What if I were to let go?
Hope; without fear.
Fear of regrets.
Fear of what you think.
Fear of my children suffering.
Fear of falling, failing, flaking out.
But wait. What's that?
What's that, Lord?
You have regrets, Teri, and regrets are simply a part of your humanity. There will always be those who think ill of you, no matter how you perform or try to please. Your children have suffered, and suffering will continue in this world, despite all your protective, controlling efforts. And sweet Teri...hear My voice of compassion and not condemnation: you fall, you fail, you flake out. Of course you do; you live in a fallen world.
But. I was beaten for those things; I paid the price. Nothing, nothing you do or wish for or fret about can add to the price I already paid.
What if I stopped controlling & worrying & analyzing?
What if I renounced apologizing for myself all the time?
What if I quit responding out of guilt and shame?
What if I silenced my hard-edged, defensive reply of perceived accusation?
Things might fall apart.
You might not approve of me.
Something bad might happen to my kids.
I might disappoint you, or hurt you, or offend you.
And I'm so afraid, so afraid of falling, and failing, and flaking out.
But I have, and I do, and I will.
So why live in this prison of fearing the inevitable?
There. There it is again...
Oh, sweet Teri, don't you remember? "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
I can move thru this day in the familiar chains of fear, and I will still fall 15 times...20...200. Or I can move thru this day in freedom, and even then I will fall 15 times...20...200. It matters not: if my goal is responsibility, comfort, perfection, and pleasing others - I will stumble & suffer in my humanness, whether I walk in fear or freedom.
But what if my goal is walking in the Spirit?
I can't pay the price for my failures anyway.
And I can't walk in the Spirit if I'm walking in the prison of my own fear/guilt/shame-shackled efforts.
Why do I try so hard to beat myself into the submission Jesus already paid for me?
As I type this, the phone rings: 3 teenage siblings in our small-town high school were in a devastating car accident this morning, and the middle boy has died. My stomach knots with pain, worry, heartbreak...and so much fear. In milliseconds, foreboding-chains strangle thought and reason; how can I let my children out of my sight, my control, my protection? And yet how ludicrous. Will my worry add one cubit to my stature, or theirs? Will it make a difference? Why waste this day in fear? Hold them close, love them well, yes...but imprison myself in worry? Tomorrow will have it's own worry, it's own trouble.
O God! That family! How can they go on? How can any of us?
Compassion - may it double. Fear - may it decrease.
I sure don't have it figured out.
But I'm so ready for this endless fear-shadowed groundhog-day season to be over.
If you know what it looks like - can you give us a glimpse? Or just bring some of your own fear-shackled chains into the light? Maybe together we can seek for that key to freedom...