For a very, very long time I debated the phrase “fear is the opposite of faith.” I struggled with this knowing that I often held both emotions congruently. Long into sobriety I had enough faith that God could keep me sober and somewhat sane (aka, out of the looney bin). During this time, I was also still very frozen with fear. I was afraid to go back to school, date, and stand up for myself (just to name a few). Looking back on this now, I had a really small God.
Thankfully, this past year my faith has grown tremendously, and therefore, a lot of my fears have diminished. Specifically, my God has gotten HUGE. As I hear often from my sponsor, “small God, big problem; big God, small problem.” To me, this is a simpler version of Step 2 (well at least the second half of it), Came to believe in a power great than ourselves that could restore us to sanity.
I’ve walked through some difficult things this year, including living at home, a break up, finishing school, a family member’s alcoholism, and the uncertainty of my future (see Transition post). Instead of allowing my fears to take over and let it paralyze me (as I used to do), I leaned in and trusted God even more. I started saying “God, I choose you” while walking in the woods with my dog right after my break up, repeating “God, I choose you. God, I choose you…” to try and get him out of my head (It worked!) I said “God, I choose you” after I got in fights with my mother, when I really did not want to study one more minute, when I went on my interview, and again this morning when I woke up.
Repeating this over and over has reinforced the paradox, “the more we depend upon a higher power, the more independent we actually are,” p 36 12 and 12 Step 3, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to care of God as we understood Him.
The more I choose God, the less I allow fear to suffocate me. I understand now that fear is indeed the opposite of faith. That is not to say I am completely fearless these days. It takes constant and consistent (thanks Z!) work and often my fears come out in much subtler ways then they used to. However, I know now to choose God (Faith) as soon as I recognize the slightest hint of fear.