It beckons me with its crisp clean, unmarked pages. A calendar unfilled, unknowing, full of promise, so why do I struggle? Fear spreads like a liquid spreading its stain across fabric, only the fabric is my life and the fear paralyzes my choosing. My fingers stumble across the letters of the keyboard, my mind balks at the task. Write what? Do what? The list
written earlier full of charming resolutions fails to invigorate or inspire me. “This will be the year!” my list claims, “Your year to march forth, to make a difference…” but my candle sputters out as fear blows his harsh breath across my dreams. “This year is like all the others, no difference. Hide.” I want to pull up the covers, I want to hide like a coward, continue to eat poorly, conveniently forget to exercise, and most of all, a strange portion of me wants to stop writing, stop planning. For if I stop writing, stop teaching, stop acting, then I’ll stop dreaming… And then I am essentially no longer hoping. (Hoping hurts right now.)
My phone makes a sound and like Pavlov’s dog, I nearly get up, but my despondency wins out momentarily. I put it off, but when I see the message, I take my last mustard seed of faith and open the Bible…
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust!” For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.” Psalm 91:1-4 (NASB)
On my belly, the one I have been overfeeding in my grief, I begin to cry hot, salty tears. This is no time for holding onto any semblance of control, I could not bring myself to comb my hair today. I am simply a little girl who lost her mommy, who lost her confidence, who lost her footing. Thought the little girl knows somehow this is not forever, for she has been through dark tunnels before, her wide-opened eyes can discern no light, and she finds the fear she once thought lost forever is kicking in her door.
“How can I be afraid, God? I know You and I know I am Yours, but I confess, I am afraid. I know the plans You have for me will bring glory to Your name, but …” I see my mother, can nearly hear her voice praying for me, for the women whose lives she encouraged me to touch, gave me blanket permission during our last visit to use any story from her own life to help those women. She prayed for those women, the ones I have yet to meet, but I am sitting on my plans, on our dreams because I am scared. Without her prayers, her wisdom, what will I do?
I hear the doubt, smell the fear, but this is wrong! I cannot live here, in this dark place of mourning. This is not the woman I was created to be! God reminds me He is enough, and through my hazy grief I grasp at truth.Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith in to this grace in which we stand; and we exalt in the hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:1-5 (NASB, emphasis mine) I can lie on my belly defeated, or get up and look at my list again, recognize what He is calling me to do for His name and put aside all else. I am choosing to rise on weak legs, knowing that only with perseverance will they get strong again. Discipline to follow through with all He has called me to is the answer to healing, and His hope will not disappoint if I have truly made Him my dwelling place. For further meditation: Hebrews 12:1-17, Psalm 91, Lamentations 5:21 What is one practical thing can you do this week to follow God’s calling on your life?