complete.

The faith voice is too optimistic, too idealistic, too desperate for God to come and save the day. It says, “I’m just waiting for God to show me the next step. I know He will show me when I’m ready, when I’ve learned what I need to in this transition. It will all come together in the right time…”

The fear voice is too pathetic, too exhausting, too out of touch with the truth of my life — what has been and what will be. It says, “You need to make a plan. You need to get after something, anything. Time is running out. You shouldn’t have left…”

So…

Somedays it’s faith with a little fear.

Somedays it’s fear with a little faith.

Here’s hoping for more days of the faith with a little fear.

Tell me, can you relate? Or am I crazy-crazy?!?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Christa

    I can definitely relate! I’m in my 3rd year of seminary (finishing my M.Div. in June…) and my husband lost his job over the summer. We have two young kids and just moved to our current home in May. So many decisions to make about what to do “next.” I’m finding lots of comfort in the Psalms of lament as I walk the road of questions during this season. The language the psalmists uses (“how long, O Lord?” for example…) remind me that others who’ve come before have had all my same questions and while this road is new to me, it’s been well and truly traveled by the witnesses who now watch over it from the other side of heaven. I feel all I can do is listen to the witness of Scripture and do the best I can every day, with no expectation other than that the Holy Spirit hasn’t left me. Praying for you as you navigate your own journey!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Going to listen to U2’s version of Psalm 40 right now. So good.

      • Christa

        Yes! Great one. Continuing to pray for you!

  • You’re not crazy. I’ve felt like this my entire life. Even now when I love my job and love where I live, I still have a feeling that I’m supposed to either be doing something else, or getting ready to do something else. Part of me wants to stay in one place for more than 2 years, and the other part of me wants to see what’s next. And I can’t figure out my Enneagram either… Ha!

    You come to mind from time to time, and when you do, I pray that God would give you contentment, direction, and that He would continue to provide for ALL of your needs.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thank you Amy!

  • Congratulations! You are normal. And you’re also a very good writer. 😉

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thank you. That means a lot coming from you. Miss you and Gail. Hope to see you soon!

  • Jordan Taylor

    nope, not crazy. completely normal. and I am in quite a similar season, and have been since June. It is the WORST. I also wish for “someone to come and direct traffic around me,” because I apparently I can’t figure it out. Transitions and change and all that comes with them are flipping hard. And most days right now are more fear than faith… or rather, more frustration than faith. Ugh. I just want a dang flashing sign to tell me where to go or what the heck to do.

    Rooting for you from right outside of Nashville (I forgot you relocated to Nash, holla!!).

    • lindseyrnobles

      Me too! Me too.

  • Aileen

    I can totally relate! Just moved with my Hubby and boys after 22 1/2 years. Faith and fear are a constant for me. I have a peace too that our decision to move is in God’s plan – some days I just need a reminder especially when it comes to my teenager/young adult sons.

    • lindseyrnobles

      Yes, I feel the same way. Trusting a little reluctantly…

  • Lorilee Torgerson Mundfrom

    I can so relate! Moved and have had two jobs which just weren’t right for me. I have said, “I don’t know what to do” so many times in the last year. It can leave you feeling helpless and kind of hopeless!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Totally!

  • Andrea

    Yes! Oh, Lindsey! You have been such an encouragement over these past 6 months. I emailed you back in April and your reply was so timely and greatly appreciated. My last day (at work) was Aug 31 and I find myself asking this same question, battling these same fears. And, while everyone else seems so confident for me, I find myself asking, “now what in the world are you going to do with your life?” The thing about callings and passions is that you can’t often do a google job search, at least not in my case. It’d be something like: passionate about leadership development and pouring into women, writing, probably speaking. And while I know there are so many others doing similar things I don’t even know where to start, and maybe my “thing” will look completely different than I even imagine. With so many decisions to make I usually rent another Red Box and watch fictional dilemmas turn in to golden opportunities with happily ever afters. You know, keeping my expectations realistic. All of this to say, thank you! When you share the tender places of your heart, while you are in the trenches, you provide a voice of “me too” and “friendship” (thanks to this internet age). Praying for clarity and breakthrough for you, sweet one!

    • lindseyrnobles

      Thanks Andrea!

  • Kristen Martens

    You are not crazy! Everything you said is what I am going through as well. Everything down to the not knowing your enneagram number. I don’t know the answer, but I am having to trust HE does.

    • lindseyrnobles

      I am trusting that as well.

  • Jennifer Sheedy

    Half the reason I’m clinging to my current ministry life is so I can AVOID what you’re talking about! So giant kudos to you for not being paralyzed by fear and for “moving while waiting”…and even more respect for you as you wrestle through this season without a “travel buddy.”

  • Shannon Young

    Oh you’re so not crazy! Well, if you are you’ve got great company in the boat with you, haha. Thank you for sharing your honest messy beautiful reality! It is such an encouragement to me. I heard your interview on Susie Davis’s podcast and was like, “someone else gets it!” I too am in a season of uncharted territory, the “waiting place”, the great big blank space of “what now?” And you’re so right, it magnifies this inner struggle between fear and faith. Within me the voices of “figure this out, do something” shout over my inner knowing of “trust Him, He’s got you”. I’m learning how to have patience with myself and with God’s unfolding. But most days I sure do wish He would speed this along! Haha. Praying for you Lindsey as you also journey through this uncharted territory!

  • Ruth

    I feel like I can relate to this on so many levels! I’ve had one transition after another over the past four years in many ways, and now will have another huge one coming in January. And I have no idea what is next or why God is leading me to step away from where I am without knowing the next step. Grief is such a huge component of all of this as well.

    And can I say how comforting it is to find someone else who can’t figure out her Enneagram number?? I think I’m either a 4 or a 6, but have a lot of 5 tendencies as well… although other people may perceive me as a 2 or even a 1… LOL.

    I just read your most recent post, too, so congratulations on your next adventure! Thanks for sharing!