Fanning The Flames Of Faith
Mona Isler: Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 11:46 PM
I've been living in fear for long that it's become as normal as breathing.
I've been afraid of failing, afraid to succeed, afraid to be honest, afraid people won't like me when they get to know me, afraid of my very shadow. I became adept at hiding away my fears from everyone, mostly myself.
I was always smart as a child. I learned to read early and people would ask me to read things from books and magazines as though I were a circus act. My brother often struggled academically and I remember people suggesting that he ask me for help. His baby sister who was 3 1/2 years younger than he was. How awful for him. I subconsciously became ashamed and afraid of my intelligence. I would only do and show enough to get approval. Eventually I would become lazy enough to not even want to do that. I found various and wonderfully unique ways to sabotage my academic success. I was still smart after all.
As I got older, and thicker, I, like most teenagers, got afraid of not ever having a boyfriend. I didn't think I was pretty enough, or thin enough or just 'enough' for a guy to like me. And like most teenagers I decided that if I was a little more "open" than the next girl, then I would have a boyfriend. I gave away my power and lost a lot of myself during that time.
I got pregnant at 18 and became terrified. Every parent out there knows that feeling. Afraid of not being a good mom, afraid of the responsibility of caring for another human life, afraid of him getting sick, afraid of me getting sick. And mostly afraid to admit that I had no earthly idea what I was doing. I hid that fear masterfully.
After I got married, I became afraid of losing him. I feared that if I got fat, he would leave me. I feared his mother would convince him that I really wasn't good enough for him, just like she thought. I feared that some other prettier, stronger, thinner, more responsible woman would sweep through and take what was mine. After some time I really did manage to suppress that fear almost to nothing. Until he actually did leave. Now I'm more afraid than ever. Afraid that no one will ever love me again. Afraid that I'll end up alone, and worse, end up lonely.
I am afraid of my strengths and my weaknesses. I am afraid to expose too much of either one to people lest they think I am too much of one or the other. And then what good am I?
I am afraid of living in the shadow of one of the greatest Women of God I have ever known. My mom is an amazing preacher, teacher and healer of broken women. She is transparency personified. She mothers so many women and I am afraid of my jealousy towards them. I am afraid they will look at me and know that I am not the same as she and they will not value me.
I'm afraid of not being successful at things that I do. That fear makes me not want to try. I am afraid of my spirituality and of my gifts. I am afraid of the responsibility of sharing Christ's love with another person. What if I don't do it right? What if I cause more harm than good? What if they knew about all of my fears and insecurities? Why would anyone listen to me?
But worst of all, I am afraid that I will never be good enough for Him.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7
It is this simple, yet masterful sentence that gets me out of bed in the morning. It's what keeps me in check. It is this spirit that allows me to type out my greatest fears for all to read and know that every reader will know exactly where I'm coming from and not judge me one bit. It's this spirit that helps me to be honest with myself and others about the role of God in my life. It gives me purpose.
Also I know that God already knew what I would be dealing with and so he specifically sent me these kids, that husband, that mom, those friends, to teach me the lessons that I need to learn about myself. They are my mirror that He uses to show me myself. And for that I am grateful.
Of course I'm good enough for Him. He made me and He doesn't make mistakes.