“I have a word for you,” she said, looking up at me with her hopeful eyes. “FEARLESS!”
Fearless. Just the sound of it rolling off her tongue produced anxiety within me.
What a word to live up to.
How wonderful that she saw me this way; yet,
how terrible that it wasn’t true at all.
At least, I didn’t FEEL it was.
Ugh…feelings. We all have them, and though they can seem so real, the truth is they just reveal the inconsistencies from what we say we believe and what we actually do.
I felt fear. And with it – doubt, insecurity and anxiety…
Had anyone asked, I would say I was fiiiiiine. The kind of fine that takes twice as long to say because you have to finish convincing yourself it’s true before you can finish the word.
See, I’m the positive one, the bouncy one – the one with all the jokes. I’m the one you come to with YOUR problems, and I’ll gladly take them on if it means a further distraction from my own.
Because if I can help you, it means I’m ok, right?
What I didn’t realize is that deep within me, I’d stopped relying on the One who holds the stars, and started relying instead on my own stardom.
I didn’t want to admit that I was doubting. Because then where would my faith be?
I’ve been shouting from the rooftops how GREAT my God is, and I couldn’t even trust him?
I couldn’t trust that He would provide for me for the upcoming journey to YWAM Jacksonville that He’s called me to. I couldn’t trust that beyond being able to provide for me, He WANTS to provide me – that He’s a good, good Father, who gives generously to his children.
So, I took a second job because “God helps those who help themselves,” (said no Bible verse ever.)
I started comparing myself to my best friend, who I’ve seen the Lord miraculously time and time again provide for, and more importantly, who I’ve seen fall in love with Jesus as she allows Him to lead her season after season.
Like Cain, I took the Lord the work of my own hands and expected Him to look upon it with favor. I looked with disdain upon my sister, envious of her blessing, yet dismissed my own invitation to be blessed.
I was caught in my own self-inflicted cycle of striving – ignoring the voice of my Father just inviting me to rest. But I digress. 😉
I traded vulnerability for transparency in my relationship with her, and let’s just say it did not bring life to our relationship.
As someone who values authenticity above all else in relationship, her reaction to my walls was to walk away, and my pride was happy to see her go.
But thank the Lord (literally) that He is such a God of restoration and redemption in relationship.
I felt betrayed that she chose to leave, and was determined to let her – until another friend reminded me of Jesus’ response to betrayal.
We so often focus on His perfection in being fully God that we forget His vulnerability in also being fully man. He felt every criticism, every slander, every rejection and every betrayal just as much he felt every blow, every thorn and every nail. And while most of us, Lord-willing, will never have to suffer the same physical death as our Savior, we often face everyday the same emotional affliction.
The question is…how will we respond?
Will we still to choose to love, like He did? Will we still choose surrender, like He did? Will we still choose death – to our egos, our pride, to “being right” – like He did?
He didn’t die so we could be right – He died so we could be righteous, and He never said this life would be fair.
So after many, many tears…I reached out to my best friend, and I finally opened up my heart. And once I did, I felt such a wave a freedom.
I confessed my full, ugly mess – my fear, my doubt, my insecurity and my anxiety. And what I received in return –
GRACE. MERCY. HOPE.
and LOVE. Sooooooooo much gooey, gushy LOOOOOOOOVE.
And I learned something so valuable.
My lack of trust doesn’t make my God any less trustworthy, and my battle with doubt doesn’t Him any less faithful. It just gives Him another opportunity to shower me in grace and show me how deep and how wide His love is for me.
This walk isn’t about being perfect. It’s not about being strong.
It’s about boasting in our weakness and always finding home in the place of sweet, sweet surrender.
P.S. This picture has an awesome testimony: Read it HERE.