A couple of years ago I lived in Zambia alone. I wouldn’t consider myself a daredevil, but I did a lot of things without ever letting fear rule me. I survived living in a house alone with power outages making everything pitch black, I would sit in busy airports in the middle of the night because of delayed flights, I would drive all over the country. One time I had a lady whip mangoes at my car because I pulled into the wrong driveway. One time my friends and I were surrounded by a mob during an election. One time my friend and I had to book it out of a muddy parking spot that my truck was stuck in because we were being told we owed money (when we didn’t) – I couldn’t get the truck up the little hill, and the wheels were spinning, all the while men where banging on the windows. I somehow got out without running anyone over, and we laughed the whole way home. There were so many other memories, and yes, at times I was afraid for sure – but for the most part, it was an adventure, and I loved it.
But then, I have a baby, and it became the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
My mind has been all over the place lately. So many thoughts, but all jumbled in my head. I feel like I have turned a corner in the past little while. Although life is difficult, I really do feel like I have come to a point of acceptance, and with that new found acceptance I feel a new found peace.
Hope is very close to being a year old, and I have spent the majority of the year living in fear. People tell me all the time that my fear is valid, that our life is hard and no wonder I feel that way – but, I don’t want fear to rule my life. Although I am feeling more accepting of things, fear does creep in. I don’t know if it will ever go away, but I am enjoying the fact that I am not overtaken by it most days.
The Bible talks about a peace that transcends all understanding, and that has been on my mind a lot – because it’s only God who can bring us peace in the midst of a scary situation and broken life. That is peace nothing in this world can bring us – which is why it transcends all understanding. It doesn’t make sense that I should be at peace when our life looks the way it does.
But hold on a second. Before you think I’m some super spiritual person who has figured everything out, let me tell you that I have already spent parts of the night and this morning Googling different “things” that I am afraid Hope has. And being wracked with fear. And feeling like a weight is on my chest, and all I want to do is hide under my covers. “But wait, I thought you turned a corner?” you say.
Maybe picture me crawling around that corner. At turtle speed. But I’m getting there. My biggest thing I have learned is to let my fear push me to God like never before. Yes it sucks to feel afraid and anxious, but I am slowly learning what it means to surrender our situation over and over again. Charles Spurgeon has a quote that I love, and I remembered thinking about it a lot when I was in Zambia when things would bug me or get me down.
I’ve learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.
Now when I think of that quote, it reminds me that the difficult situations that have been put in my life are what push me to God. And without those scary waves, I don’t know if my eyes would be as fixated on Him.
So my question to you is, what is pushing you? Not to have a better life or marriage or job or whatever – all those are good things, but having a relationship with God is better. For me, it is fear. I have to make a conscious effort to stop being afraid – stop googling – stop worrying – and use that time to pray and spend time with God, asking for help and learning more and more about His nature.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit”