“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” C.S.Lewis
All of us know fear, in some form or another. We have felt it at a very young age. My daughter experiences fear sometimes when I walk out of the room or when her older brother Lorenzo surprised her wearing a Sully mask from Monsters Inc. The farthest back memory I have of fear is of shadows and darkness. The gleam of car headlights moving across the dark room ceiling or the dark basement light up like a firecracker for less then a second as lightning strikes outside the small window. My fears grew more and more every year, fear of other kids laughing at me, fear of large bugs, fear of not being good enough at a sport, fear of bad dreams, fear of being kidnapped.
Some fears were born because of a terrifying experience and some fears were created because of imagining what might be. The world gives us a reason to fear. Sometimes fear can be good, its there to protect us. But most of the time, fear will control us and keep up from living as God intended. Pain and sorrow and loss will reveal to you fears you never knew you had.
My three biggest fears right now are:
1. That the loneliness and pain of loosing Chris will not allow me to really live.
2. That truly living and being happy will make me forget.
3. That I will miss what God wants to do with me because I will be too consumed with my own fear.
I have other fears, many. There are always several more when you become a Mom and a single mom at that.
So what do I do with my fear? A response I heard growing up before I experienced any sort of loss or real pain myself is, “give your fear to God and he will take it.” It makes it sound like you can hand it over in one fell swoop and it all disappears. Believe me, I have tried it and it doesn’t disappear.
And then I realized that without fear I wouldn’t have a chance to be brave. The fear doesn’t go away overnight, it shows up day after day after day. But when I let God in and tell him what I am afraid of and tell Him how weak I am, He tells me to ask for His strength so I can be brave, just enough for that very day.
A friend shared something with me a couple days ago. She and her husband went to Israel and they were taught and guided down the same roads Jesus walked. She told me that in Psalms 23 David says that God leads us into green pastures and beside still waters. Its this beautiful picture of thick green grass beside a deep calm lake. And then she said but out in that desert, where David would have been with his sheep there was no meadow or stream. But there were these small little patches of desert grass underneath rocks, and once they were overturned it was just enough grass for the flock of sheep. It was just enough for that day.
A couple months ago I read the Divergent series. I heard from some that ending was horrible so my expectations were low. For me however, the end was the best part of the entire story. I wont give anything away if you haven’t read it but I have to share this quote with you because its how I live right now.
“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.
But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life. That is the sort of bravery I must have now. ”
(From Veronica Roth’s book “Allegiant”)
Its a slow walk and its painful, but I am given just enough to be brave for today.