31 Days: Fear

No Fear in Love: 31 Days

There is no fear

Sometimes, like Scout and Jem at the beginning of To Kill A Mockingbird, I get in an argument with myself about where this story begins.

Everything started last October. When we came home from Denver and the little ones were sick. That’s when I became afraid (with the silly fear of mothers) that life would never be the same again. I’d spend the rest of my days cleaning up from the relentless stomach virus. After all, that lasted until Thanksgiving and the real nightmare began.

Then I think past that and I remember my husband’s heart scare. I remember the difficulties of the year before when our youngest and only son was born. The year I stepped out of my classroom role and into full-time mom and thought my world had ended.

Then, then, I think long past that. Back to earlier days when our most pressing concern was choosing between the cafeteria and the cafe before play rehearsal, when we could stay up way past midnight eating hash browns at Waffle House and studying for my Spanish exam, when my first inklings of fear were doused by the words I ran across one night after we’d been dating several months and people began asking just where this might be going.

We sat in my car outside his dorm. Dark night. Cloudy probably, because I don’t remember the stars and Berry College is known for beautiful skies. He’d told me he loved me months before. We didn’t talk about the future as senior year scuttled forward and Christmas loomed on the horizon. My plans to teach somewhere, maybe even as far off as New York where my friends told me I’d be eaten alive by the public school system, no longer seemed my own.

The terror of making a decision not knowing what he was thinking, not knowing if he wanted to be a part of that, twisted deep in my gut. And then–

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.

1 John 4:18

Love drives out fear. A verse I’d stumbled across during church that morning when I was listening for the Lord instead of the sermon.

We sat in my car and he held my hand and ran his thumb over mine in what would become so familiar and trademark gesture that later, I would use that move when writing a love story. Because I knew then, this man loved me with no fear for what may come.

The tighter he held my hand, the more I could trust this unknown future.

Love casts out fear.

A promise I have clung to through thirteen years of marriage, four boisterous kids, and more than one terrifying experience.

This is the beginning of my story.

This post is part of the 31 Days challenge. Read all my posts here or subscribe to this blog (there’s a button under my picture over there). I’m writing 31 days on one topic, but don’t expect 31 posts. Because did you see the line about four kids? And how I write over here too

31 Days: Fear

When Fear Chokes: 31 Days

Untitled designLast night, my daughter choked on a lifesaver.

Clumped in a crowded school hallway in the midst of the annual fall festival, while I wrangled her and her brother and her daddy wrangled the fishing line at the kindergarten booth, she screamed and gasped and retched. And I had no idea what to do.

I had no idea what was happening. She could breathe–because lifesavers have holes, hence their name–but when she bent over and heaved and her face turned purple with the effort, my heart crippled with the fear.

Then up came that little red circle of obstruction (along with her dinner). She cried. I cried. We got her some water and a quiet place and within half an hour, she was running around the cake walk with her best friend and eating cotton candy.

I, on the other hand, sat watching her and shaking. The ripplings of fear still worked their way from my soul.


 

We sing the song in church,. “You are peace, you are peace, when my fear is crippling.”  And for a long time, I couldn’t work the words past the lump in my throat and the vice around my heart.

Fear has lodged itself deep, deep into my being and learning to trust, learning to believe, learning to loosen its grip is my everyday struggle.

There are times when I choke daily on my own fears.

Of failure. Inadequacy. Inauthenticity. Being unloved. Being unwanted. Being unequipped. Of the unexpected and of the unknown.

But when the Lord gives the promise–like he gave Moses as the Israelites wandered the desert–he tells us not to fear.

See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 1:21

He gave the Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey. But it was a a land full of giants and walled cities.

So they remained trapped by their fear for forty long years.

Maybe some fears are like that lifesaver with a hole for precious breath and a lesson of patience. Some fears do, indeed, keep us safe.

But, I’m thirty-five years old. I have a beautiful life full of promise. A life I no longer want to be crippled and trapped by the fear that if I trust, I might lose everything.

Because if I don’t live the life I’m given, I’ve already lost.

And fear wins.

What do you fear? What are you looking for in reading this 31 days series?

31 Days: Fear

31 Days: When Fear is Crippling

Y’all. I did it.

Welcome to my new site. It’s not as pretty as the old one (yet!) but in the last twenty-four hours I faced one of my little fears–

HOLD ON-3

if I move my blog myself, I’ll break it.

I didn’t. It didn’t. At least I don’t think so–everything working for you?

Sometimes we just have to take the plunge and draw the breath and trust our gut. Even when it’s something as small as taking a site from Blogger to WordPress.

Today is the first day of October. 2015. Life goes by in a crazy blur sometimes.  One year ago I had no idea how afraid I could really be.

Then my beautiful daughter developed an unexplainable neurological condition that may not have a recovery.

For the next 31 days, as I acclimate myself to this new site and new brand–I don’t just write the randomness of motherhood anymore–I’ll share our story.

Some of you know it. Some of you don’t. My prayer is that you’ll follow along, chime in on the conversation, and walk with me through the valley of shadow.

When Fear is Crippling: A 31 Days Series

When Fear Chokes (my daughter chokes on a lifesaver but I’m the ones strangled)

No Fear in Love (why I’m never afraid with him)

Because Failure is What I Fear Most (on writing and terror)

When Fear Eats Holes in Your Soul (we had mice and my faith fabric ripped)

Sticks and Stones and Fearing People (facing confrontation and speaking truth)