My Christain Bible defines faith as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1)”. Many of you are probably wondering how Faith and Health are connected. The only way I know how to approach this subject and explain why I have come to believe this with my whole heart is to tell you my personal experience in this area.
Without Faith You Have No Hope
When I was about 16, I prayed with all my heart about a particular situation but to no avail. The situation did not turn out the way I had prayed for and I became angry with God. Why didn’t He answer my prayers and fix everything? It was then that I began a long road of questioning everything I had believed. By losing my faith in God at that time, I went into a downward spiral of unhappiness, bitterness, and many, many bad choices. All of this because I had lost my faith. I no longer had any hope that things would get better and that I would be okay.
This went well into my 40s.
I have had happy times but I came to believe it was all by chance and any happiness I felt was here today gone tomorrow. Without hope, I had no idea if I could handle life, and many times I didn’t handle it very well. I came to believe that some people are lucky and some aren’t and I was one of the unlucky ones. This made me miserable, miserable to be around, and I missed many of the blessings that were staring me right in the face.
The Opposite of Faith is Fear
When You have no faith, you have no hope and the only place left to live is in fear. I was fearful I would lose the few good things in my life I had and was always waiting for the “other shoe” to drop when anything I found good happened. I didn’t enjoy very much and this led to many addictions being developed in my life.
Addictions are poisons and make a person unhealthy.
Not to mention the negative impact they had on anyone around who loved me. I began withdrawing from going out it public, I believed if I stayed at home with my addictions no one else would be hurt, including myself. I refused to grocery shop, and my extremely hard-working husband would have to bring dinner home if anyone hoped to eat. This led to 20 years of me and my family eating fast food junk. Even when we ate better food than that, it was almost always prepared by someone else so we had no idea what it really was ( which also added strain on our finances). My children not only developed this bad way of eating, but my lack of faith and the fear I was living in was passed down to them. Of course my husband, my one best friend, and a cousin did not give up on me, but they would get frustrated that I couldn’t be more positive, wouldn’t go anywhere, and wouldn’t do anything “fun” without my many addictions.
Negative Beliefs and Feelings Add to Unhealthiness
There have been many studies done on the effects of negative beliefs and feels on the body. For one thing, feelings of stress, depression, and/or anxiety can lead to a weaker immune system allowing sickness to be an unhappy person’s normal. The immune system can become so suppressed diseases are the next thing to follow. I developed an auto-immune disease and because of the pain I was experiencing I didn’t move much and exercise was out of the question. I was on about 10 different medicines during this time for anxiety, depression, and my physical issues most of which I wouldn’t have needed if I had been healthier in every aspect of my life.
How To Find Faith When You Don’t Believe
Every person believes in something. Even atheists have faith that there is nothing greater than ourselves and there is no type of punishment for not believing in God. In order to have the kind of faith that gets you though the many hard and sad aspects of life, you need to determine what you believe and if those beliefs are serving the purpose of you feeling better about yourself and the world around you. If you find some of your beliefs to be damaging, ditch them!
I did 4 things to figure out what beliefs I really held, if those feelings and beliefs were moving me toward the place I wanted to be in my life, and to know myself better. The first thing I did was pick up one of my dusty Bibles and begin reading it. I just wanted to know if God would speak to me and guess what, He DID! I found out that no matter what I had done, no matter what anyone else thought about me, He loves me, wants the best for me, and has a bigger, more complete picture of what that looks like than I could ever have in my limited existence. It became clear to me that all people go through hard times and sometimes, for whatever reason, God sees fit to answer our prayers differently or not at all. It’s kind of like the old Garth Brooks song ” thank God for unanswered prayers”.
The second thing I did was find a mental health professional who was honest, compassionate, and not just in it for the money. She helped me reduce the amount of medicine I am on from 10 to 2 and challenged me on my behavior and negative thinking. I still see her to this day.
Another thing I began doing was learning. Learning that there are better ways to cope with life than what I had been doing, better ways to treat myself, and better ways to think. I found many good teachers through my college studies and Udemi that also challenged my thoughts, feelings, and lifestyle habits. This learning was life changing, I ditched many of the things I had been basing my whole life on, and began feeling better.
The 4th aspect I changed about my life was my addictions. Most of them are gone. I went to rehab, joined a community of people like myself, and began working with another individual that called me on my crap. She too, still does that to this day when I am getting a little off track with my thinking and/or responses to life’s many challenges.
Faith is First and Foremost the Most Important Aspect of Life.
Without faith, life seems like just a series of misfortunes, disappointments, and maybe a few lucky breaks. It is not supposed to be like this for anybody. There is a creator, and both He and His Son loves you more than you can ever image. Finding faith, dealing with one’s inner demons, and living by the faith you find will not be simple, but it is one of the easiest things you will do to start to live healthier. This will take work with brutal honesty on your part, but it will be worth it in the end. Health will not be instantaneous and it may take a lifetime; but take heart. In the words of one of my favorite Bible teachers, Joyce Meyers, ” I may not be where I am going, but thank God I’m not where I was”. I live by this as I learn to see myself and the world differently.
Find Your faith first and soon you will be on the road to changing so many things about yourself. I bet you even find that you are becoming healthier each and every day.