Fear. Gripping, faceless, heart-stopping emotion. Different things frighten different people-but I remember, even as a child-being petrified by everything. I believe the dysfunction stemmed from a childhood in which I was raised by two incredibly anxious parents. As the years went by, I grew more and more fearful. Heights. Highways. Social venues. The straw that broke my back was the stalking I experienced two years ago-I dove into a depression so devastating, I thought for sure I would die of heartache. The world was becoming an increasingly violent place, and I wanted no parts of it, none.
I dove into the Word last Summer. The more I read the scriptures, the deeper my peace became. I began stepping out of my comfort zone: crossed a wooden bridge 800 in the air, over a rolling, rocky river. That was Jesus and to this day, I remember the way in which my terror was transformed within moments. After giving my husband a firm NO WAY, I quietly asked my Abba,
“Give me the strength Father, for Dwain. Let me be brave for my husband.”
Seconds later? I crossed that bridge like a boss, without any trepidation. I walked that rickety death trap twice, as we had to use the bridge to return to our truck, after having visited the other side of the river. One day I will find and share those pictures, as they may inspire hope in fellow Chicken Littles.
I began trusting Jesus for everything. Seemingly overnight, my crippling fear eased into a new normal, of brazen acts and caution, thrown oh so carefully to the wind. I put on the full armor of God. I prayed without ceasing, and failed often and miserably. One day I took notice. I stopped to reflect, to look back and see how incredibly far I’d come-how loved and cared for I had always been. I take it minute by minute, literally. I know the Holy Spirit will lead me to discernment. I force nothing-if it doesn’t feel good, it doesn’t get done.
In days such as these, when courage is required to simply be, it is as simple as calling out His name. I have my bad days, but not for stretches of time, as before. I know what to do, in those darkened hours of grief and angst: he will never desert you, ever.
No matter how hard it is, no matter what the size or magnitude of your pain, reach out to Jesus. He knows each and every hair on your freakishly large head. 🙂