Sunday, May 29, 2011

Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear

I have always been a person controlled by fear. As a small child growing up, that is how my mom kept me in line. I knew every weird and unusual horror story there ever was. BABY CHOKES TO DEATH ON OWN SOCK!!! CHILD KIDNAPPED FROM OWN FRONT LAWN!!! COUPLE KILLED WHEN PLANE CRASHES INTO THEIR BEDROOM WHILE THEY WERE SLEEPING!!!
Fear has been no stranger to me. In fact, it was almost my friend. I never really had to set goals or desire much....fear kept any form of dreams in check. Go to college??? Too many scary uncertainties. Move away??? Not even a possibility. Travel?? Ha! Are you kidding?? Life for me was very limited...I needed to keep safe and alive....that was the goal. No risks! I was kept in the bondage of fear without any physical chains holding me in place. Only invisible chains of fear could anchor me to a spot indefinitely.
My sister dealt with it all a different way! I don't believe she was as paralyzed by fear as I was, but she was determined that NOTHING was standing in her way! If fear arose in her....she would do the exact thing she was afraid of just to prove she could! She was not about to allow fear to control her. She loves to travel and ride amusement park rides. She goes to scary places and does scary things. She looks fear in the eye and dares it to stop her! Fear shrinks when Jeanne looks it in the eye!
I have tried to face my fears a few times....I absolutely vowed I would walk across the Royal Gorge Bridge.....(until I got there). I could hardly make it to the first pillar and decided it wasn't worth the anxiety it caused me when I really didn't need to walk across it anyway. So I stayed put relaxing on the patio until my family walked across and back.
Why am I writing a blog on fear anyway? I think I want everyone to know that with Jesus Christ in your life...fear just sort of starts to go away and peace comes in it's place. I'm a perfect example of this. My baby steps toward freedom are becoming giant steps.
There have been a few turning points in the right direction for me, but when my friend's daughter died of cancer, I started to heal of my own cancer of fear. I began to see the fragility and briefness of life. And how sad it is to waste even a moment of this precious gift of life in fear. I began setting goals and making plans. I decided that I would step out and do one of the things I had wanted to do for a very long time....go to Branson, Missouri.
Now this may not seem like a very big goal to you....but for me it was pretty huge. There are a lot of fears and worries involved there. Fear of spending money, driving through big Kansas City on the interstate (which I hate), unknown places and planning, being away from home for too long... (sounds dreadfully fearful...doesn't it?) But for me, well it was! And guess what??? I survived quite nicely, I might add. In fact....I had a blast!! So much fun and good times!
Now let me tell you....I had to ride over bridges spanning high flooding water, ride on winding, curvy roads high in the Ozarks, drive at speeds on interstate that I don't like, cramped in the backseat of a car for 15 hours. I faced a gigantic boa constrictor two feet from me in a magician's show, floods and tornadoes. I spent time in a Walmart back hallway when two tornadoes were heading our way. We spent several hours surrounded by tornadoes in Kansas City that were churning their way around us like we were in the eye of a hurricane. And if that isn't enough....I was in a car with a hungry, dieting Jeanne for 17 hours solid (okay..sorry Jeanne).
I guess the point is this......I really wasn't all that afraid during any of it. God's peace is an amazing thing. "Perfect love casteth out fear" and God is when God is your peace there is nothing to fear! The things I was afraid of were all still skulking around me trying to strike fear in my heart....they didn't go away, in fact, they grew worse. Satan is still like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. One of my greatest fears (tornadoes) was the thing he used to try to strike fear in my heart. But...greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world." God provides a peace that passes all understanding. I had viewed what an F5 tornado had just done in Joplin, Missouri...75 miles away....but God placed us in the eye of the storm, safe and sheltered. I think I began to realize that death is the only real thing Satan has to try and put fear in our hearts....but with the Lord as your shepherd....death has no sting! We, as Christians, have no need to fear even death itself...
I don't know that I will ever go sky diving or bungee jumping....but, hey, that Alaskan Cruise is looking better all the time.