My husband John is ridiculously wise and is my biggest cheerleader, praying with and for me regarding this blog. He’s also extremely gracious, so when I asked him to write this guest post while we’re on vacation, he said “Yes.” 🙂
It was a crash course in Fear, the single scariest moment in my adult life. Suspended over the Zambezi River with its crocodiles and the roar of Victoria Falls, my pudgy almost-60 year-old body connected to the bridge by a rope that seemed thinner than yarn. 1-2-3 Jump! Are you crazy?
Bungee jumping was terror for a moment, but there are other fears, fears I’ve gotten so used to that they shape my life. I believe we’re all afraid, experts in fear. While we’re afraid of different things, Fear is not only universal, it has a common impact: Fear STOPS us.
Fear Stops us from:
- Seeking help for a relationship, instead of running away or living in denial or blame
- Sharing our dreams, because then someone else would know of our dissatisfaction AND the insecurity that paralyzes us
- Reaching out to forgive, or asking forgiveness instead of avoiding
- Crying out to God for help, because our fear of change is even bigger than the status quo, and God might actually DO something
Instead of acting, we live with our fear, we live In fear.
I love Henri Nouwen’s image: “we live in the House of Fear, and our fears have power over us, even as we long to live in the House of Love.” I see how we are trapped in the House of Fear, and the lock is on the inside. How to leave the house of fear? Will we ever feel Safe?
But the opposite of Fear is not safety, it’s Trust, another word for Faith. Trusting something stronger than fear that paralyzes. Trust frees us to be vulnerable instead of faking, encourages us to act (even if only a baby step off the ledge). Only Trust can move us toward the House of Love, where Jesus shows that ‘love casts out fear’.
So a young couple share how they are facing their fear to trust God, and uproot their young family to follow a dream. A young man faces his fear of disappointing me, and takes a step in trust to a new future.
And, finally, I jumped (though it may have taken a little push).
If we were sitting over coffee (non-fat white mocha, lite whip) and I shared one of my fears, what would be on the tip of your tongue? What fear do you yearn to be free of, and how long has it been since you’ve cried out, asking God to free you to the House of Love? What might be your first little step?