Facing Fear, Facedown

I’ve heard it said that if you have a fear, you should repeat it to yourself over and over. Sometimes when I’m driving, in my head I chant, “I’m afraid of cement trucks. I’m afraid of cement trucks. I’m afraid of cement trucks. I’m afraid of cement trucks?” It’s supposed to make you just think about it so much that you finally arrive at thinking it’s silly or no longer accurate.

It doesn’t work for me. I’m afraid of cement trucks. And passing or being passed by semi-trailers on the interstate, and of driving at night in the rain. Scared of all of them.

But those are very surface level fears. I have more. The deeper inside kind. And the one bugging me most right now – is that I am mistaking the Lord’s leading for my own suggestions. That I’m not hearing His voice. I’m hearing my own. That scares me even more than the cement truck coming at me.

My friend Randy, whose advice I take often told me on IM; Don’t stop listening and acting. If it’s me talking, it won’t work out but if it’s God and you’re obedient, it will always work…Satan will not try to lead you astray by ‘doing right’ (he believes) with one exception and that is if he can keep you so busy that you don’t take time out to hear from God.

That makes good sense to me. I’m distracted by so many things and not taking time out of my day to invest in my relationship with my Maker. The One who has my best interest at heart. Knows me better than anyone. And understands. And yet, still loves me in spite of myself.

Yesterday at our church, the message titled Seasons was by far one of the most important that I could have heard. I was there feeling very guarded. In fact, I know I sat there for a while with my arms crossed. It was quite reminiscent of my teenage years, whether in church or not, when I was feeling quite stubborn among other things. Definitely resisting but in my heart I wanted to hear something so badly.

Our church doesn’t often invite you to come and pray at the front of the church. But yesterday they did. And although every fiber of my being wanted to go, my knees remained locked as the cement floors beneath my feet caught my tears. For me, it’s one thing to go forward and pray. You’re there. You’re in the moment. It’s relevant. It’s on your heart. But the hard part, is getting up and walking back to your seat and then out the door. Because the moment the sun hits your face, life starts happening again and the stuff you ‘left’ at the altar? Its still there and needs to be dealt with. It didn’t automatically just disappear. You still have to address it. And if it doesn’t show its’ face by lunchtime, it may be right there for dinner again. Right? Or can you really leave it and forget it?

I know I have unfinished business to attend to. More to come. Good things. It’s part of the journey. The not always so pretty one. The 3×5 on the canvas. I’m so far from finished…and so grateful I’m not alone. And that it’s okay to ask questions.

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~ by hthr on August 13, 2007.

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