I’m such an quiet observer, you can call it “people watching.” But it goes much deeper than watching as I take pictures in my mind of moments and words spoken. I love words and the meaning behind them. Some words I despise like “fear” a four letter words that cripples leaving lasting effects when we walk in fear wrestling with the knowledge that we need to relax and simply trust God.
Some people are watching how we walk and how we live, without us even knowing it. Our children, both young and grown-up, watch us and later on realize their “walk” looks just like ours. They learned it from us.
“I want to be just like you.”
And it strikes us to the core because we want to bottle that up, that moment when love runs so unconditional and pure. We want to bottle up that moment of pride swallowing hard because we know we fall short sometimes and always will. That little person wants to be like us?
Some worthy traits we pass down to our children as we celebrate and cheer because our hard work has paid off. Other traits are cringe-worthy as we whisper, “I take it back, please unlearn that.”
The grace of God can cover it all as we tread cautiously the tightrope of faith verses fear.
I had so much faith laying on that table as they prepped me for an emergency Caesarean section. I was so tired and waiting to hear her cry. The cord was wrapped around her neck three times and when she breathed and let out a cry after the doctors worked on her, never have I heard such a beautiful sound. But weeks later as I looked through a hospital bill listing the charges, one right after another, I saw a dollar sign next to the words: Newborn Resuscitation. Those two words knocked the breath out of me. I sat in an empty house starring at her tiny face feeling a love so deep it hurt as fear walked in. I could have lost her.
I made a lot of promises to that tiny face, ones she never heard but God did.
Promises to love and lead her and later promises to let her go and grow and learn. Each bruise and heartbreak I felt too as she would run to me on wobbly knees and I would do my best to kiss the hurt away.
I have walked in fear-based anxiety and depression before, sometimes seasonally as the weather turns bitter sending us inside for warmth and shelter from harsh winds. It’s something that I’m unafraid to talk about because of the faces I see and minister to. They need to see the face of someone who walked and wrestled and limped their way to glorious victory.
A decade ago when fear walked in…I had to show fear the door. And when it surfaces trying to inch its way back in to cripple a heart that God set free, I point to the door and tell it where it can go.
The God we have invited into our hearts is far bigger than the fear and doubt that tries to creep its way in.
A while back, I watched a wise person wrestle wondering why they hadn’t passed on the trait of fear onto their grown-up, mirror-image offspring and my heart soaked up the moment knowing that each day our children have the choice to walk like us or chart their own path. Yet the goal is for our children to follow hard after God, not our flawed humanity or the world.
So today as my miracle daughter smiled at me as I played with her in the pool and said, “Mom, I’m just like you..I’ve never liked cold water.” I smiled back and said, “Baby girl, some traits that you get from me you are going to love…but later on, some might drive you crazy. But, I hope most of them help shape you into the woman God designed you to be.” And then we twirled in the pool, her ten-year-old frame much larger than the chubby, perfect infant I twirled in the pool years gone by.
Lord, knows I’m not a perfect parent walking the tightrope of faith verses fear. If I could shelter my children from harm and heartbreak I would. But, I can’t. They belong to God given to me on special loan till they build a new nest of their own. I hold them tight then let them go, and repeat these steps daily as I watch them transform into young ladies.
Today it’s time to show fear the door and tell it has no place in our lives, marriages or singleness, parenting, or our calling. Before we can ever tackle hurdles in our personal lives and details that concern us, we first have to deal with the issue of fear.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18 NIV)
I love how this passage of scripture is translated in The Message:
“To Love, to Be Loved”
17-18 God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. (1 John 4:18 The Message)
Let love have “the run of the house.” Show fear the door, dear friends.
Praying for you on this journey,