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Faith over Fear

Some days I live in fear that something awful is just around the corner. Life has been relatively calm for me, and I feel like I’m waiting for something to even me out with what I see in other peoples’ trials.  I remember when I was in high school, one of my best friends’ mom said that some people are meant to experience life’s extreme trials while others are meant to help guide others through those trials as a force of support. I felt that maybe then, that was my role, or at least allowed it to be my hope. I’m GOOD at support. I’m GREAT at listening, and I love to talk to others about difficulties because I feel strongly in the healing power of expression and communication.  I worried about stuff like that even back then, back when I was 16.

For a long time, what my friends’ mom said, that was enough for me.  Of course I had trials and difficulties then (remember my love story drama?), but minor in comparison to some. Then I got married and had kids, and all of a sudden my fears were not just for me, but amplified to the safety of my husband and children. Life was much more fragile, which brought an extension of fear. I’ve made it a very regular part of my daily prayers to seek faith over fear. Faith in my Father in Heavens’ plan for the best way to shape me. Though I haven’t had extreme instances of difficulty such as death of a close family member, or my house burning down, I’ve had emotional roller coasters (remember my GLOW post?). I’ve had those close to me struggle with depression, anxiety, infidelity, and I’ve been there to listen. I feel grateful that I can experience personal low emotion, and bounce back well enough to function, show up, put a smile on my face, and eventually put it behind me.  Those moments when I find myself crying about someone hurting me, I think to myself: It could be much, much worse..

There are so many things to fear, but I know those fears are put into my heart and mind by a dark force. A force that laughs at me, just like the mean girls laughing when they talk behind your back. You know what I do to those meanies? Put on my most fancy outfit, slap on some bright lipstick, and go prancing around in front of them, just so they can make comments about my excessive presence. Ha! Showed them, and I’ll show that darkness, too.

Faith over fear. Faith over fear. Faith over fear.

faith bigger than fear

I’m grateful that my prayers really do heal me. That when I pray for that faith over fear, it settles my mind. My faith has taught me, and I believe that I have the companionship of a comforter in the Holy Spirit that wraps a blanket around me, and settles the excess in my brain. But it comes and goes in waves. I forget to ask for that strength, and it comes back again like the familiar mean girl.

There really isn’t anything specific that propelled this recently. Just something on my mind.  Here are a few others things on my mind:

  • My boys read all 3 books in the Hunger Games series, and we decided it was ok to see the movies. My husband and I did not read them, but we saw the first movie at a theater with friends over a year ago. The second movie came out and everyone said how much they loved it. I had my boys tell me what happened in the 2nd and 3rd books, just to prepare me. I really don’t like violence in movies or elsewhere. It reminds me too much of the fragility of life, and hate seeing it displayed in that way. If you’ve seen the movie, Katniss has flashbacks in the second movie about killing people from the first game. It reminded me of how I feel after watching any violent show. I have flashbacks of the scenes in the movie, and I feel all dark inside, and fearful about life. I don’t like that feeling, so I choose not to watch anything violent. I hated the movie, and I was quite grateful when the boys suggested fast forwarding through what they remembered as more violent parts from the book.
  • Now before you go thinking I’m all high and mighty for feeling that way, I have no problem with scandal and intrigue in shows. I love a good drama, my most favorite recently being REVENGE. I posted that on Facebook, and someone made a comment that that show made them feel icky inside. It’s not super uplifting, for sure. But it’s so out of this world that I can separate that from reality. I also loved Desperate Housewives. Some deem them inappropriate and I get that. My husband does, that’s why I watch them alone;) I’m ok with that though. I self analyze, and have decided it’s ok for me, though I get it may not be ok for someone else. To each his own, right?
  • I’ve been following an Instagram account called @BofM365, where they give a daily section of the Book of Mormon to read, and then there is a discussion in the comments. I spent an hour on Sunday reading along to others’ comments about struggles and triumphs. It’s been a virtual daily Sunday School class. It’s helped me stay on task with my daily spiritual study. I find that studying scriptures in combination with praying for faith really helps me not be so “doomsday.” I find the days I don’t do these are much more difficult.  Cool article about the instagram feed.
  • Last week, I asked on Facebook what topics people wanted to hear about in my “On My Mind” posts. I like to write about topics vs. events (though that is fun, too). I used to read a blog that had a Hot Topic each week, and I LOVED reading about this persons thoughts (she came from a similar perspective as me) on a specific controversial topic. 

