Wednesday, July 18, 2018

love, fear and the big adventure


























When I was a little girl, life felt wide open. I loved it.
It was a big adventure.
I felt big enough to take it on.
And I wanted in...on all of it.
I mean all of it.

I was an explorer.
A bug catcher.
A wanderer.
An escape artist.
I frequently got lost in stores (and panicked when I couldn't find my mom.)
I was a risk taker.
A rule breaker.
(I was also, on occasion, a bully, a petty thief and a liar, but we'll address those issues later.)

I was a wonder-er.
A talker.
A philosopher.
A poet.
A short story writer.
An illustrator.
A scholar.
I asked a lot of "why" and "how" questions.
It rarely bothered me if I didn't get answers.

I lived life to the full.
I deplored naps.
I was an adventurer.
A chaser of lightening bugs.
A runner who took on all the boys in PE.
And I planned a surprise wedding for the cutest one.
(My plan was to say, "Surprise! We are getting married!" on the day of. I had guts.)

I was a dreamer.

And then fear killed my soul.
And by fear, I mean junior high.
High school wasn't much better.

The adventure got scary.
Decisions were weighty.
Goals were unreachable.
Some of the people I met? Super mean.

Those fear-riddled years re-shaped my understanding of myself.
I took less risks.
I followed the rules.
I stopped catching bugs...because...EW.
I turned inward with my dreams.
I stopped planning surprise weddings. (Scott appreciates this.)
I put limits on my hopes.
I played it safe.
I kept quiet.
I let what others thought of me...tell me who I was.

Life closed in on me.
I grew up.

And I got small.

Smaller hopes.
Smaller dreams.
Smaller me.

I had cracked the door open to fear and doubt.
And I got scared.

Fear.
Such a small word. Such an enormous impact.

Fear balls us up in the corner.
It cramps our style.
It cripples our hearts.
It gets us alone with our thoughts and leaves us there.

This is what I have found in my dealings with fear....
Fear will take up any and all space that you give it in your life.
It will fill up the fissures of your heart.
It will occupy the nooks and crannies of your thoughts.
It will overflow every area of your body, soul and spirit...if you let it.

I know this because I have lived it.
It is not great.

But here is what I have also found....so will love.

So will Jesus.

When you crack open the door to Jesus and His love?
It is a different story.

Because He....is fear-less.

He is the Joy Whisperer. The Life Bringer. The Mercy Giver. The Heart Healer.

Jesus is the One who can throw open the door to my life and...yours...and fill us with light.
It is His presence alone...His love...that shatters fear.

Love.
Such a small word. Such an enormous impact.

The more we throw ourselves into Him and His love...we have fear on the run.
The more He occupies the fissures in our hearts and nooks and crannies of our thoughts....
the more life seems wide open.
I think this is mostly because....we are not alone.

His light and love are constantly breaking off chunks of our fear and chucking them into eternity.
He is constantly shooting stars of hope and beams of endless grace into our darkness.
The darkness can't stand Him. He is the Bright and Morning Star.

His words calm the chatter of anxiety and regret.
His power emboldens the faint of heart and gives strength to the weary.
His voice thunders across the universe, shouting down the years at us,

"Don't be afraid! Do you hear me? I AM RIGHT HERE!"

Jesus is the Savior Who flings open cell doors and sets the captives free.
Every. Single. Captive.

He is the Debt Payer Who pays for our biggest mistakes
and the Redeemer Who turns our worst downfalls into our best victories.
He is the Breath of Heaven Who gives us wings to soar and songs to sing.

He restores our crushed hopes and He heals our deepest wounds.

He backhands fear and conquers death.

He is peace and gentleness
and justice and hope and mercy
and grace and goodness and forgiveness...
all wrapped into One.

He is The Way. The Truth. The Life.
The Big Adventure.
And I want in...on all of it.
Don't you?

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