Fear doesn’t make a good Life Raft

When I was a kid I had no fear. I climb trees to the very top without a thought to falling.  My only concern was how to get to where it was I wanted to reach. I didn’t have one worry for the broken bones that I might end up with if I failed or put my foot where I shouldn’t. I loved the view from the top of the tree. The world I knew looked completely different from way up there. The sense of a goal reached added to the thrill.

I’m no longer a fearless kid. I never fell out of a tree but climbing a ladder makes me nervous. I’m fine with my “flat on my feet” view of the world. Ugh! How did I become this person? I know the answer but I still don’t like it.

Experience has taught me what will hurt and how to avoid that pain. Grabbing a hot pan will burn my fingers if I don’t use a hot pad. Not watching where my feet are going could end with scrapped up and bruised knees. Putting my trust in the wrong person could result in a broken heart. Setting a goal and striving for it could end in frustration and broken dreams.

At the moment my heart is aching over the remembering of things lost. Some of those things are sentimental: a photo album, a quilt my grandmother gave me, the nativity figures my oldest son gave me for Christmas when he was 7 or 8. Others are less tangible and harder to get past. While I mourn those things I know I should be counting my blessings and find joy in those blessings.

I stood in church yesterday and had to face that fear is doing me more harm than good. I’ve asked God to direct my footsteps over and over. Even knowing he stands beside me and will catch me if I fall I have refused to move. He’s caught me before, so its not as if I have to trust blindly. More than once he’s told me that he will fulfill his promise in his time, and reminded me that a little faith will go a long way. I want to be done with this fear mess for once and for all. It is crazy that I trust God with every part of my life except my future. It seems silly that I don’t trust the one who created the world with a word to untangle the mess I might make.

I need to find that fearless kid and wake her up. I need to stop hanging onto my fear like a life raft. I need to get back to living the life God has given me.






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