One person asked on Facebook:  How do you handle negative comments people make?

Funny enough, it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to! As I’m mentioned, I’m OVERLY sensitive. But putting myself “out there” on a daily basis with this blog has really thickened my skin. I’ve actually been grateful that those who come READ my blog regularly, are kind hearted. If I think it would warrant a mean comment such as my religious posts, I’ll often say, “Please be kind” as a reminder and I’ve been met with that. I’ve found that unkindness seems to show itself more in social media such as Facebook, or more recently in Pinterest. I made a bunny cake 3 years ago for Easter, and the eyes are a little “off.” After being pinned on Pinterest recently, it got some mean comments. I had to laugh, it’s partly true, but why do people have to be mean? Just kill ‘em with kindness, right? It was nice to see two sweet comments after;)

If someone made a mean comment about something I shared recently, it might have stung more, but I know that we all have different styles, and ways of doing things.

If you have something you think would be fun to “discuss” let me hear it!

Kristen Duke

Kristen Duke

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Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
Kristen Duke
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Comments

  1. Here’s my list of topics, in no particular order:

    Staying close to extended family through social media
    Staying close to grandparents who are not social media savvy and live far away
    Resolving differences with your spouse
    Helping teenagers adapt in an ever changing world
    Helping children overcome sibling differences
    Helping children protect themselves from bullying
    Helping grandparents share stories with grandchildren
    Understanding cultural differences

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Love the list of topics, dad! You need to get on Instagram, dad, me and my kids are all sharing pictures on it! I think you need to be a guest poster on understanding cultural differences, you’re in the thick of it! Thanks for reading and commenting, it really makes my day;)

  2. Wow! I LOVE this. This post seriously spoke right to me. It’s like you were reading my mind! Or at least expressing all the same feelings I’ve been having lately about fear and faith. Your perspective is so wonderful, and seriously this post came as added confirmation and comfort to me! I knew I liked you when I met you at BYBC!! Hope to meet up with you again soon!
    Aimee recently posted..Glitter Egg Cake TopperMy Profile

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Aimee, thanks so much for commenting, it really means a lot to hear that what I wrote spoke to you! I think it’s a regular battle we will face, so much craziness in life. But so much GOODNESS, too!

  3. I enjoy reading your thoughts and admire at how honest your are. Some days I think about doing the same on my blog because I always have lots on my mind and feel the blog would be a good place to release it all. But I do worry I guess about judgement. I don’t know why. I usually don’t worry about what other people think.
    I always wonder about why people have different trials. I think we are just tested differently. Heavenly Father has promised not to give us a trial more than we can bare. I do believe that which helps through things that I feel are tough. At the same time, I am taken aback when I see others with harder trials and wonder am I not that strong. Maybe not. All I know is I try to do my best. I am like you though and do know that I need to ask for help but ALWAYS forget, till I’m almost in tears. I’m working on it.
    I do have my guilty pleasure show which would have to be “The Vampire Diaries”. I know, probably not the most appropriate show, and wouldn’t even allow my teenagers to watch it. But I do and have fun discussions with my sister about it. Like you said — to each his own.
    Hang in there!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Malie, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I still stress about being public with mine sometimes, but it feels so freeing to be open, especially when sweet people like you comment and I don’t hear “crickets” from a heartfelt post. I’ve never seen Vampire Diaries, but I did love Twilight! It’s fun to have a friend to chat about it with that loves it, too! Guilty pleasure, right?
      I’ll admit, I do not see other trials and wonder if I’m not as strong. I have this weird statistical peace going in my head that reassures me that something so similar couldn’t possibly happen to me because I know someone whom it happened to. It gives me temporary peace at least. Thanks again for your thoughts!!

