I'm not really sure how far I've come in this area.
One would think that by now I would have conquered my fears and that my heart would be solidly planted in faith and trust in the LORD. I can say that most of my childhood fears, I have healed from. But there are some that remain, and have even grown immensely...especially now that I am the parent of teenagers and young adults. I thought once my kids got to be these ages, the worries and fears for them would lessen. Sure, teens have issues, but OUR kids would be so loved and grounded and raised in faith that they would soar above all the sticky, messy things that their peers would experience.
The white picket fence that my mind has always framed around my dreams for our children has some mending to be done. Or actually, maybe I just need to tear that fence down. It's not reality. Not for our children, and not for most I suppose.
Life is messy.
Life is complicated.
Life is painful, sometimes brutally so.
And strongholds are strong. So very strong. My stronghold of fear has thick roots that go deep, gripping my soul so tightly that it suffocates me at times and I literally feel like I can't breathe.
I have been walking in a state of fear for weeks, months even, because of things our kids have been going through. Each, their own individual struggles, none of which are that unusual for their stages in life, but nonetheless they are difficult and my mama heart can't take it sometimes to see them struggle so. I want so desperately to fix it...not to swoop in and make it all better (well, yea, sometimes that), but more importantly I want them to go to the One who can make sense of their situations and their lives, provide guidance and direction and a life of joy, even amidst heartache. I want them to go to the One who forgives, redeems, restores, and makes all things new.
And I want them to go there NOW! GO DIRECTLY THERE NOW! DO NOT PASS GO! DO NOT COLLECT $200!
As I so often have done in my life, we tend to take detours. We think our own way is better, or we just don't think about it that much at all. We just take the road that, to us, looks faster and smoother but in reality is filled with potholes and road kill and much rougher terrain than the one God would lead us on. And it often doesn't get us where we truly want to be...which is where God wants to bring us...the place where he provides healing and restoration, renewal and hope.
We often don't follow that path because we don't always believe that it leads to those wonderful places. The path He wants to take us down doesn't look easy, and in reality it's not. Sometimes it is harder. It's harder to forgive than to stay angry. It's harder to let go of the wheel and give up control. It's harder to give up something or someone in our life that we desperately want, than to give into our emotions for temporary happiness. It's harder to allow God to dig deep and pull things out at the roots than it is to just mow off the surface and continue on. We can't see the end of the road, so we don't trust the Guide.
How come everything always leads back to this one thing...?
Maybe because the opposite of fear is trust. And trust is something God is consistently and deliberately and intently working on teaching me to do. He is relentless. All the tests I've failed when it comes to trusting Him, and he still doesn't give up on me.
I don't know why that should surprise me. I will never, ever give up on our kids. No matter how many struggles they go through, how many detours they take, or how far they sometimes push us away, I will be relentless at pursuing them and doing my best to point them to our Savior.
And God loves them more, even more than their fathers and I do, and He will never, ever give up on them. Just that thought makes me take a deep, cleansing breath as I am reminded that He truly is in control. He can see down the paths we are on, knows all the obstacles, detours and dangers ahead, and even when we don't follow Him, He never leaves us.
Learning to trust. I think I've just taken another step.