fear


I’ve been thinking a lot about fear lately… mostly because I’ve been confronted with things I fear. I wrote a post last June that I titled “bigger than fear.” I talked in that post about fear and love. Real love is always bigger than fear. I talked in that post about what had once been my biggest fear in life.

Losing someone I love. […] Losing my dad. I was terrified of that possibility and I knew it was very real.

I don’t really remember there being a time that I didn’t realize that was a very big possibility. My dad was in and out of hospitals for much of my life, much of his really. There was the drunk driver. The rattle snake bite. The Spinal Meningitis. {I might be making that one up. I don’t really remember. I was young. It was something random.} The stroke. The blood disorder. The blood clots. The joint problems. The kidney problems. Lupus.

And then it happened. He went to the hospital again. And he didn’t come home. My biggest fear, realized.

(I wonder if you get tired of me talking about this.)

And you know what’s crazy? I lived. I lived through my biggest fear. And I think I even came out better for it. It hurt. It hurt like crazy. It still does. But I lived. I learned to live better than I ever had before; I tried to anyway.

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 learned to love, even when it hurts, and to forgive more. I learned to trust. I learned to lean on the Father – with all the weight of everything I am. I learned to value the moments of life. I learned to take risks. I learned a lot of things that I don’t have the words to say… or maybe I just don’t need to say them here today.

From then on, when people ask me what my biggest fear is, I have never really known what to say. Not that I don’t have fears anymore; I do, of course. It’s part of being human. I guess the bigness of my fears just sort of changed when I learned…

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.

But lately, I’ve been realizing what kinds of things I fear most now. Vaguely, yet specifically, I fear:

  1. Being disappointed.
  2. Being a disappointment.

And well, that’s kind of a problem… because, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but that, my friends, is LIFE.

People disappoint. A lot. In small ways and big. Because they’re just people
I will disappoint. I do. All the time. Because I’m just me. I can’t be more and I can’t be less…
We all make mistakes. We’re just peopletrying to figure it out… and doing an imperfect job of that will cause people in our lives to have to walk through disappointment. And it stinks. And it hurts… sometimes, no matter which end of it you’re on.

I’ve not checked this out on my own, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read a couple times in a couple places that FEAR NOT is the most common commandment in the Bible. It’s in there about 200 times, I think. God probably did that because He knew the potential fear has to ruin us… and because fear is really evidence that we’re not believing God to be who He is.

So, I’m working on focusing on who He is… and not so much on what I fear: what disappoints me/how I disappoint others. Not that I don’t care. I do care. Oh, I care. It’s just that my HOPE and JOY come from a bigger place… and I figure, if I’m focused on Him… gradually, I’ll become less disappointing. I hope. And as far as others disappointing me, I’m remembering that life isn’t about me anyway. And while it’s not easy…

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.

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