Sunday, June 1, 2014

Keep Shouting and Kicking

Before I had children.... (ah, how many statements could launch from that simple phrase?)
I was controlling and anxious.
After I had children, I knew true fear.  It rose up bolder, braver, darker than before.  I feared losing, I feared keeping, I feared forever destroying that which was entrusted to me.  I wanted simpler ways that only involved me. I didn't want to need or be needed. I wanted to feel free.  But freedom doesn't come from a lack of connection; freedom comes from a dominance over fear. "Perfect love casts out fear"--no longer a welcome house guest (I John 4:18).

My children get sick... again, and I start to bounce "what if" questions off the wall. What if they are weak...terminally ill...what if I have to take care of them for years on end? What if... what if... and those bouncing questions ricochet off and give me a black eye. And I want to close my eyes and scream "go away!"
For my fear says: what a mess? now what? 
       You had better figure this out or...
        Life will unravel, crumble, become more than you can handle.
So, temptation creeps up and grabs me by the wrists and with wide eyes, screams, "Control this!"
But I expose the lie when I say, "I can't." And "It's okay that I can't."
I don't have to try so hard,
                       research so diligently,
                       set all the pieces to right...
Because even if the pieces break apart, even if my world crumbles, I am okay.
Even if it all becomes more than I can handle, HE will.
I am not here to perfectly control my environment.
I am here to hear, to walk forward, whether on rocks or pavement or lava or silk...
I continue.
Psalm 112: 6 
Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
7They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; 
As I let go of idols and pride and prayerlessness, I  sense His spirit stretch out again. He is no longer cramped in the corner, waiting for me to ask Him to usher out this fear. I am powerful. Despite my actions, despite my heart, God knows it is in me, because He is in me.  Regardless of my doubts, I do not want to walk back into slavery. I want to heed Romans 8:15:
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ""Abba," Father.
For HE IS MY EVER-PRESENT HELP...regardless. So, I shout it to myself, and I keep shouting, till fear shuts up and listens. And I know He is near and He is saying, "That's my girl. You tell him, because I am telling you."  And the love casts it out because He fills up, everything...and there is no more room for fear. And I am okay.  I am more than okay (Romans 8:37).
And we have to keep reminding ourselves of the truth. Over and over...

Because as we practice the truth, it becomes habit, and habit becomes instinct. Perhaps when fear knocks again, instinct takes over and doesn't even open the door.  We know what's behind it and we've seen it. Our awe rests in what is already on our side of the door. Cathy Irvin writes in her article, "Are You Suited Up Yet?":

"We should pray before we get ‘suited up’ for the day. This is how we get fortified and prepared to face challenges that may arise.
We put on our armor: the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness are first. Next, our feet need to be shod with the peace of God everywhere we go. We must hold up the shield of faith to quench those fiery darts hurled at our souls. Then, we must put on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is God’s Word, to renew our minds daily. If we know what the Word of God says, we can withstand anything that may attempt to make us stumble."

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