As I left a 3 hour lunch today with my friend Lisa, that followed a 2 and 1/2 hour morning coffee with my friend Pat this past Saturday morning, I was struck by something. A word that came up many times in both conversations.
I should have counted how many times I both heard and uttered the word 'fear' in those two days.
Not always in a bad way, sometimes it was in the context of "fearing the Lord". But it dawned on me how much we had talked about how we see fear running rampant in the Christian life, in particular in women's lives. Fear seems to be gripping so many around us. Fear that manifests itself in so many ways - in insecurities of all shapes and sizes, in jealousy, in depression, in anger, in an eating disorder, in cutting, in bad relationships, in choices to leave marriages, in numbness and complacency, and the list could go on. The roots of fear can run deep and lead to so much devastation. Fear.
What dawned on me as I drove home is how we talked about when those types of fears started for us, and for those we know who are even now paralyzed by them. As early as elementary and middle school. WOW! Realizing just how long we have been living with the fear and insecurities, believing the lies that fear allows to creep in, was astounding to us.
The lives that are now held captive by fears have been so in some cases for 20, 30, 40, and 50 years.
Lord, if I could go back and speak truth into 'younger me' I would try to make me understand that I will never find anyone who loves me like God designed me to be loved by Him. That I will never be like the girl standing next to me and that's actually a good thing because I want my blessings, my journey - not hers. That no matter what a boy does to me I am worthy. That no matter what choices I make I can be forgiven. That I don't have to worry about even making a bad choice if I never put what others want me to be ahead of what God wants me to be. And that to care that much about what others think only succeeds in handing them the kind of power over me that only God should have.
I want to always fearfully love my Lord, but never want again to fear who I am, what He wants, is doing, isn't doing, or what He wants to make from my life.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Something so precious has nothing to fear
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Lord, God, may my fears never again overide my purpose in you!