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Faith over Fear

"I remembered who I was

And I learned to dance with the fear that I'd been running from."

- Ben Rector -Fear


Fear is a fickle thing. It is a great warning sign keeping us from harm, yet also debilitating. It kicks us into action to find safety, but it also blinds and paralyzes us from new opportunities and growth. We fear failure at trying new things, judgement for believing in something that others don’t, and not being accepted. While fear may often help us live longer, it also limits our ability to live whole lives.


Faith, however, renews, restores, provides hope, and builds strength. There is nothing faith can’t overcome, and it is one of the few things that cannot ever be taken away from us. Faith is a force to be reckoned with, but it’s not easy to live with conviction in something bigger than ourselves. It’s near impossible to embrace faith in the midst of fear because we can’t see it, touch it, or hear it. Yet, when we learn to dance with fear in true faith, it carries us through our darkest moments, emerging with new hope, experiences, opportunities, and growth.





I grew up in Catholic school, K-12. We learned A LOT about religion, but it's impossible to teach faith. It's usually only through fear that we come to truly understand faith.


Starting high school, self-doubt began to take a front seat in my life. I was scared of being different with my interests in drama, science, and campus ministry instead of sports and pop culture at an all male school. However, it was through those interests that I began to experience and understand faith a bit more. But, in college, with a new found freedom away from home in a world outside of uniforms and religion class, fear started leading again. In search of new “friends,” I joined a fraternity, where drinking, parties, and missing morning classes was cool. I stopped going to church, afraid I might be ridiculed or miss out on an active social life. I eventually stopped praying too.


As I started my career after graduation, faith continued as my backseat passenger while I was determined to prove my worth to everyone around me - both personally and professionally. If I was successful, I had nothing to fear, right? Wrong. My faith waned, and even though I was surrounded by people during the day, loneliness started to creep in outside of those "happy" hours with co-workers.


Then, fear ran rampant as I realized I hated my new job. I started running again, accepting a job offer nearly 1,500 miles away, in a city I'd never visited. I was drowning in debt and moving to a place where the cost of living was nearly two to three times what I could afford. However, I didn't move trusting in God to light my path, but rather because a “friend” from the fraternity already lived there and it was a good career step. While It seemed like a great fresh start, it didn’t last long.


About 45 days after moving in, I was evicted for reasons I still don't fully understand, and as far as I can tell, no real fault of my own. I was terrified. I was deeper in debt with nearly no savings, living paycheck to paycheck, and knew virtually nothing about the area. I began living out very own country song, with really only my dog and my Ford Ranger as reliable companions. Exacerbating the issue, my landlord made it clear that my dog was one of multiple reasons for my eviction, and finding rental places accepting pets was even more expensive. I also now had to find a kennel on short notice (which ain't cheap!) while she threw a house warming party that night. On top of all that, I had to somehow find a way to make this new life work.


"And I was sure that I was done

But something in me would not turn around and run."


In that moment, I felt like I had nothing. Then, faith resurfaced. I began to remember the hope, joy, and confidence I got a taste of later in high school. So, I leaned into it with all I had left. I got in my trusty old Ford Ranger, with my dog in the passenger seat, and I prayed for probably the first time in six years. I prayed, and I cried. Finally, for the first time in a very long time, I let faith into the front seat, lighting my path and clarifying my thoughts. That's when good things started to happen.


Faith reminded me I had a supportive new boss who also had a family rooted in the Catholic church and trusted in me as a person. With his and Craiglist's help, I quickly discovered new options, eventually leading to an affordable room in a rental house, bigger than I could have wanted, and also in a better area. This gave me space to lean into my new found triathlon love with endless trails and safe roads, unknowingly immersed in a community full of endurance athletes.


That move led to joining my gym’s triathlon club, where another new friend eventually coordinated a happy hour to introduce me to the woman who is now my wife. We’ve been married almost 10 years, with two intelligent, fearless, and beautiful daughters who continue to teach us new things every day. Like all new parents, we have our ups and downs with late nights and early mornings, filled with exhaustion and impatience as we figure out how to raise good humans and not negotiate with mini-terrorists at bedtime. We've also had our share of scary moments too. When our first was only five months old, my mom passed away from ovarian cancer. Then, our second, pandemic-born, baby was hospitalized at two weeks old and later infected with every respiratory illness known to man in her first year, including COVID. Yet, we continued to embrace our faith through those cycles of frustration and fear, walking together through our toughest times to truly appreciate the best moments.


As a Whole Dad, I'm working to let go of my man-splaining, problem-solving, project management ways, and it isn't always easy, especially when man-flu hits. But, when I do, listening more than talking and being present with my family, we grow closer through our struggles. I’m learning to let go of fear, in faith that the future will be good to us if we embrace uncertainty, foster faithful thinking, and recognize grace in vulnerability.


How have you learned to dance with your fears in faith through your scariest moments?

Share your story in the comments below, and check back now and then with faith you just might gain new perspective in the stories of other Whole Dads!

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