I’m pretty good at several good things, and one of those things is being struck. I’m fascinated and intrigued by much, polka dots, the sound of a car driving on a gravel road, the various laughs of the world, The Great Wall of China… I can look at a row of coffee mugs, listen to the most beautiful song, or enjoy a breathtaking sunset and be moved deeply–differently, but deeply nonetheless. It’s cool and it’s weird, and I like it. But sometimes, I’m struck negatively and then I get scared. And when I get scared, I want to runaway. It’s really easy and I don’t actually have to go that far. I run into my head–a gorgeously dangerous place to be.
If you’ve read any of my blog posts, you know that I spend a lot of time in my head. I’m a thinker, and often an over thinker. And well, over the past 3 weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to think and think again and then think some more. It’s been good and strange and hard and cool and so many things. I won’t bore you with the minute details, but if you want to know more we can chat over a cup of coffee sometime.
So here’s the preface, the prologue of my recent thoughts. We’ll call it, Running Scared.
At this point in my life, I’m in a season of waiting. I was waiting to turn 21 (that happened, check!), I’m waiting to go back up the mountain for my last semester of college, I’m waiting to see my friends again, I’m waiting to hear back about post graduation plans, I’m waiting to graduate college, I’m waiting to meet “the one” (but let’s be honest, I’m only 21, I can chilax on that one a bit), I’m waiting… And as I’ve waited (and continue to wait) I’ve done 2 things: I’ve worried and I’ve run. And quite frankly, I’m over both of those things. My worrying and running hasn’t sped up the process, nor has it changed it. But like I said before: sometimes I get struck and I get scared.
Truthfully, I don’t think I realized how much fear I had until this break. And no, I don’t mean the fear that comes from watching a scary movie, the kind that makes you want to watch every pixar movie ever before you go to bed. I’m talking about the anxious fear that the Bible talks about in Philippians 4 and Romans 8. As a child of God, I did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but instead received the Spirit of adoption by whom I cry out, “Abba Father.” In that same vein, I don’t have to be anxious (or fearful) for anything, but instead can make my requests made known to God so that the peace that passes all understanding can guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. But I so easily forget that. I so easily doubt my identity in the Father and take matters into my own hands–and that’s a messy place to take matters, y’all.
Why? Because I don’t know what I’m doing. Seriously. I want to know so badly. I want to be in charge of my life. I want to have it all together. I want to be strong and independent and successful and all of the things, but what I’ve been pining after has been apart from what Jesus wants, not a part of what He wants.
You see, 2014 was a year of dependence…on people. I was struggling to really depend on the Lord because of specific things that happened during the year, so He was gracious enough to bring so many wonderful people into my life exactly when I needed them, to draw me to Him.
But at the end of the year, I was starting to feel more independent, I was starting to feel better, so I took off and ran with what I thought I knew. But as I started to separate myself from the strong dependence I had on the people around me, the more afraid I became. Because here’s the the kicker, the zinger, the big shabang: I became too dependent on my friends.
I was drawing all of my energy and my encouragement from people and hardly anything from the Word or time alone with the Lord. So, as I started to become less dependent, I felt like I didn’t have any other option other than to run because I’d forgotten what it looked like to depend on Jesus. So, I was just running and that scared me. I was separating myself from my main (people) source of joy and love and I’d forgotten what my true (Jesus) source of joy and love was. I became fearful.
I was running scared because I didn’t know what else to do. I was running scared because stopping would mean that what I was running from would have to catch up to me. I was running because if I stopped running, that would mean I would have to wait idle, still, out of control and I didn’t want that. I was independent. I was changed. I was able to handle things on my own, right? Wrong.
Dependence is okay. Jesus wants us to be dependent on Him.
Y’all. We absolutely, positively need people. We need to be around them. We need to draw energy, support, joy, love from them–Christ call us into community. He delights and smiles over that. But above all, we DESPERATELY, GRAVELY, INTRICATELY, need Jesus.
And the best part is the fact that Jesus is so patient and is willing to wait for me and run with me. And as I reflect over the last year, that’s exactly what He did, because He loves me. As Bethel Music so simply and beautifully put it, “You make me brave, You make me brave. No fear can hinder now the Love that made a way.”
So, I’ve decided to stop running. I don’t need to be afraid, He’s not given me a spirit of fear. Jesus is for me, He is with me. He’s got me. He’s got you too.
[Jesus, thank You for Your grace, Your unending patience, and Your relentless love.]