It seems the older I get, the more God proves his unfailing love for me...and the more fearful I become.
Why is that?
Is it because now that I'm a grown-up with a family and responsibilities I see that I have more to lose? Is it because we are now in a situation where literally ALL of our dependence is on him (as if it somehow wasn't before?) Is it because I forget over and over how he has never, ever left us?
Maybe. But I think it's also because somehow I am still trying to earn God's love. I'm still trying to work for mercy. I'm still trying to prove that I'm worthy, when we all know I'm not. And no matter what I do, I never will be. None of us will. And that's the thing about gifts. They're freely given without expectation of anything in return.
Because people often let us down or don't live up to their word or fail to believe the best about us...because that is the standard by which I measure, I expect the same from God.
And often, we live our lives reacting to our emotions, namely, to our fear.
For instance, about a month after Adam lost his job I read online that there was a company looking to hire. The great thing about being married is that you can help each other, and I surely didn't expect Adam to figure everything out for our family without me. I have a degree. I have experience. I can do this job.
And honestly, with the timing, it felt like God. I thought, "Of course this is what I'm supposed to do."
So I applied. And I got the job. And I started working at the same time God was calling us to start a business. And after not so many weeks, my sister said to me, "Did you get that job because God told you to or because you were afraid?"
And in that moment, I knew. Fear sent me out looking for a job because I didn't believe God could or would take care of us. Because I don't deserve it. Because who are we to expect his favor?
I have a problem receiving gifts. Can you tell?
Now, I was trying to work this wonderful job with these brilliant people while also trying to hear God's direction and figure out the massive amount of unknowns required to start your own business. Eventually, I came to the hard realization that I had to walk away from a good thing (again) because God had something better. But since I didn't have it all figured out, I walked away much later than I should have and made the whole situation harder for myself. And probably everyone else.
That's what fear does. It wastes your time.
Several months later, I started thinking I should do something at home like sell Nerium or Usana or get in to one of those business that I KNOW I would be terrible at. Because I know it works for people. The key is... it works for other people. Not for me. It's not in my nature to be good at a business like that and I know it. At least this time, I took time to pray about it and you know what words came rushing back at me like a tsunami of a reminder of how small my faith is....?
You really don't think I can bless your business, do you?
And that's fear. And it grips me and it squeezes and it nearly cuts off my air supply and I let it win every. single. time. And every time I get anxious, I get mean and cranky and on edge. Worried about what people think or say when I know the truth.
And what's true is all that matters.
I know my heart. I know my motivations. I know my desire to please God. I know my passion. I know my dreams. I know my imperfections (there are many). I know my shortcomings.
But I do not know the future. And fearing it won't keep it from happening. It will only make me enjoy the journey so much less.
Here's the thing.
You can't please everyone all the time. And in all my rushing to try, God gently reminds me over and over where my eyes need to be fixed. Who am I trying to win over?
And why do I try so hard when HIS is the only opinion that matters?
Fear is a sneaky devil. And anytime you start to head down the path God's put you on, you can expect it to attack when you least expect it. But here's the rub. You don't have to let it win. You get to decide how great a hold it has on you.
And as for me, I'm laying it down. Because frankly, it's getting too heavy to carry anymore.