On growing unafraid.



So much of my anxiety stems from future dread. I, at times, can even begin to resent God for not bringing me peace when I ruminate over those future moments.

 I recently read "God doesn't give you the grace for the what ifs. He gives you the grace for what is." I wish I could remember who wrote it. 

In the past few months since this all began, I can affirm these words to be true. In the actual moments of suffering, he has been near and has sustained us with a weird okayness. My worst moments have been in anticipating future moments, not actually living them. Even the darkest nights have been made darker by fear of what lies ahead. But as Amelia Earhart has said"Fears are paper tigers." Right now they roar, but my worst fears are not yet coming true. Perhaps, Lord please, they never will. 

To all my anxious ones, and even to my own heart, if you know Jesus, let me remind you from this now familiar place: He'll give us what we need for what is actually coming. But we don't need to sort that out.  Some of you have reached out, and in honest admission, have shared that reading our grief makes you fear grief is coming for you or has exasperated your own anxieties....I get that fear....but that isn't how it works. Grief like this isn't contagious like that. Praise Jesus. 

And so, take heart. God doesn't equip us for the imaginative doom you and I so easily create in our minds. It isn't real. It isn't real. Friends, it isn't real. 

Yet it's stealing real energy and hope from today. And that means less energy to do the good work he's prepared for us to do. 

This is where obedience comes in with taking every thought captive. (2 cor 2:5) And if I can ask anything of you, it's to get on with it. Good overcomes evil because good keeps showing up. Fear makes it so hard to think straight, let alone do good. (Want to hear something crazy? The Bible commands "Fear not" 365 times. Why that number?)

And while this diagnosis and path is something I don't think I ever could have even imagined.  And at times I feel like God may actually grind us down to dust, I remember this: if he does....God took us from dust, and he can breathe new life into us if he decides to crush us completely. We're his. But his character has shown me he does not do such things. 

But here are some things He has done: He's walked thousands of kids and their families down this path... And while we don't know the way, he does. So many who have known cancer have told me. He frequents these halls.  He knows the effects of it all. He knows the world and her people groan at all the brokenness. And he works to make all things new. He's working to make my boy new. He's working to make my own heart new. Perhaps soon I won't be so afraid? And perhaps soon, my son will be healed. In Jesus' name. 

And while I wait,  a question comes to mind: how does one live through such unknowns?  So far, this is how I've found a way through: I wake up, realize God has continued to push air into my lungs, and I do the work of this minute.   While I do it at times weeping, I want to do it less afraid. And perhaps by reading this, you can do your work less afraid too. 

 Because we've always known living and loving was dangerous business...so, why are we acting surprised? We Christians know an additional truth: Christ knew our terrible situation and came to lift the heaviest burden we could never carry. The grave doesn't get the final say. He lived and loved us to death and back again....so that we never have to face the fear of our final breath. I don't have to fear my son's final breath. 

To truly live, we must do the same as he. We must love sacrificially as he, we must give up our claims to a future we never controlled and we must say "Your will be done." And just as he wept, so do we. We drink the cup we're asked to drink. 

But we also must remember, our Jesus laughed. 

Even knowing the cross was coming. Think about that. He laughed. When he knew the cross was coming. How? Perhaps  he was convinced the suffering allowed by His good Father would always bring joy. For our good. For his glory. Pain never gets the final word in Christ. He knew all the terrible things would become untrue. 

I don't understand it all, and right now pain seems pretty loud and there are lots of terrible things. But I'm getting a front row seat to see how it works, how he works, how he makes all things new.

So, courage, dear heart. We get to laugh because the cross has come. We get to laugh even knowing we may have to face a broken heart, body, mind...because even still what's coming after is even brighter than what's behind. We have good work to do. We have kingdom come..And our King tells us we can take heart. He's overcome the world and all the terrors in it. 

I'm learning this in this season. 

As one of my favorite quotes from Fellowship of the Rings goes: "

I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo. "So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." 

We have good work to do. So we must get on with it. And perhaps in the doing, we'll learn how to do it unafraid. 

No comments:

Post a Comment