So Angie and Jess from the (In) Courage team asked us readers to share our fears. (Takes a breath) Here I go!
Every year I make a list of resolutions and a title that sums up the resolutions. For example, a couple years ago, I had titled that year to be a year "to find heart". With that I took to 'heart' to do what David did in the Bible "a man after God's heart". I seek to do things that would bring me closer to become more loving, like Christ. This year my title was: "Live fearlessly, Love fiercely". For the purposes of today's segment I will highlight the first part.
During this year I kept telling myself, "What's the worst that can happen?" So what if I ventured into this new adventure, and failed miserably? Isn't God in His goodness going to pick me up, and like in past events, things will become clearer and better?
I used this frame of thought in the summer when I had to get in front of a congregation, telling them about my journey with Christ. Getting up on the pulpit my heart was racing, stomach churning, and my hands sweating profusely. "What's the worst that can happen?" I tell myself. Then Jesus' voice "I am with you. I have already gone before you and have seen how it will go. And it will go more than alright". With those words in mind, I went up and looked around the congregation. Surprise, surprise! They looked like how I felt, nervous, and curious of what this stranger was going to say to them. I looked into their eyes and said what I hoped the Spirit wanted me to tell them.
In my life not every encounter with fear ends like that. In an earlier blog I had touched basis on the struggles my family goes through. This weekend my oldest sister came over. The stories she shared with me about our family appalled me yet again. I was frozen and on fire all at once. What do you do when a brother plays a game that can easily cut off his life? What do you do when violence surrounds your family at every turn?
At work I collaborate with families at risk. Their stories are painful and at the end of the day I am left drained and helpless. My fear is that I won't know what to do. And if I do know what I can do, I fear saying or doing something at the wrong time.
In situations like these all I am certain of doing is pray. There is pain in offering a prayer for those you love, that suffer deeply. When I pray for myself I do struggle to trust God with it all, yet it's gotten easier with time. However, I can't let go of crises of loved ones and surrendering it to God. I am afraid that when something changes for them, it will be too late. With this I let fear take control. I know deep inside that Christ loves these people more than I can ever love them. I am afraid of the letting go. I fret endlessly. Fidgeting in my bed before sleep comes, then when sleep does come, tossing through nightmares of those oh-so-real issues.
I continue to pray and I pray for all the people including the (In) courage team and their readers that commented or didn't comment - for our battle with fear. I pray for the gift of trusting God and ourselves to do the right thing.