You may not know it from the outside.
But looks can be deceiving.
My exterior might exude confidence and my face might radiate joy, both of which are authentic and indicative of my innate personality. But they don’t tell the whole story. The inside story of what so often goes on in my heart and soul, particularly as of late.
It seems that as God gets ready to do a new work, He tends to work with old stuff. Stuff that’s been ignored or misunderstood or far beneath the surface for far too long. There is a stirring and an exposing and a ripping that goes on to remove what stands in the way of the next great thing. As with any birthing experience, there is pain and blood and guts. Fierce labor. Gut wrenching cries.
But there is hope in that pain. A knowledge that on the other side of the “ring of fire” there is new life. Fresh perspective. Unbelievable growth and deeper faith. The pregnancy may be long and the impending birth may feel overdue, but at just the right time the final cry will release that first breath. And the joy will instantly and amazingly outweigh any almost forgotten pain.
I’m on a journey out of fear. A place that I’ve lived for virtually all my life in one way or another. A womb of darkness that I’ve inhabited for much longer than any live being should. This “birth canal” is tight and painful and intense. These pre-birth tears have been silent from the outside, but have sounded like screams in my own ears. But in this last phase before entry into a new world, I can see the light at the end of this snug tunnel. Glimpses of what that world might look like. Sound bytes from the music that plays there.
And so I will continue to push forward and out. Trading the old, mocking voices and their lies for the tender voice of One. The voice of TRUTH. The voice of LOVE. That perfect love that doesn’t allow fear to enter the room. God’s word tells me that His perfect love “casts out fear”. Throws it out. Doesn’t put up with it. Takes it down. Like a bouncer extracts a ruthless patron. Gone.
That’s what I want. That’s where I want to live. In the continual presence of that kind of Love. That kind of Truth. Where the music of those two plays so loudly in my ear that all of fear’s lies are drowned out completely. That all I can see of fear is its bobbing head going down for the third time, choking for lack of oxygen. Its every breath failing, it’s once-gripping hands flailing in its losing battle.
I am documenting this journey not because I think you should be concerned with my journey, but because I’m certain that I’m not the only one whom God wants release from fear.
Your fear may not look like mine. It may have its own branding, its own style. But every version of it is ugly, defeating and paralyzing. Whether it’s fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of loss, fear of commitment or any fear in between, fear is fatal to our well-being.
Let’s be done with it. Let’s journey our way out of it and discover life at the end of that tunnel. Let’s not be afraid to face it head on and deal with it with the two weapons that will guide us out – God’s truth and love.
Because, as FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
John 10:10 – The thief (Satan and his lies of fear) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
1 John 4:8 – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…
Psalm 23:4 – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me…
Romans 8:31-39 –
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.