I do not usually share thoughts about my struggles with faith because they are usually so very close to my heart. After I read about Cherylyn's struggles and her willingness to allow herself to be vulnerable, I decided I would share my thoughts. After all, someone might relate.
For as long as I can remember, I have gone through a cycle I have termed my "freak out cycle" when it comes to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It's not something that I am particularly proud of. In fact, I wish it wasn't so. The way it works is I start with a perceived need. I pray for help to accomplish the need. And I wait. And I wait. I start to get nervous that I won't receive the help I need. I continue to wait and get nervous. During the waiting I pray that, "Just this once, Heavenly Father, please help me not to freak out about this." And I wait. And I wait a little longer than the last time. Try as I might, I get to that breaking point because I have not yet received the help in the time that I feel I need it. So I freak out. Without fail, I freak out. And almost immediately, I receive the help I so desperately (thought) I needed. Once I receive the help, the guilt comes. I feel terrible that, once again, I have failed to endure this trial gracefully. I have failed, once again, to have faith that my Heavenly Father is mindful of my needs. I have failed, once again, to NOT freak out.
I do not want to go into great detail about what I consider "freaking out on Heavenly Father" because it makes me feel very ashamed. Just know it involves tears. Lots of tears. And pacing. And frantic, worried prayer. And an admission that I do not have enough faith.
As I have grown, my perceived needs have changed. Since moving away from home, getting married and trying to become independent in this world, I have felt a need to do things "on my own." I have a great desire to meet my needs without needing the help of other people, but this has been impossible. I feel gratitude for the people in my life who greatly bless my life and help our family. I am thankful for the people who are in tune with the Spirit and know what to say and when to say it to help me. I really am. But I am not thankful enough. And this is where pride might come in. Now the cycle has an added component. I have a perceived need, and I want to accomplish it on my own. I feel ashamed, embarrassed, and like a mooch, when other people help me and/or my family. I feel helpless. I feel frustrated because I feel like I am always on the receiving end of charity. I never have the opportunity to help others. It is so difficult to receive charity with grace. I know Heavenly Father is aware of me and my needs. I really know this. I know we will be okay and He will provide for whatever we need. But what I do not know is if He will provide our needs without using other people. Most of the time, it is other people who answer our prayers. I suppose that's how it works. He uses all of us to bless each others' lives. I just wish that I could help others more that I receive help. I wish I could accept help with absolute gratitude and not worry so much about what people might think of me. I still have that feeling that people "expect something in return" for the help that they give and I have nothing I can give back! That's why I need their help in the first place. I feel indebted to them. I owe them. It's difficult.
So is it a lack of faith? I am not sure. I KNOW that my needs will be met, but I do not know HOW they will be met.
Or is it pride? I just really hope I can do it on my own. I don't want to need other people!
Either way, I have work to do!