I feel like the last six months of my life have been hammering home the message to not fear. God’s been teaching me this lesson for years now, but He’s actually starting to expect me to walk in the Light of this teaching, lol. So that’s why you’ve gotten so much maundering on about it. It’s not so much proper fear as it is the day to day small anxieties that I’ve noticed are just totally pointless. God’s got this!
*If* I am doing what He wants me to do (more-or-less) and working to glorify Him and obey Him, then what happens in my life is His will and I shouldn’t stress out about it. Everything from traffic lights to projects will work together for good. (Not, sometimes, momentary pleasure on my part – I mean “good” in the long-term sense). I’ll learn a lesson, get what needs to get done, done… and it will be good.
I have wasted a lot of my life worrying about what “They” will think of me. Of what I do, what I say, the way I live my life. Yeah, I got burned by “them” back in the day… so what? People sometimes hurt you, it’s not that big a deal in the long term. I am not terribly socially ept, so I am forever doing something to annoy someone – usually with the best of intentions. I like people, and it hurts when they don’t like me back. Choice – shall I stay away from people I don’t know, or should I get out there and *try*? Should I speak my mind or talk only about the weather?
I’ve gotten burned more times when my goal was to placate some human or group of humans. When I exit the bounds of acting in love and start acting out of fear-of-man, I get screwed up in a big way. When I do what I know to be right, things go okay. Sometimes relationships break, but I’m basically okay with it – and I’m okay with the gal in the mirror. When I start worrying about what someone is going to think of me, it snowballs and I obsess and then nothing I do becomes about them, it’s all always about me, and how they feel about me. Embracing fear pushes love right out the door! On the contrary, when I do something because I want to love someone around me, I tend to do a pretty decent job of pleasing them, it comes in the bargain.
So I face social fear – and I face day-to-day fear. I’m a small woman and I live in not the safest neighborhood in the world. Eventually you have to make the choice – are you going to hold your head up and smile, or are you going to ball yourself up and scurry away like a hamster? I used to walk my kids to school (back when they went to public school) and our route passed in front of the parole office. Not such a big deal when in full mom mode – but walking past the gentlemen waiting for the bus just outside that door all alone? Not the most comfortable thing to do. We get a lot of homeless walking to and from bus routes on my street. Strange men, walking past my house, all day long. Do I close my blinds and hide, or go on with my life? It’s not like I enjoy weeding anyway…
You know – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being sensible, and when the man who screams at his own arm walks down the street, you go inside. But the rest of the time, fear simply cannot master you, or you find that its mastery spreads like dye in water. I’m not fearless – every time, I have to gather my courage and set my chin and make the choice to be civil. If I were fearless, this essay wouldn’t need to be written!
It’s easy when my husband is at home. I can put my faith in him. Strong arms and swift reactions… I don’t even think of being afraid when he is here. But my husband’s job is not to guard me. It’s so very easy to let someone else do the heavy lifting in life. I’m not advocating being foolish… but total safety doesn’t exist, and fear is a bad master. Take appropriate care, and get on with your life, do what needs to be done. If you put your faith in another human, that human will eventually fail you. Put your faith in God! He will never leave you or forsake you.
Because sometimes you need to write that letter, deal with that strange man in the parking lot, drive through the storm.