Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Confession: I Am Afraid


I am reading Believing God, a spirit-stimulating book in which Beth Moore encourages us to step out into the deep and get real with our relationship with our Creator. With five simple phrases, she gives us the tools to begin the process of taking God at His Word and believing it to the exclusion of all else.

Sunday morning on my way to church, I was reading her treatment of the fourth statement--"I can do all things through Christ"--and its connection to fear. And as she discussed some of her fears and how God worked with her to overcome them, my eyes began tearing up. I wanted to dismiss the reaction as acute empathy for her plight, but the more she exposed herself, the more emotional I became.

I closed my Kindle and asked, "Why are you being this way? You're not afraid."


But my heart answered, "Yes, I am. I am afraid." And in that moment, the truth spilled out.

I am afraid. Afraid to succeed, afraid to fail, to get "success" wrong. To disappoint God, to gain the world and lose my soul, to miss the mark He set in favor of an alternate of my own choosing.

My entire life, I've heard uplifting messages about how God often uses unlikely people, the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. That the lower you've sunk, the higher God can raise you. I've heard talk of David the Adulterer, Moses the Murderer, Peter the Hot-Headed, and so forth, this hall of heroes lauded as proof that no matter what you've done, who you've been, or what has happened to you, God can use you to do amazing things, the likes of which you've never dreamed.

And that's great to hear if that's your backstory.

But what about someone like me? Someone who has always been aware of the divine Hand over her life? Someone who has never murdered or been molested, who never did drugs or a stint in prison? Someone who had a beautiful childhood, was reared by doting, God-fearing Christian parents, and was generally well-loved by everyone in her life?

What about the girl who has more natural talents than she knows what to do with? The girl who excelled in every scholastic subject but art and biology, whose left and right brain worked with equal panache? The girl who quite easily could succeed in any number of fields and vocations and needs only to pick one?

One might think that girl would have no trouble believing God could use her, that her future is brightly adorned with His grace, direction, and glory.

One would be wrong.

The story of my internal monologue.
Despite my gifts and imaginative vision, my life has been plagued by insecurity, uncertainty, perfectionism, and fear. Soul-crushing, debilitating fear which usually devolves into life-halting depressions rendering me unable and unwilling to participate in my own life. Fear which answers nothing but invites the sort of questions designed to keep one wondering.

I mean, if God were going to use me, would He not have done so by now? Wouldn't my visions for my future be more "spiritual"? Wouldn't my path resemble something I've seen before and be both logical and intelligible? Wouldn't I have escaped the feeling of being adrift in the wilderness by now?

If I'm doing this God's way? No, not at all.

At this point, I am pretty sure the persistent numbness and tingling I've experienced since November is rooted in fear and anxiety, the above fears and others I've yet to unearth have grown strong enough to manifest in my body. Though that reality is a bit troubling, I feel as if I am turning a corner of understanding, that I am starting to see the way out.

See, God cannot work through fear; He cannot move in the face of anxiety. So it is time for me to get out of His way and let Him deal with these persistent, internalized lies I've been carrying. It is time for me to embrace Him and release my future to His care, trusting Him with all of it. As Beth Moore explains, I do not have to fear failing God because God will never fail me.

And I think I'm ready to start believing that.

No comments:

Post a Comment