"Learning to trust takes risking -- following God in the face of our fear."
- Christine Caine, Unashamed
If you came face to face with fear, what would you see?
- A mirror
- The Unknown
- Shame, etc.
For each person this list is different, for some it may be shorter and others longer. As humans, we deal with fear. Fear has been my suitcase since before I can remember, I have always carried it around, and as I've gotten older, it's become heavier. As a kid that suitcase was filled with fears like snakes, spiders, heights, things that I eventually conquered and was able to remove from my suitcase and leave on the baggage claim. It seems however, as I dumped one, I gained two. This isn't uncommon for myself or even you too for that matter, but fear is something we all deal with.
This summer has been one of the hardest most excruciating few months I have ever lived. I couldn't even begin to explain the pain, heartache, shame, confusion, disappointment, and especially fear that I lived in. It's that kind of pain that you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. But I can sit here and write to you without tears pouring from my eyes and tell you God is good and God is faithful. It's taken me a long time to get to a place I'm in right now, and I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the people God has placed throughout my life at specific times. I want to say a quick thank you to everyone that has and continues to walk with me through these times, I may never be able to fully explain what you mean to me, but know I will never be able to thank you enough.
A few weeks ago I was talking with a dear friend of mine, I had been wanting to purchase A Giving Key but couldn't think of a word, so I asked her what she thought I should get. One of the things I really love about this friend is that she never actually responds with an answer but another question. She just says, "well what do you need to embrace during this season?" That one simple question had me spinning for about a week. This season is chaotic, but I didn't want to put peace, rest, dream, fear or any other typical words, I wanted to get creative this time around. When I looked back through the pages of this season, I realized I was living in a fantasy. I wanted things to be perfect, heck I thought things were "perfect". But this idea of perfection quickly led into a stagnant faith, things were so good I felt I didn't really need to be seeking God more or talking about life issues more. Then the bridge came tumbling down and I stepped back into the shoes called fear and feared that if things stopped being "perfect", I would go back to chaos. I feared risking anything that could damage what I had going, and thing that could possibly bring my back to the depths of shame. It was during that time of processing, that I discovered the word I needed to be embracing.
If you knew me a few years ago, you would know that although I liked to be in control, a bit of a perfectionist, and sometimes a bit of a freak, I also loved the thrill of risk. I love to adventure, travel, create, and sometimes do really stupid things for the heck of a good story or photo. But then this thing called senior year happened, I was working almost full time, going to school full-time, leading a ministry, trying to pay rent, and trying to keep relationships alive. It was exhausting and I was exhausted. I packed that thrill of risk into a box and threw it in the closet to avoid damaging anything I had going. Friends, it's time for me to start unboxing risk again. As some of you may know already, I have been applying with a church in the Bay Area called Central Peninsula Church for about a month now and as of a few days ago was offered a full-time job as the Middle School Director. I accepted and begin in exactly one week. For me this is the first step in my new life of risk, I am terrified to be leading a middle school ministry, to be looked up to as a pastor would be and in charge of so many humans. And I will tell you in all honesty, I balled my eyes out the night I got the job offer because of fear and lies the enemy was filling my mind with, because he knows that fear can hold me from doing what God has ultimately offered me. But I am also stoked, I am excited to be back in a place that has meant so much to me in my life, and a place I truly feel called to be in. This job means moving to a city I have never lived in, working with people I have never worked with, and basically starting over. But friends, hitting rock bottom is a great place to start again. One day at a time I am learning to face fear head on, each day I take one more risk towards trusting God and living a reckless faith.
What are you fearing today? What is holding you back from risking your life to follow Jesus faithful and radically?
I would love to hear about what words you need to embrace this season of your life, feel free to comment or shoot me an email, let's chat.
From one human to the next,