living open-handed

IMG_0637Yesterday: I felt strong enough to challenge the big, dark thing creeping behind me, so I wrote—I feel like fear is eating me whole. Why this struggle? Why is this so important?

Today: The panic rose so high I couldn’t breath. I felt thankful for tears that came quick this time. They were the beginning of relief, they opened my soul wide enough to form words to You.  You spoke, as you always do when I lay it all out. Start at the beginning, You tell me. What is true?

God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

I draw lines from power, love, and a sound mind, to their definitions—

power |ˈpou(-ə)r| the ability to do something or act in a particular way…the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events…physical strength and force exerted by something or someone

love |ləv|—I decided the dictionary cannot define it like You, my Great Love, so I recall this definition: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear… 1 John 4:18

sound |sound| in good condition; not damaged, injured, or diseased…competent, reliable, or holding acceptable views

I have a two-handed grip on the throat of my life. The bit between my teeth is clenched so hard they ache and my toes dig into the dirt until my arches explode with pain of muscles unrelieved. I hold on hard to life because I. Am. Afraid.

I never knew it before. I should’ve had a clue every time I gloried in the things that didn’t scare me and laughed when they scared others.

The fear is buried deep down. I give it all kinds of other names—desire, discipline, hard work, responsibility, reputation—but its real name, too often, is fear.

Fear is another layer surfaced, one I had buried below the last layer You just dug out of me. How many more layers I wonder. What lies at the bottom of all this?

Today I’m thankful for sight. First step is to see, acknowledge. I see the fear and I’m asking you to help me live, two hands open flat. I want to live trusting You.

Do you struggle with fear? What shape does it take? How does it hold you back?


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