I cringed after I wrote them down. They looked more awful on paper.
“Yikes. I hope nobody ever sees this,” I thought to myself.
My husband and I had just had a conversation about earthquakes, but not just any earthquake…THE EARTHQUAKE. We live in the Pacific Northwest where geologists are concerned about a massive, overdue quake that could cause wide-spread destruction in this area. Apparently we live in the Ring of Fire, and worst case scenario- tsunamis, flooding, and volcanoes could all be triggered if their predictions are correct.
My husband and I talked about what we would do if it ever happened. We joked about those people who keep canned foods and water bottles in their garage in case of emergency. Then we stopped laughing and realized, maybe that’s not such a bad idea. Maybe that’s an act of wisdom not paranoia. Maybe tomorrow I should go out and buy 50 cases of water bottles.
Our conversation jumped from earthquakes, to our children’s well-being and how out of control we actually are as parents, to my own fear-drenched heart dealing with rejection and hurt.
After about an hour of all this heavy talk I interrupted our discussion. “I think we need to stop,” I said with tears streaming down my face now. “I live with so much fear and this conversation hasn’t helped.”
I felt sick…
If I don’t talk about them, acknowledge them, or admit them to myself, or anyone else for that matter, I trick myself into thinking I’m free. I don’t realize I’m stuck and sick until I hold my fears under the microscope of His magnificent love.
That’s when it all becomes visible…
The death, destruction, and disease running through my veins.
As Ann Voskamp wrote this week, “Fear can snuff out your soul while you keep on breathing for years. Fear is the most common brain tumor, always beginning in your mind.”
I agree. Fear can wrap its wiry fingers silently and stealthily around our souls until we can no longer tell where we start and it begins. We grow accustomed to living with fear.
But how do we unravel from fears once and for all, swirling freely into the glorious sunshine of the abundant life Jesus promised? Is it even possible?
I know people who are convinced they have no fear. I find it hard to believe. I think fears come and go in our lives, manifesting and masquerading in different ways.
Most of the time we make excuses for them. We dress our fears up all pretty or talk them down until they disappear again into the background of our lives.
The conversation with my husband pushed me to face to face with some of my worst nightmares. So I did what I always do, I wrote them down. I looked at my fears and cringed.
“I hope nobody ever sees this,” I thought.
Most of them seemed silly, small, and insignificant, but that is exactly what the enemy would like me to think. Your fears aren’t that big.
But the more I sat with them, the more I realized this delicate, white page wasn’t filled with innocent fears; it held the names of dangerous idols that I worshiped.
The ring of fire wasn’t only located around the rim of the Pacific Ocean, there was one hidden deep within my own heart, silently existing below the surface.
Fault lines, volcanoes, shifting tectonic plates, fears all waiting to bring destruction and pain into my life.
Already they were making me sick.
“To live for anything else but God leads to breakdown and decay.” Tim Keller
Join me here next week, where I’m sharing some of my not-so-innocent fears + what we can do to get healthy and free!