One thing people do not like to talk about is fear.  It’s a word that we try to avoid whenever necessary.  But, life isn’t all about the happiness, the excitement, and the joys.  There are moments in our lives where fear takes over.

Over the past year, I spent roughly 6 months living in some sort of fear.  When I lived in Brookings, I felt fear that I wasn’t able to pay my bills without some type of help, fear to go home to my roommate at the time, fear to go to work.  I can’t explain to you where the underlying fears were coming from but I felt like my head was always on a pivot – always keeping an eye out for the most unexpected thing.

Some of you know, but my fears were met in a whirlwind of discovery around October.  I was living out my biggest fear and didn’t even realize it; until it was too late.  I fell victim to my roommates hands.  I struggled to put weight on my legs for weeks (maybe even months) before I gave in and went to the doctor office.  Multiple blood tests, x-rays, and bone scans later, I was told that I had multiple hairline fractures in my legs.  (For the full story, read Some Friend You Were.)

Shane and I started putting pieces together as to what happened.  When confronted, my roommate denied it.  But, it didn’t take long for us to prove that he wasn’t innocent.  From there, I moved to Pipestone and drove back and forth to work in Brookings daily.  I feared the drive.  Would he be waiting when I got to work?  Would he follow me home?  I feared work.  Would I have to deal with him at work?    I feared for my safety.  Will he find me at Walmart? Hyvee? The gas station?

Since I spent most of July through December living in fear, I missed most of what was going on around me.  Miccah’s football games, their band concerts, family traditions such as the Parade of Lights.  I was physically there but I was not mentally there.  I was always walking around in a fog.

This was not long after I had turned back towards going to church weekly, praying regularly, and asking him to take control of my issues.  But, once all this started, I found my weak spot again.  Once again reverting to the mindset of “Why would He put me in this situation?”  I felt like I had to handle it on my own.  I was trying to take a God-sized issue onto my own shoulders.

I slowly felt my heart start to harden again.  I was afraid that there was no way out at this point.  The damage was done.  I couldn’t pray for an issue in the past because it was already done.  Little did I know, the issue in the past was affecting my present and would work it’s way into my future as well.

I was so mad at God for not allowing me to see the real Robert*.  I had a fear that there were many more things that God wasn’t allowing me to see.  I was living in a permanent state of fear and didn’t even realize it.

One day, I sat down and just thought about all my fears, big and small.  Bats, mice, death in my family, losing Shane and/or the kids, losing my job, being alone, breaking a bone, not being able to pay my bills, not graduating with my Bachelors, the fear of giving myself 100% to God.  …Wait….

Yes.  I feared giving 100% of myself to Him.  That I could never be more than the person who went to church casting judgement on those around me, on the pastor; holding grudges for things that happened in the past.   I feared that I was never going to be good enough for Him.

However, I do not have to have fear.  Neither do you.

Isaiah 41:10 tells us “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”  Yes.  Tells us.  It is not directed at one person or another.  It is a statement that is made to us from our Father, our Lord, our guiding light.

The amount of weight that came off my shoulders after reading that verse is something that I cannot explain to you.  I am thankful that He will be there to strengthen me, to help me, to uphold me, and to forgive me.  He is that friend with unconditional love; waiting for us – with arms wide open.

He’s just waiting for us to decide if we fear the light or if we embrace the light.

*Name has been changed.

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