I’m on vacation with my man and so some of my favorite people are sharing their hearts on my blog today.  I’m honored that they would share their heart and wisdom with you guys!  Today is my friend Annie who I am so thankful has become a friend to me over the past few years.  She is one someone that is a great example to me in fighting for our faith.  She fights and I love that about her.

 

I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I don’t know when the first one dropped, or if it ever really did.
But somehow in my head and in all of my cowering emotions I believed and acted as though I am one shoe down and the other one ready to drop at any time.

I have always thought this to be my realistic side. Sure, maybe cynical, but realistic right? I thought it was wisdom. I thought it was the thing that would give the me the edge I needed to stay ahead of the potential pain that was surely waiting around the corner for me.

As it turns out, it’s not wisdom. It’s not an edge. It’s not even realistic or cynical.

It’s fear.

It was and is presently fear. I fear everything. The big things and the little things. The real things and the unreal things.

I am afraid of break-ins, car accidents, cheating, loving, hating, anger, pride, evil, sickness, depression, snakes, leaving the coffee pot on, being bad at work, failing, and on and on.

When I was little I remember hearing a story about a woman walking into her bathroom and seeing what she thought was a towel wrapped around the bottom of her toilet bowl. As she got closer and turned on the light she realized it was quite a large snake that had crawled up through the water pipes and out of the toilet bowl. I’ve been afraid of bathrooms ever since I heard that story.

When I was in Oklahoma going to school, I walked in to my dorm room, dropped my bags and answered a phone call from my mom. She was telling me that my dad had to fly home from his mission trip in Mexico with complaints of stomach pains. In the emergency surgery the doctors found a tumor. I didn’t know what a tumor was. I just knew it was bad. I walked into the bathroom, curled my feet up on the toilet lid and cried until I was sick. I’ve been afraid of phone calls ever since that phone call.

When my dad was really sick I went on tour with my boyfriend. I was a coward. I wanted to get away from watching him be so sick and in so much pain. I wanted to get away from my family who didn’t know how to handle the pain any more than I did. So, I said yes to a few weeks up to the East Coast. We made it as far as Atlanta when I got another scary phone call from my mom. Dad’s cancer had reached Stage 4 while I was gone and I was told to come home to say good bye. I shut down completely. I couldn’t look at my boyfriend or let him into my hurt. We ended things shortly after that. I’ve been afraid of not being able to love through difficult circumstances ever since.

Fear has penetrated my soul in such a way that it has changed the course of my normal behavior and action. I move to the worst case scenario in my imagination far before anything bad has even happened. I dream up terrible situations of me falling into such utter darkness that I can’t love Kyle any more. I fear something terrible happening to him while he is traveling. I always think snakes are hunting me down. I stay paranoid about something bad happening all the time to me, to him, to my family, to anyone I know. I stay in a near-constant state of panic.

It struck me a few months ago that this wasn’t normal. Or right. Or what God had in mind when he said – do not be anxious for anything. Or – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I can say honestly that I was the polar opposite of these verses. I was anxious about all things and the last thing on my mind was rest.

I was reminded of the story in Matthew when the disciples were in the boat with Jesus and a great storm came. Jesus was sleeping. The disciples were panicking. They wake him up yelling at him to save them.

Jesus asks them: Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?

Here’s the deal. They knew that Jesus was the one who could save them. They knew that He was their only chance at survival. Yet, they were panicking. They knew, but their fear betrayed their knowledge.

This is how I feel all the time. I know that Jesus is good. I know that God is in control. I know that God is sovereign over all things…the big things, the little things, the things that are real to me, the things that are unreal to me. I know that He is the one that can save me. I know that he is my only hope. Yet, my fear betrays me.

I have been thinking about Jesus’ question: Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?

Jesus wasn’t asking them – What’s your deal? You know who I am. You obviously know that I can save you or else you wouldn’t be waking me up. He asks them – Why don’t you believe in me? Why don’t you have faith in me?

I know that God is the one who can save me. I know that God is the one with full authority. I know that in the midst of all my storms, He is…well, He is. That’s really all I need to know. He is.

Believing is what I need to do. Faith is what I need to beg God to grow within me. Jesus says a lot in these verses, but one of the things that stands out to me the most is that being afraid is equated with little faith. The disciple’s little faith is what causes them to be afraid. My little faith is what causes me to be afraid.

Romans says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word. So, here is where I need to be to grow my faith…in the Word, with Him, fully dependent upon Him, He being my complete authority.

 

Annie Lent is married to her sweet mr, Kyle Lent, for one year.  She serves with the Women’s Development Program at the Austin Stone Community Church teaching and discipling women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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