I remember in High School, and probably even college, when I would fill out all of those silly email surveys. You know what I’m talking about? The pages of random questions that we would fill out and send to all our friends. A common question on them was “What is your greatest fear?” My answer was always the same. Losing someone I love. Although sometimes, I was more specifically honest. Losing my dad. I was terrified of that possibility and I knew it was very real.
Then came the day I ran hard to my Heavenly Father with a very broken heart and asked him to please please please heal my earthly father of his pain, even if it meant taking him away from me. I had never, for half of a second, prayed a prayer like that for my dad before. In fact, I often prayed quite the opposite. Lord. I need him. You can NOT take him away from me. I can’t live without him.
What was different about that day? What was different about my heart that day?
I had a million emotions bottled up inside on every end of the spectrum and I was breaking – breaking! – from it all. And my dad was hurting, not just physically. I looked into his eyes and I saw – – – a pain that words can not describe. And as I saw that, over and under all of the emotions that I was feeling… there was love. My love grew enough that day that it overshadowed my fear. I loved enough to think of what he needed, more than what I feared.
And just a few hours later, God did exactly what I asked Him to do. He healed my Daddy, by taking Him out of this life… away from me.
Everything shattered. My greatest fear had become my reality. My world was forever changed.
But I was able to face it because I had love.
I have learned that love is always bigger than fear, when God is involved. HIS love met me in the reality of life I had feared the most. It covered me. It wrapped me up. It set my feet on solid ground when it felt like everything was falling out from under me. It put me back together whenever I fell apart. And it changed me – transformed me – from the inside out.
I’d love to tell you that from that day forward, I’ve never been afraid of life or things in it but that is not at all true. I am often afraid. I guess the difference is, in my fears I now pray for love that takes me beyond them. I know it’s possible to live through all the things I fear the most today. I know I can face whatever it is that causes the nervous ache in my tummy. I lived through my greatest fear. And, because of the grace and love of God that is unfailing, I am more than okay. And I will keep living, and I will keep loving… and I will learn to love more… and I will learn to step into what I fear because the love I have for my Heavenly Father is bigger… because it is worth it. Every single time, it is worth it. Lord, help me.