Thursday, February 23, 2012

Just Don't Be Afraid

I had this dream once upon a time that life wasn’t going to be scary.
When I was little, I used to lay awake at night and whisper to myself:
“Just don’t be afraid.”
Over and over these were the words that stuck with me when I was all alone on the top floor of my house, or when it was really dark and really late at night, or when I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night.
Just don’t be afraid.
Somehow, even at the ripe old age of 5, I knew that life was going to be terrifying. 
I knew that bad things would happen to good people.
I knew that just because my parents loved me and wanted to protect me, didn’t mean they could.
Life is scary.
That is a fact.
I’m now 25 years old. 
And just last night, I was lying awake in my bed, trying to go to sleep and just kept whispering to myself.... 

Just don’t be afraid.
That seems like such a simple concept. 
Yet this world, this life, is scary.
When I was little, I was scared someone was going to snatch me from my room.
I couldn’t articulate this at all to my parents, and its something we frequently laugh about today.

wasn't scared of monsters, or “bad guys”. No, I was afraid of the man who broke out of prison--that he was going to somehow pick our house to rob and take me from my bed at night.
No wonder I’m scared of everything these days. 

Satan started early with me.
But now.. on top of the real life scary moments that we have to deal with.. we also deal with fear of life... fear of failure.. fear of loneliness and tragedy and loss and insecurity. 
Name it. Guaranteed someone, somewhere has been afraid of it.
And this is the part where I write the turning point.
The “so what do we do with fear”.
And to tell you the truth... I have no idea.

But here’s what I think.
I think you tell someone.
I think when you have to sleep on your couch because Satan is torturing you with nightmares about losing everyone you love, about being alone, you tell someone. And you pray TOGETHER. And you grow in strength against him. Together.
I think you hide the word in your heart. 
I think when you are gripped and riddled with fear that you are alone, and that God has forgotten you... You post Psalms 147:11 on your mirror in your bathroom, beside your bed, on your front door, on the coffee maker, on your dashboard. You defeat the lie by beating the hell out of it with truth. 
I think you pray. 
I think you get on your knees and you pray that God shows you light in the darkness. I think you ask God to use your darkness to shine light somewhere else. I think you tell God your angry, I think you tell God your scared. I think you be real and you be honest and you let it all out.
I think you get honest with yourself.
I think when you are afraid that life is going to pass you by, you slow down and drink in every.single.second of the day and allow yourself to realize life is a dance. It has different steps and different paces, but its simply beautiful in its most eloquent form. I think you realize that maybe life didn’t turn out the way you hoped it would, but that doesn’t mean that it still can’t be even more than you imagined.
I think you allow the wallow. 
And then I think you move on. 
I think you seek the opportunity. 
I think you look for the good. I think you turn your frown upside down. I think you laugh and enjoy the moments you have. Live life. Let go of what could be, embrace what is. I think you stomp out the scary with the truly remarkable moments of life.
I think you accept that life is life. And its going to happen.
You can’t prevent everything. But you can trust God.
One more time.. You can trust God.
I think you let others help you, seek community and company, seek God, and seek light and love.
It’s not easy. 
I’m the girl who is scared of everything. And I have been since I was 5. 
But I think you can do it. 

I think its the only way to stop Satan and shine a little light in the those dark corners of our lives that we think no one sees or understands. 
And I think it will help.
You and others.
Just don’t be afraid. 

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

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