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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Facing Fear

From the moment our children are born, fear stealthily sneaks in to our lives.
It peeks around every corner and lurks behind every opportunity.
We check and recheck on our babes at night,
listening for their gentle breathing, just in case!
We wonder about the notion of letting our cherubs ride their bike
... around the block, unsupervised!  
When they are older,
we 'um and ah' about them hanging out at the local hangouts
or getting a job!
 ... and the hardest one yet,
watching (with your heart in your mouth)
as your child drives away from you,
- in a CAR,

Fear overwhelms, steals joy, robs peace and suffocates faith, if we let it.
As a mother parenting on her own, I have had to get good at facing fear.

I have had to shut the door on fear many many times over the years. Sometimes I did it slowly, way too slowly. Once fear is in, it doesn't leave easily. When my marriage fell apart, fear came in endless waves of foreboding and apprehension. Like termites weakening the foundations of the family home, they gnawed their way in, undermining trust - disintegrating resolve.

The warning signs were not always clear, the slow growl of the enemy rushed in amongst a million things to do. Panicky feelings skittered senseless across a desolate and empty terrain. Thoughts running wildly, freakishly rampant in a frantic daily schedule. Days, endless ones stretched far and wide, those days fear traipsed a haunting path. It left me exhausted, breathless.

These days, this sheltering from the blustering winds of unease is still a work in progress. I recognise the prowl sooner, sense the rising panic before it bubbles over, stop the thoughts before they begin to race - shut the door, wedge it closed, keep the wolf from the door.

I had to believe, that there was more,
more to all of this - more to this life, more for my life!
Trust and faith guard the doorway, now.
A strong tower and place of refuge, my place.
Their sturdy presence stand formidably, a fortress I can trust.
It wasn't always this way.

Trust came first wrapping her arms tightly. Gentle words soothed the soul - gracious words, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Words that spoke of purpose - of a future (still out there) and a hope (still flickering). Perhaps, all things might work together  - for good, after all. Trust bridged that gap across to faith. Faith didn't seem so far away then. That bridge slowly built, upon layers of grisly muck and grim pickings. That bridge wasn't built in a day, but it stands stronger today. 

I learnt to trust when I didn't feel like it.
- to trust when things didn't make sense, at all.

To trust despite everything,
despite the upheaval of divorce, 
despite the single mother status,
and despite all the broken dreams.

I opened up my heart - again, 
and chose to trust, that God held it all (even the mess) ... in his hands, 
and somewhere in all that trusting, faith grew!
I grew.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:26

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