So our first “40” time period, the season of Lent, came to a close yesterday, culminating in a joyous celebration of the Resurrection. I wish that I had paid more attention in terms of writing my experiences during this 40 day journey. However, I will take a moment now to process my thoughts and feelings about the weeks previous and the insight I gained.
So over the last 40 days I’ve been really looking at my fear. Why am I afraid? What kinds of things am I afraid of and what is its effect on my daily life? How does fear change me? Are my relationships affected by my fears? These have been difficult questions, but I’m grateful for the continued process of really becoming aware of who I am in Christ and that unhealthy fear doesn’t have a place in the heart and life of a Christ follower.
Please hear me say that I haven’t magically conquered fear. Hear me say also that 40 days isn’t a fix-all and that I wake up each day ready to face this world and completely abandoned in my trust of Jesus. I’m a work in progress. The beauty of reading in Luke (our LIFE group study) has been really focusing on the life, ministry and work of Jesus. Doing this has allowed me to release the focus on myself. Eternity is real. The kingdom of God is real (on this earth AND in heaven). Jesus’ ransom for my sins is real. He truly overcame death, hell and the grave for me!
I love all of the parables in Luke. I love all of the detail. I love how many times Jesus heals in this Gospel. People encounter Jesus and are never the same again. I love how Jesus recognizes the seed of faith in people and draws it out of them so passionately yet gently. Accounts of deep faith encourage, inspire and challenge me. Am I pursuing Jesus so passionately? Do I value his presence in my life more than anything? Am I willing to go to any length for healing, salvation, restoration? Do I believe the words of Jesus?
These past 40 days have been filled with lots of stress, pain, heart ache, sorrow, guilt, shame, and fear. My oldest son is on an extended “vacation” across the country and I miss him tremendously. Our financial situation is…well different. Change abounds and I’m having difficulty RESTING in it all. Things aren’t adding up and I’m stuck in so many areas of my life (including weight loss), but I’m not without hope. I’m learning that HOPE is what I have for eternity. Hope is not just a word, it’s a PERSON.
Fear has been an uncomfortable yet ironically secure companion of mine for FAR too long. I cope with fear, but desire faith. I function out of anxiety, but LONG for freedom. I’m a paradox and I can’t live this way much longer. I know it grieves the heart of God and it is taking its toll on me in every way possible. Fear is a four letter word and it’s one that I want to release from my vocabulary.
Writing always helps. Thanks for letting me share. Keep loving. Keep laughing. Keep living and learning. I’m going to keep walking in faith and running towards freedom from fear.