I feel it first in the hollow of my throat. My airway grows thick. My skin feels too tight. My body turns heavy like someone twisted the dial up on gravity. I can no longer reason through a simple thought. With choking despair I acknowledge the appearance of panic. Like a wounded animal I do best to run away from the hunter. I force myself to stand up, to haul a fresh load of laundry into the machine, to find some television to drown myself in. I just need to stop the panic and hide the fear somewhere where I can’t find it.
In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her.
They’re old demons hunting me. It’s fear of failure, fear that I am worthless. The fear makes me sick and my peace, my focus, my reason, hemorrhages out in steady flow. I watch my calling [my writing] lay untouched, wasted, shriveled into insignificance.
She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”
I’d reached for God many times before. The only difference this time, I was honest. Not clean, just honest. I spoke out my fear, my anger, my worry, my sadness, my confusion, and God met me. And I was changed.
When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.” Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”
This time, the fear only lasted for seven hours. But not to far in my distant past, I’d lose whole months.
When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.
Often, when I pursue my calling, which for me is writing, I find the old hellhounds of my past rush in. When I write, I am most vulnerable. But every time I forget my pride and I open myself up to God, he turns me towards my fear and we face it together. I am no longer the same broken women from the past. And while the past wishes to pull me back, I find the present and the future a much better alternative. And my calling has finally begun to take on a life of its own, just as it always should have.
Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!” [All text in italics is from Luke 8:43-47 The Message]
So many times I linger around God, but never break the barrier of my pride, fear, anger, ect. and actually try to touch him. Have you broken through to touch God? How has your calling changed as a result? Is there something holding you back? Speak it out!