I’m not proud of it, but there is no way I can begin to write a post with this title and not come clean. So here it is, front and center: fear, in many ways, has always been my friend. At least you’d think it was my friend the way I’ve doggedly clung to it in the past.
This phenomenon was especially true during my childhood. A particularly fearful child, I was the girl with the orange bubble strapped to her back, clinging to the side of the pool for the entire Fourth of July party, simply too scared to let go. And those common, everyday scrapes? Forget it! I was running to my mom for assurances that I was up-to-date on my tetanus shot and that my wound was properly cleaned (at least three times) with hydrogen peroxide. Or that sudden pain in my belly? Though likely a gas bubble, I would lie awake in bed, monitoring my stomach for more disobedient bubbles, anticipating an operating room visit by midnight, my appendix ripped from my body by morning.
My fears led to many stresses as I grew—often changing to worries over my future instead of fears of death. In high school, I suffered a grand mal seizure, a direct result of fear and anxiety and the intense pressure I put on myself. After this, I began to recognize God’s Spirit calling me to Himself. It was a long journey, but I couldn’t deny the inner peace He started to give me as—in baby steps—I began to trust Him.
I still can’t pretend I do this perfectly. Because the fact of the matter is that, living in Jesus’ Kingdom while still very much living in a fallen world, we will be tripped up with anxiety now and again. For those times, let’s put our focus on the truths we know. Here are five that help me, and that I continue to explore through the journeys of the characters in my novels:
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Serrah Galos