Let's Talk About: Faith

And by faith, I mean mine specifically. And believe me, it gets pretty darn cheeserific towards the end...

*The Fine Print*: I'm sorry if what I say as this blog continues offends anyone (actually... I'm not that sorry... It's my blog, I say what I want!! :P), but this is not only what I believe, it's what I'm going through right now. I don't care what you believe. I'm not here to beat you over the head with a bible and shove Jesus down your throat. This blog is extremely relevant to my life :) Plus, blogging is soothing. It's almost like a journal entry. A little bit of self therapizing, if you will. :)

But first.... STATISTICS!

According to wikipedia (THE most CREDIBLE website on the planet), approximately 78.4% of Americans identify themselves as Christians (I believe this number includes Catholicism)...

I call myself a Christian... But what does that mean?

Merriam-Webster (even more credible than wikipedia... Incredible, I know...) says a Christian is "one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ." Well. If we go by that definition, I guess I can actually believe that 3/4 of the nation are Christians.

But professing belief in something and actually following are completely different, right?

Alright. Enough statistics, definitions and random questions... I'd like to get on to the part where I talk about why I'm writing about faith. :)

This new job has tested me in ways I've never been tested. Mentally and emotionally (and sometimes physically), I'm drained.

I've always been relatively self-sufficient. I prefer to do things myself because history has proven I'm the only one I can count on. For a long time I got along doing it all myself.

And then I went to medic school. Actually, my whole EMS career has been divinely orchestrated. Doors were opened that would never have opened on their own. And that was when I realized that if I kept trying to go it alone, I would never make it.

So I started praying. I started talking to God. I started thanking Him for the good things, asking for help with the tough things. There were many, many other things going on during medic school that made it a trying time. I had a TON of anxiety. A ton. I'm pretty sure that's what drove my ex away. (Let's be honest, as awesome as I am now, I was a WRECK during school).

But as soon as I finished school, I stopped talking to God. I stopped praying, stopped doing my devotions. Stopped listening for Him. I mean, every now and then I'd have a crisis and I'd run to Him, but that's not much of a relationship.

The past month or so, I've been asking Him for help. There have been a few days where I literally did not stop praying (those days my prayers went like "Please, please, please let me survive this."). I pray in an effort to get rid of the anxiety.

It's paralyzing, by the way. Anxiety, that is. People feel it differently and there are different levels of anxiety. There were several times driving to work that I was pretty sure I was going to throw up. And sometimes I feel my chest get really tight and it feels like I can't breathe. (that being said, I've never called 911 for this feeling... unlike many of my patients...). I did call my mom though. :) She can usually talk me off my "ledge of panic".

Anyways, I digress.

 The point of this blog is that I have tried again and again to do it all myself and I am failing. Not only am I failing, but I am miserable in the process. As difficult as it is to "let go and let God" (nice little Christian cliche for you), the peace I feel when I do makes it worth it.

Having said that, I must mention the beauty of grace. I cannot count how many times I've messed up. I make poor decisions (consciously!), do dumb things, say the wrong thing, ignore the right thing, do the wrong thing.

Yet I am not loved any less. I am not any less valuable because of my mistakes. THAT is amazing. This is why a relationship with God is much more important to me than religion. Religion is rules. Religion is run by righteous hypocrites. Relationship is based in loved. Relationship allows for mistakes because in relationship there is forgiveness.

(Friends, I highly recommend you read The Shack if you haven't already. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's one of my favorite books and it provides some new perspective.)

Sin is sin. But God's love is bigger than my sin.

So as I head into my work week tomorrow, I will remember that I am not alone. Because I know I am not strong enough to do this on my own. It isn't my strength that will get me through this. Sometimes, He has to carry me, just like the Footprints poem.

I now must go study some more, then go to bed (that has become my life... work, sleep, gym, study, sleep, work...).