Monday, November 9, 2015

beating back fear and breathing in peace

I am getting ready to leave for a women's retreat that I am speaking at.
I will be gone for 5 days and I get to spend time with a dear friend.
I am excited and hopeful about what God is going to do.
I have been looking forward to this weekend for months.

But in the midst of that excitement, there is this thread of palpatating fear
tightening itself like a cord around my heart.

I never like leaving my boys. Both big and little.
Before each trip I kiss their faces and hold them close and feel my mother heart
fluttering in my chest.

I can tend to get lost in the terrible mire of "what if" thinking.

What if something happens to them while I am gone?
What if something happens to Scott?
What if something happens to me?

And then the fears tend to veer to the left -

What if Scott can't help Addison finish his mission report while I am gone...
I am the family authority on could be a 4th grade debacle.

Or what if Will tries one of his parcour moves and needs stitches
(because stitches are a things with him) and I am not there to hold his hand
and press my forehead to his and let him know it will be okay.

What if Jack is involved in some kind of high school friend drama and I
am not there to offer my invaluable (not listened to) advice about life and relationships?

Or what if they all get in an accident on the way home from dropping me off at the airport and
then no one can get a hold of me since I am sipping ginger ale at 30,000 feet?

What if the plane is taken over by terrorists and Jason Bourne is not there to save us
and I have to recall the few karate moves that Scott taught me during college to try
and subdue them?

What if we go down in the mountains in the snow and we are not found for months like the movie
Alive and we have to live off of fir needles and sap until spring...
and that is only if we manage to survive the frostbite?

(maybe I need to cut back on watching high stakes movies.....)

You see, this is what it is to have an overactive imagination...
great for novel writing...
not great for cross country flights.

Then there are the speaking fears.

What if I forget everything I have planned to say?
Or horror of horrors...what if they don't laugh at my funny stories?
Or even worse...what if what I feel the Holy Spirit has directed me to say is not
what these women need to hear?

You can understand why I almost have a nervous breakdown every time I leave.

But this morning I was reading in Psalms and the words have
begun to minister to my frantic mind.

It is always the brightness of truth that beats back fear and anxiety.

So much protection is found in the presence of the One who loves us the most.
So much hope and freedom.
We don't have to be afraid.

He has us tucked under his wings, close to his heart, thrumming with love for us.
All of us. Me. You. Scott. My beautiful boys.
We can rest, warm and safe.
He is shielding us with his great faithfulness.
We are fortified with his grace and mercy.
He as encircled us with the mighty wall of his great strength and wisdom.

We can step outside of the circle of love and live in fear.
Or we can tuck in close, and breathe in peace.
His peace.
It calms the mother's heart.
It soothes the baying fears that clamor in our minds.
It holds us up and hems us in on all sides.

So I am going to put the finishing touches on my talk.
And hold steady.
Listening to the life giving truth of the Word and standing in the golden light of his love.
And tuck on in to that safe place of knowing that the God of the Universe
is holding us all in the center of his palm.
It is a good place to be.


Lindsey Smallwood said...

Me too, friend, everytime. When Chris is late getting home from work, I'm already planning my single-mom life in my head. Love these sweet promises. Wish I could be on that retreat this weekend, you're going to rock it.

susanna said...

Lindsey, oh how I love you. And I love that you get me. Soul sister. I have had a lot of those single mom thoughts myself. :) But I love that you don't stay in that place of fear. You keep on doing your thing, in spite of the craziness of life. You are such a real, authentic, fun friend. I wish you could be at the retreat, too. Thanks so much for your encouragement. I love you.