“The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds.” ~Will Durant
Y’all will just have to excuse me for a minute today. I’m having “a moment”.
SIDEBAR: Hmm, how to describe what “a moment” is. Could be “A-ha” or “Something hit me like a ton of bricks” or “I’m having a minor breakdown” or something along those lines. Basically, it’s a moment in time where I have to think about something for a little longer. Marinate, if you will. (Thanks Lisa). To sit with something and let it really soak in. If you know me in “real life” you’ve heard me use the phrase “I’m having a moment” hundreds of times.
I’m not trying to get all “religious” on you. Frankly, I think people who are “religious” are missing the point. But I have been thinking about something this morning while I was out walking (yes, I am finally getting my ever-enlarging booty moving in the sincere hopes that it will, in fact, begin to shrink.) And you should know, that my faith in God is the core of who I am. I’m not claiming to “know it all”. I’m certainly far from perfect. But I am a Christian. I make no apologies for that. So if y’all are reading this and thinking I’m getting kinda freaky, well that’s okay. Read on or not, but in order to marinate in this, and really get down to the nitty gritty of it for myself, I have to write it.
So I was walking along, podulating (listening to the pod) and I began to really listen to the words of the song that was playing. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. Huge variety of tunes on the pod. Today, I was going with a very cool Christian musician named Jonathan David Helser. He is the son of a man I have known since I was probably 9. His father (a musician and minister) and my father (also a minister–definitely NOT a musician) have, over the years, done ministry together and though I haven’t known Jonny well, I have come to know his music. And now he and my younger brother, who have both gone into the “family business”, along with my older brother, have ministered together from time to time. It’s really kinda cool to have the second generation going. Anyway, so I have Jonny’s album (The Awakening) on the pod and I am walking. God Is Love is the name of the song. Powerful song. Part of the lyrics go like this: “I will live out the dreams You’ve placed in me. Shout down the walls of fear. Nothing is impossible for those who believe that God is love. God is love. God is love. I won’t be afraid. God is love. God is love. Nothing is impossible.”
This got me thinking. Two things.
1. What are the dreams that God has placed in me?
2. What are the fears that I have that keep me from living out those dreams?
We all have dreams. Whether you believe they were placed there by God is up to you. I always wanted to be a wife and a mom. I am thankful that I have been able to do that. And I love being a wife and a mom. That was my dream from the time I was a little girl. Are there other dreams in there? Dreams hidden away? Is there a new dream? I’m thinking on that. Looking back, there are other things that came along when I was younger that I think I chose not to do because I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough to do them. So the fear creeps in. Fear of rejection. Of failure. Of disappointing someone else. Of what others will think. You start believing the lie. And you start building your own personal wall of fear…brick by brick. Then you don’t try those things that come along. You miss awesome opportunities.
Who told me to be afraid? To build the wall? Only me.
I often tell my kids when I see fear taking hold, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” It is easier to give advice than to take it.
I can’t change the missed opportunities of the past, but what I can do, NOW, is recognize that the fear exists and see it for what it is. It is a wall. A wall that keeps you from getting to the dream on the other side. But it is not an impenetrable wall. You can tear it down, just like you built it–brick by brick. But you have to do some work. And you might need some tools, say a crowbar or pick ax. And you might need some help and support. (Think Women of Brewster Place and all those determined women breaking down that wall in the rain together.) So, I’m marinating in all that. Soaking in it and seeing what I think of it all. Do I have more dreams? How will I face the wall of fear and shout it down? Will I let it stay and keep me from some exciting stuff? What am I going to do about it? Here’s what I’m thinking:
If perfect love drives out fear, like the Bible says, and if I believe that God is perfect love and if I believe that God lives in me, then there is no room for both God and fear in my life. Think of it as sort of an equation. Like this: GOD ≠ FEAR.
One of them has to go. And driving God out is not an option.
I’m lettin’ that marinate.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”