The Two ‘F’ Words
by Rachel Barrett-Dolcine
I have a confession to make. Ready? I struggle with faith! Yes, I know…I know…you’re surprised!
Last year, I presented a workshop for one of the nonprofits where I sit on the Board of Directors. The workshop was for women who were interested in starting a business or owned a business for less than three years. The theme of the workshop was to motivate women to move past their FEARS and take a leap of FAITH. As the women shared their fears, my heart cried. I was once in that seat. Covered in worry. Dripping in fear. Not an ounce of faith anywhere to be found.
Fear and Faith. The two ‘F’ words. Two simple words with so much ‘umph’. Both have the same number of letters, but they are so drastically different in their outcomes.
When I was a little girl, I questioned everything I heard. Everything I read. Everything I saw. I remember I was about 10 years old when I called The Bible Answer Man to ask him, “If Adam & Eve were the only two humans created by God, who did their children marry?” His answer was, as you could imagine, mind-blowing—well, for a 10-year-old, anyway!
As I grew older, I quickly realized that I was a strategic thinker. I saw the world for what it could be, not what it looked like in its current state. I often helped my mom figure out alternate solutions to everyday family challenges. My intellect grew. My faith shrank. My fear grew. My world started changing.
When I was seven years old, I accepted Christ as my Savior. I went to the front of my Sunday school class shaking with fear because my Sunday school teacher told us that if we did not accept Christ, we would go to hell when we died. She further explained that we could die today and end up in a lake of fire that could not be put out. This lake of fire was filled with snakes, worms, and other unsightly creatures that would torment us forever.
What was a seven-year-old intellectual to do?! That’s right! You got it! I stood on my skinny, shaking legs and wobbled my way to the altar. There was NO way I was dying that day just to end up in a place that terrible. My logic dictated I choose heaven over hell. That’s how I viewed my relationship with God: figure out the logically right thing to do. Do it or end up in hell. No faith necessary. Fear is a requirement. Make the wrong choice, end up in hell.
My fear grew. And grew. And grew.
In 2010, I decided to pursue an item on my bucket list: starting my own business. I was fearful of failing. I am an overachiever who does not do well with failing or messing up. I decided to keep my full-time job and dab my big toe, once in a while, in the river of business ownership. That worked well for a while, but I knew I was meant to own my own business.
In 2014, I lost my full-time job. My Fear almost had me by the throat. This time, I decided I was not going to let fear get the best of me! Fear is a liar! I put my big girl shoes on and jumped feet first in faith! It was the best decision I ever made.
Here are four things I have learned about the two ‘F’ words:
- FEAR is a big fat LIAR! The devil capitalizes on our weak human nature and holds us captive in our minds. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)!Faith is much more than believing what I don’t see (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is completely trusting without a shadow of a doubt that the plan that God has for my life is perfect and complete. The way has already been paved for me. My passage has been paid for with
- Faith is much more than believing what I don’t see (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is completely trusting without a shadow of a doubt that the plan that God has for my life is perfect and complete. The way has already been paved for me. My passage has been paid for with precious blood. I just need to walk, run, skip…whatever I need to do. I just need to move. Go. Get up!
- Faith and fear nullify each other. Both cannot coexist in the same soul. You can only have one or the other. The ‘F’ you feed is the ‘F’ that grows. Period.
- When we let our fear blind our faith, we are limiting God. God’s desire is for us to trust him wholeheartedly. I can’t trust if I am not vulnerable. I can’t have faith if I don’t trust God without question.
Today, I am not 100% fear-free, but I am well on my way to living a life of total faith. Will you join me?
Rachel J. Barrett-Dolcine, CEO of Compass Consulting and Training Solutions is an innovative strategist with extensive experience in training & development, nonprofit management and consulting for small business start-ups. Through its Community Giving Back Program, Compass facilitates free training classe
s and workshops for nonprofit and community organizations that are on a limited budget.
Rachel is an Adjunct Faculty member at two local community colleges, a Certified CPR/First Aid Train the Trainer Instructor, an approved Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Office of Childcare (OCC) Core of Knowledge Trainer. She also sits on two nonprofit boards and is the Founder of the Joseph & Vera Douglas Family Foundation.
Rachel lives in Randallstown, Maryland with her husband and son.