Fear versus Faith
Fear versus faith is a distinction guest blogger Valeria Conshafter discovered while raising a daughter with a life-threatening birth condition. In this post she explains how parents raising kids with disabilities can tell the difference between fear and faith.
When you look at my daughter, you see her beauty and her youth, the healthy teenager she is. When I see my daughter, it’s from a perspective that encompasses blessings with trauma, gratitude with hurt.
I go right back to the times when we almost lost her.
People who know us may have already forgotten what it was like for her years ago. For me, the memories remain.
Years have passed and I am still healing.
I remember months at a time when parenting was all about life and death. That was also the time I started to learn about the dynamic between faith and fear.
Fear came unexpectedly.
We did not know our daughter, Sofia, would be born with a rare defect. After a decade of infertility treatments, the expectation for her arrival was a dream come true. Fear took over fast. The anticipation of the most special day of our lives turned into a nightmare.
The months following were like carrying around a heavy dark cloud above my head. The multitude of specialists and the waiting of surgeries became our daily routine rooted in an excruciating fear of the unknown.
I learned then that fear takes over like a storm from a hurricane.
You don’t know how bad it is until it hits you. You lose your focus, your peace, and yourself. Living in fear is a constant state of alertness telling you that the worst is yet to come. It is like being paralyzed in a story that is not yours. It’s a vortex of emotions where you can easily get out of control. It’s not a safe place because you can’t see past the struggle.
Fear seems like the end.
You see, during the most difficult times, when I watched the doctors call Code Blue again on my daughter, this deep and desperate cry inside my soul urged me to kneel on that cold hospital floor and give up.
Sofia’s first surgery 24 hours after her birth was also a time I started my faith journey.
During the despair of my daughter undergoing extremely long and difficult surgeries, faith showed up despite the fear in my heart. My mother pleaded with me to pray in gratitude for Sofia’s life when her diagnosis first reached our ears.
How was I supposed to pray, I thought, when my world is crumbling?
Throughout the months following that first surgery and the dozen surgeries after, I became acquainted with fear versus faith.
I learned that faith takes practice.
Faith is the practice of letting go and letting God in. It’s an intentional act of releasing all my burdens to God, trusting He has this. Even when I cannot see past the battles I am facing.
Fear gets out of control because I am not in control at all.
In certain circumstances while dealing with Sofia’s health, I believed that fear had a deadline. I dwelt with fear until I reached the end of its rope. Then I had nothing to hold on to. I had to release it and let go. In other words, I had to hope that something greater than fear would take over because I could not handle it anymore. Nothing else to do, no more crying, no more medicine. Faith in God was all that I had left.
So, I turned to faith, and as I waited, fear subsided.
Faith reigns. Fear doesn’t. Fear takes your breath away. Faith gives you an opportunity to breathe and rest. In every unknown medical situation my daughter goes through, I can be certain that fear will be there to greet me. But I also know that faith will carry me through whatever we may have to endure.
Faith overcomes fear.
When you see my daughter, I hope you see the miracle her life is, a proven example of fear versus faith. When I see her, I remember everything and smile in gratitude for God’s faithfulness.
I can now see past the trauma and the hurt because my faith is greater than my fear ever was.
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Image courtesy of Valeria Conshafter
Valeria Conshafter is a native of Brazil. She has a background in Counseling Psychology and currently works for a women’s organization providing emotional and spiritual support to women all over the country. She loves writing, cooking, and praying for her family and friends. Valeria lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband Todd, their 15-year-old daughter, Sofia, and their two Standard Poodles, Chocolate and Oreo. You can find Valeria on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
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