As I have spent the last few weeks in a fog, I feel like I am finally in a place to flush out what is going on in my head. It has be jarring at me at every corner, keeping me awake, making me feel numb, and giving me a writers block. I have wanted to sit down so many times at this computer and do what helps me and that’s write and cry, but the words just have not been there, because I have been overcome with FEAR.
It is real, and it is Satan’s playground.
I believe that the enemy gets you there and keeps you there as long as you are not willing to combat the fears with truth. That’s where I have been. There and not wanting to do the work to recognize what the truth is.
Last Sunday (over a week ago), I got to church, which is still a hard place for me to go, but it is even more a hard place since our church closed, and we are currently in the visiting phase. I do not want to visit, be a “newbie”, and deal with every other person asking me, “Is this your first baby?”. I want to scream and say, “NOOOOO, and I do not want to talk about it, because I do not know you and you do not know me.” Church for so long, even though it has been hard to sing and read the Word, has been a comfortable place with people that I trust that I can just loose it every Sunday. I have felt hard and unemotional lately- enter numbness again. Back to the point, so as the sermon began, the pastor read the title, “What are you afraid of?”.
HUH? Let me think a minute…
I am pretty sure that I am terrified, because I watched my baby die in my arms less than a year ago, and I am starting my third trimester today with another baby, and I wonder if I would have the strength to let him go too.
You sure you are ready for this one preacher man??
He goes on and reads a very special passage to D and I in Matthew 14. Refer here for the passage and why this is such a meaningful text to us.
As he began to read, tears began to fall and I saw her little name written at the top of page in my Bible. Mary Anna, I write this every time something reminds me of her in the Word. Reading her sweet name is like honey on my lips.
He used this story to recognize the reality of the disciples fear to trust Jesus in the storm. They feared, because they knew what could happen to them in this type of storm. They were fishermen, and they watched many people die in this very situation, and then Jesus has the nerve to tell Peter to step out of the boat. What! Was it not enough to just be on the boat period much less expect him to walk on water?
It hit me. We all fear. Fear is very real, but there is a different type of fear when you have actually experienced it.
I fear a lot of things that I have never fully experienced, but saying that I fear letting go of another baby is reality to me. I know exactly what it looks like, and it a paralyzing fear.
And as he finishes this sermon, he says that the way to combat fear is to know Jesus and know his name.
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
He left us with this question, “Where has fear robbed you?”. I thought to myself, I know that fear robs me everyday, so I wrote down, “In the middle of my fears, I am certain that Jesus is the Son of God.”
You see, I know who HE is, and I know his name, but I am too fearful to trust. I left with this truth, but continued to wrestle with my flesh and my stubbornness, and was not quite ready to surrender.
A few days later, a friend emailed me this sermon
, I recommend listening to it when you have the time, and he talks about what…. drum roll…. FEAR!
I got out my journal, and I began jotting down helpful tips of how not to ask “why?” in painful circumstances, but to ask “what?”. Again, it hit me that I want to know right now why I had to let Mary Anna go so early, and Jesus wants me to come to a place where I trust him and begin to ask him what he wants to do with me in the midst of all of this mess.
My heart knows that in 2014, we all want things fast, easy, and pain free. Unfortunately there are some churches that teach this type of gospel as well. There is no place in scripture that says that because we trust in Jesus that our journey will be pain free, but there is a promise of hope in our pain.
And in that podcast, the other preacher man says, “So do not be afraid, because when it happens, the Father will be there and the Father is simply enough… We have a choice to fear God or to fear everything else and to fear God means to trust.”
After all of this, you would think that I would come to a place where I could release my fears, but think again… Not this gal… So I continued on numb, fearful, and really beginning to be mad at God. I went to church yesterday, and guess what?
Our dear friend gave his last sermon before leaving for seminary, and he read from Philippians 1, and his second point was… ughh…. really… I thought we were friends…
do not be afraid.
And not only to not be afraid, but to know that you will suffer for Christ.
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.
Somehow, Jesus works the suffering for our good and shows us that our identity is not in our suffering, but it is in the one who will not leave us in our suffering.
So much of my identity now is in being the mom of a baby girl who is in heaven. This is who I am now, and I somehow have to humble before my King, release my fears, and let him be my identity. Fear is a lack of trust, and I am sick and tired of feeling this way, and I surrender somehow, someway to trust.
As I type this, I know that fear does not magically leave us friends. It is a daily struggle, and the reality of the hardness in your life will always be there until our King returns, but when he does, and I promise HE WILL, it will be a glorious day and worth it all. This is a painful and hard life, but I choose to find joy in what I can and slam the door in the face of the enemy.
but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Thank you for bearing with me as I rambled, and I will leave you with this song that a friend shared with me that I have kept on repeat lately.
We must decrease.
You must increase.
We lift you high.