Fear is a Terrible Driver

It’s been a hard year. It seems like we’ve all said that so many times now, it’s become an anecdote. The reasons for its sting are different for everyone. I wish for me, it were simply the work of a pandemic and its’ resulting madness, but it’s been so much more than that. The darkness of all the broken parts of my story threatened to undo all of me, everything I’ve built, and the woman I’ve become. I am so grateful for the light I’ve found in spite of it, that lifts me.

The hand of God still reaches for me. His fingers lightly nudging the stony parts of my heart until it beats again with softness. I am slowly ambling my way out of the deep into the deeper, truer, reasonableness that is faith.

I read a quote this morning from Ann Voskamp, “He who is driven by fear delays the comfort of God.” I can see it so clearly now. I lost sight of truth for a time…of all the wonder and goodness. I let fear take the wheel and drive. It drove me in circles in a vacuum of sorts. I was unable to find the air that fear had stolen from me. I gave it away. I was just along for the ride until I remembered it’s my car and took back the keys.

Now the comforter is near, wrapping me up once again. He never left but I had kicked Him off when the room got too hot. I forgot that He alone is enough. Isn’t remembering the things we too often forget, one of the greatest things in life?

The hard stuff can either make us hard or draw us to Him. Choose wisely and don’t let fear anywhere near your car.

The Light

When the light turns on, the darkness becomes inconsequential. The glory appears in the brilliance of the light. It’s all in your perspective.

I confess, I’ve been lost in the shadows for awhile. I can’t explain why I let the light hide. I can’t explain why I couldn’t find it, but I lost track of it somehow. I let my pen fall silent. The same pen, I’ve so often prayed to “be a pen in the hand of a ready writer”, as the Psalmist says (Psalm 45:1), I tucked away deep inside of myself. I soaked it in tears. I allowed my story to become a side plot in someone else’s book.

I don’t expect you to understand. I don’t know that we ever really possess that capability. We’re all walking through our journeys with different points of reference, different experiences, different packs strapped to our backs carrying the remnants of yesterday’s climb. That’s where empathy comes in. When our understanding falters, we can choose to hear. We can choose to dig deep with compassion and find the eternal spark in each other. The humanity veiling divine destiny in another person can lead us to love deeply even when we don’t get it. But I digress.

I feel like I’ve, too often, used the phrase, “It’s been a hard season.” It’s a great Christian cliché to hide behind. Mainly, because this time, I’m sick of it. I don’t want to say it all again. I don’t want to admit that I’ve been wandering around in the desert for forty years in the same shoes. Now I’m realizing that maybe I needed the desert to find the sun.

If the eye is the lamp of the body (Matthew 6:22) and Jesus is the light of the world (John 8:12), and He lives in me, shouldn’t I be seeing things through His perspective and not my own limited one? Shouldn’t I be shining the same light to others instead of closing my eyes tight and thinking if I don’t look, maybe it will all disappear? Shouldn’t I be holding my head high in the middle of the struggles, knowing that He’s got me?

Maybe I can stand again, pull up my socks, lace up my boots, and continue walking. Maybe I need to stop and rest and breathe in the moments that make me human. Maybe I need to trust. I am surrounded by light.

So I throw these words into the air defying the silence. They may not mean anything to you, but to me, they mean I’m alive. To me, they mean I’m done wandering. To me they mean, I will fight for myself, strengthened in weakness, until I become who I really am. To me, that’s enough.