I am not afraid anymore
II find in my life that God uses multiple methods to speak to me because I often don’t hear him clearly the first time.
This journey of realization started a few weeks ago when I was cleaning out an old cabinet in my house. I was moving a bunch of old journals. I used to write a ton because I felt that the practice would one day help me to one day write a book.
Looks like it did.
As often happens when old things are unearthed I began to flip through some of the journal entries. Entry after entry was about fear. Some of the thoughts would be about starting a new year and praying that I would not have fear anymore. Whole paragraphs were written about my fears. I didn’t really think too much about what I was reading I just recognized the feelings behind the scrawls.
The next time I encountered this message was in my ECHO prayer app. It’s an app that I use for my prayer times. It keeps track of my prayer requests and when I start a prayer session it shows me a new prayer request every 30 seconds until my session is over. What I love about the app is that it is random. So… I assume that God is using the random calculations to only show me the prayers that He wants me to be praying for.
On this particular day a prayer request came up where I was asking for peace in troubled times and I recognized the motivation behind it. I remembered the emotions in the prayer request. I realized in that moment that I no longer felt that same fear. My prayer had been answered… in a way.
Recently I attended an AA meeting to celebrate a friend’s sobriety celebration. I absolutely loved the spirit in the room. I loved how everyone introduced themselves with “Hi, my name is ________ I am an Alcoholic.” No one was afraid to admit it, no one was afraid to say it out loud. That kind of spirit is so refreshing, so freeing. I heard God so clearly in that room, I could feel his presence. He was proud of these men and women who are free to admit their own brokenness.
Then, I sat in front of a mentor of mine in his office here in Edmonton. We were talking about some of my current struggles, hope and dreams. As we were walking through an understanding of what God is doing in my heart I came to a realization.
I am not afraid anymore.
My eyes opened wide and I looked at my friend. “I am not afraid anymore. I’m not sure when this happened but I no longer feel the same fears I used to feel.”
I then unpacked with him how I used to be afraid that I would lose my marriage and I did.
I used to be afraid that I would lose my job at Beulah and then I did when I walked away from ministry.
I used to be afraid that I would lose my house and… I did because we sold it to get out of debt.
I used to be afraid that I couldn’t ever get out of debt, that I would be plagued by this debt monster for the rest of my life, then… with the proceeds from the house we took care of credit cards, and credit lines and it was horrible to see all that money go away but it was a good thing. It’s sad but so freeing.
I used to be afraid that everyone would know that I’m a complete failure and then I wrote a book about it so there is no hiding it.
Now, I rent a house from some incredible people who I absolutely love and my bills are paid. I have a job that gives me great joy and although it requires more driving than I like I am grateful to be back in ministry.
I get to do what I love to do every day again.
It is intriguing when we think about prayer and prayer requests usually we want an answer to prayer that fits our picture of acceptable answers. When I prayed for peace in my life and freedom from fear I did not know that God would take me on a journey of humbling me.
He allowed my stubbornness, disobedience and lack of faith to ruin me so that I could experience his peace. I was trying to hold on to these things not just because they were precious to me but more so because I was concerned about what others thought of me.
I’m finally realizing that it’s more important to consider what the Father thinks of me and I’m fully convinced that He loves me and that’s really all that matters.