The Bible says “Do not fear” 365 times.
One for each day of the year.
The last two weeks I have very clearly missed that repetitive memo.
For the last week and a half I have been consumed with sadness. Not just kind of sad, but like brink of depression sad. Don’t be dramatic, you say… my response, I’m not. A big part of my story with Jesus includes a two year time period where I was consumed with depression. I know depression. I hate depression. The lie that people are incapable of finding joy is probably the lie from the devil I hate the most. The Bible clearly talks about the fullness of joy found in the presence of God. Anyways, off my soap box, the last week I have cried more than I can count on my hands and I have felt absolutely drained and just blah. I didn’t want anything to do with asking God why I felt this way. Heck, I didn’t really even want to talk to God-period. But thank the Lord for community. Community that pushes me to the foot of the cross, community that challenges me to ask the tough questions, and community that loves me well despite my weariness and yuckiness.
It is that community that inspired me, and challenged me to sit and really ask God what was going on, because it was definitely a heart issue. So I asked God: What is going on? This sadness stemmed from years of anxiety that had deep roots within my soul. This anxiety had absolutely taken over my thought life and I had absolutely no idea. As I continued asking God questions, He revealed to me: I have been grieving. GRIEVING?! What in the world! I haven’t even lost anything or anyone. Why would I be grieving?
Insert a long pause. A long worship song. A bathroom break. A short conversation…..right about….HERE.
After that long break I asked another really hard question, knowing that I needed answers and relief. So as I continued digging God showed me I had a deep seeded fear of losing my parents. You laugh. It’s a real fear of mine, losing my parents. Things started making sense, I was grieving the loss of two of the most important people in my life…and I hadn’t even lost them. It was my fear that was causing me to feel this way. The what ifs, the how would I respond, the crazy thoughts. All of those things lead back to this deep seeded fear that I didn’t even know existed until about a month and a half ago when I had a dream that my dad had died suddenly. Sad, huh? Yeah, my sadness was making sense. But something else happened in this processing session with my sweet King…
I realized I don’t know God as my protector. I’ve never really tried to discover that. God is my protector. He fights for me. He covers the paths I walk on. It wasn’t until the last two days that I have really started pressing into that truth. Regardless of my circumstances, God is with me like a mighty warrior. He protects me. He comforts me. He is my hiding place, my safety, my security. It wasn’t until I realized the joy found in allowing God to fight for me that I realized that I had a thief living within me…that thief’s name was fear….and as for him in this season…He isn’t welcome here.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire; you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..” -Isaiah 43: 1b-3