Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fear & Loving

I am afraid.

I am afraid of a lot of things. I fear that my sons won't grow up to be happy, healthy, handsome and holy. I fear that they won't grow up at all. I fear accidental deaths. I fear drivers who text. I fear being attacked on a nursing visit. I fear being attacked in my home. I fear falling down the stairs while carrying a child. I fear being in some accident that leaves me maimed for life. I fear mental illness or delayed development in my boys. I fear rape. I fear for my loved ones. I fear miscarriages, chronic illnesses and major surgeries. I am afraid of taking a wrong step, of giving a patient the wrong or insufficient information, and leading to their increased illness or untimely death.

I am afraid.

Now, some of my fears are completely rational. Some of them are silly or unfounded. Many of them are useful for compelling my actions, leading me to take extra precaution or to double-check important things.

Secretly, though, I am afraid of the unknown, and I don't know where my trust has gone.

I used to trust so well.  I remember when Steven and I were dating, and I realized that being so close to someone could lead to major heartache. I realized that I had to trust God that I was supposed to continue, that He would hold me if I stepped out further on the branch.  I had to trust that the branch would hold, but even if it would not, I had to trust that God's hands were big enough to catch me.

I know that I need to let go of my fears; I need to find that place of trust again.  I have been thinking about fears today, after hearing a piece on the radio.  The woman being interviewed, Dawn Eden, is the author of a book for victims of sexual abuse. Now, thank the good Lord in Heaven, I was never in such a situation myself.  One particular statement she made, however, has been sounding a bell in my heart today.

She pointed out that Christ on the cross did not say to those crucifying Him, "I forgive you." Rather, He said, "Father, forgive them." (Luke 23:34)  Father forgive them.  Her point was, that Christ's example wasn't to go directly to those who were crucifying Him and open Himself up to further abuses.  He gave it to God to forgive. Indeed, St. Paul tells us, 
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, 'Vengence is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'" (Romans 12:19 {cross-reference: Leviticus 19:18 & Deuteronomy 32:35})

My fears are preemptive acts of un-forgiveness, walls built up, instead of trust laid down. My creature-ly heart doesn't believe that I can forgive sins against me or my loved ones, doesn't imagine that I could cope with the worst situations I can conjure.

And I am right. I  can do none of that.

My heart remembered today a truth that I had forgotten.  I cannot change what the future holds: there is likely a lot of heartache and trial and rocky-road ahead in my life, but His love is big enough to cover it.  His mercy is great enough to forgive it.  His peace is surpassing enough to smooth it all out.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day. (Matthew 6:34)

No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11)


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