Last night around 1 am as I was on my way to bed, much too late, I had what you could call a moment of clarity. You could call it a light bulb turning on, but really it was the culmination of months and years of prayer. If you’ve read any of my blogs, you know I struggle with fear and anxiety. It’s a lifelong battle of my emotions in conflict with what I know to be truth. However as I went about my usual routine, taking my supplements & drinking water I was struck with a sudden realization…an overwhelming sense of gratitude that dispelled all fear.
I realized that if I woke in the morning and life was turned on its head I could remain in a state of gratitude because I do not deserve the life I have today. It is not mine to cling to. God alone is to whom I must cleave as if my very life depends on it, because it does. In this single moment I felt release from the bondage of fear in a way I’ve never experienced as the true source of my anxiety was revealed.
If I went to sleep and didn’t wake up, I would know I lived my life to the fullest. I’m so grateful for the live I have and the life I have lived. I truly wouldn’t change a thing. Each and every moment has occurred only because God has allowed it all to be. He has redeemed each decision that I selfishly made for His greater good. His righteousness has covered me like a shield. I’ve taken risks and endured great hardship, but He never let me go. He has made much of each downfall & brought purpose from pain. All of the things I grasp so tightly are not mine but by His hand alone have I been so blessed. In this moment I embraced the truth deep in my soul that I have risked much & watched Him graciously bestow blessing beyond measure. I would’ve missed out on the greatest treasures of life had I always played it safe & lived a life of self protection.
And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Hebrews 6:11-12 ESV
You see, so often my prayers convey my will. My desires. I pray in a way that says Lord you are my King but in my heart my greatest desire is a self-satisfying security. Basically God, what are you going to do for me? Praying in a way that seeks to convince Him that my prayers are within His will, so He must grant them, right? This posture of heart attacks the reality of God being enough. These are the chains preventing me from living freely as they are so intricately woven around what God meant for blessing.
So let me speak more directly and specifically. I hope you can apply this in the area you are experiencing the most fear, even if the situation is different. Maybe for you it is work or health related, financial, your dreams or aspirations. I’m going to do my best to explain the truths that moved from my head to my heart relating to this struggle, but its difficult to put into words. My family is the most important thing in this life. My husband and children are constantly revealed as idols when I allow myself to be completely honest. Times where I feel vulnerable and worry it typically has to do with the safety and security of these precious people making up #vinespartyofsix. My anxiety stems from this misplaced trust as I mistakenly believe my life cannot go on without them.
Here’s what I’m not saying. I’m not saying my husband & children shouldn’t be at the top of the list. I’m not saying my love for them is wrong. I’m not saying that if something happened to them I would go on as if nothing happened. I would be wrecked. But I am saying if their priority ranking is above God, everything becomes skewed. During recent world events we’ve spent tons of time together at home. In the evenings we watch movies & have almost finished Star Wars in chronological order. One of the quotes in the movie grabbed my attention & almost brought me to tears. Weird I know.
Yoda: “Rejoice for those around us who transform into the Force. Mourn them, do not. Miss them, do not. Attachment leads to jealousy, the shadow of greed, that is.”
Anakin: “What must I do, Master Yoda?”
Yoda: “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”
Read that again. Attachment leads to jealousy, the shadow of greed….train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose. Ouch. What a revealing statement highlighting the problem with my fears. When I make the false assumption that my husband and my children are mine I assume ownership in a way that negates my first identity. I am a child of God. He is my loving Father. I trust Him. My family members are blessings He has bestowed for me to steward well…not to grasp onto in fear. The greed that arises forgets they are His children too.
I realized that without God’s grace, none of my children would be here. More poignantly the boys existence is a miracle. Chaney & I almost divorced in 2014 but instead God had other plans. Without His redemptive healing our marriage wouldn’t exist. Our family unit being intact today is a miracle. The last several years have been grueling. If I sit in fear of losing what isn’t mine in the first place, I am living in delusion. True reality is found in a perspective embracing each day as a gift, not as something expected or owed. Sometimes it takes extreme circumstances to chip away and reveal truth at our core. What I can control is my level of surrender & obedience to play the role God assigns, that’s it. Nothing is mine that wasn’t His to begin with. If I truly believe He is good, just and loving then regardless of what happens in this world, my life can continue. This world is only temporary. We all have an invitation to an eternal home. So I pray He can continue training me to let go of what I fear to lose. In this paradoxical lesson I believe I will live & experience a much fuller life this side of heaven.
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
I guess last night was a lesson in learning to let go of everything I fear to lose and re-framing my perspective in the truth that those dearest to me aren’t mine anyway. I will risk it all to be a godly wife and mother. I will risk it all to live out His plan for my life & continue putting my experience into words hoping it can help another. I will continue to pray that no matter what heartache life holds I can live audaciously for His glory. I pray He will shower us all with His favor so we may endure all situations with His prevailing strength. I pray we may face life courageously #onedayatatime. I pray we never lose sight of His abounding grace and hope.