  4. Loved this post. I like the posts about topics a lot, because I feel like in most of your other posts we get glimpses of events in your lovely family. It’s nice to see your depth and spirituality. :)

  5. Hi Kristen,

    I just wanted to tell you I appreciate how you “put things out there”. This is something I really struggle with. I’m a new blogger and online business owner, and I really have a fear about sharing too much of me, and if I will be accepted or not. You are definitely one of the blogs/business women I look up to and appreciate how you handle your online presence. Thank you!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Robyn, you are just the sweetest, your words meant so much to me!! Honestly, the hardest part of putting things out there is wondering if I’ll get feedback! Posts like this are kinda meant to start a conversation, so hearing from you really really helps me to be able to do it more. I may or may not sometimes nudge family or close friends to comment on some I feel extra vulnerable about, in the event that no one else does!Just peeked at your blog, you are a GREAT designer! A talent I wish I had. I’m planning a ballerina party for next month, so your tutu cake toppers are really speaking to me!

  6. It so strange to me that so many people say things online that they would NEVER say to someone in person. The anonymous part makes people feel powerful I think.
    I am glad that you can brush it off and that you can still share your heart. That is fantastic. (I’m way to sensitive!)

    • Kristen Duke says:

      I’m pretty sensitive about SO many things, but I guess with that bunny, I knew it was kinda iffy, and it was created 3 years ago. I may not feel the same if it was a current project. Believe me, I feel sensitive in other ways, like when I see blogger friends promoting my other bloggers friends stuff and not mine and i think…maybe they thought it was crap? Or maybe I’m just over thinking and they didn’t notice or just didn’t put that much thought into it.

    • Kristen Duke says:

      p.s. always nice to hear from you, Rhonda! You’ve been around a while, and to see you keep coming back makes me feel extra happy, so thanks for that;)

  7. Very good post! I never struggled as a teenager with what life might throw at me. I was the opposite of you- I assumed because I had everything planned out, that God would honor that and I’d have a great adult life and my kids would have the same fantastic childhood that I had :-) My husband and I had a perfect, whirlwind romance, but two weeks before the wedding, he got laid off from his job- Trial #1. He eventually found another one at much, much, much lower pay, so I quit school and went to work. We got pregnant 8 months after getting married and suffered a horrendous 2nd trimester miscarriage- Trial #2. After that settled down, we got pregnant a second time and discovered God was blessing us with twins!!!! We finally felt like we’d come through the fire and He was rewarding us. Unfortunately, I had huge complications with the pregnancy and our son had medical issues- Trial #3. After our son made it through his first year, everything seemed fine (finally- it was a rough babyhood for him). I had worse complications with my third pregnancy and during all of that our son spiraled into autism- Trial #4 and #5. What’s so crazy about it all is God has blessed our family beyond measure with all of these trials. He’s taught me lessons that I couldn’t have learned any other way. Occasionally, I will admit to feeling sorry for myself and I use to struggled with extreme jealousy for people that seemed to “have it all” without the heartache. I now see that everyone will have trials- but they are tailored to what God knows we need to learn and grow! My husband and I are closer then ever because we have faced these trials together. My kids have a different childhood than I had, but they still love life, like I did :-) I wouldn’t worry in advance about what God may send you, but keep up your prayer and Bible study so you will be equipped when it happens. Ephesians 6 is a fabulous chapter for inspiration!

    • Kristen Duke says:

      Melinda, you are just the sweetest, thank you for sharing your story! I hope someday we all realize that no one has it all. So many of us have hidden struggles that may not be as apparent. I’m so happy to hear that through your trials, you and your husband have grown closer because for so many, it tears them apart. Hugs to you! Will look closely at Ephesians 6, thanks for that!

    • Melinda, I am trying to process my latest trial and just wanted to let you know that your words here today were importante to me.
      Thank you
      Leire

  8. Nicole P. says:

    I’m drawing a blank on topic discussions at the moment. I just wanted to say that I really enjoy it when you write about how your faith sustains you. I read a number of blogs by people of your faith and while a few will touch on here or there, very few will talk about it as openly as you do. I’m grateful for that. While I’m not Mormon myself, I do enjoy hearing about what people believe and how it makes them stronger :)

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