facing my fear

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Now that the mental fog of my week and a half of plumb craziness has lifted, I have words again. (I think my husband would argue that I had words all along; they just didn’t make much sense for awhile.) I had a bit of regret over publishing the last post, but at the same time, I don’t particularly want to forget how terrible I felt. One of the things that I lost after my first severe bout with this illness was the realization of how bad it actually was. I kind of want to remember that part. It helps me keep perspective.

I think perhaps the most difficult part of the past couple weeks has been the exposure of one of my deepest fears. The fear that all of this - my family, my health, my stability, my sanityj - will come crashing down. Particularly, I fear not just that I would lose all of those things, but that it would be my fault. That I will be the one who destroys my family and my home, who falls into terrible life choices or loses her mind or loses her health. That I will ruin the lives of everyone around me.

Perhaps it’s just that we have such exposure to families in utter destruction. Perhaps it’s that I realize that my own brokenness could easily take me to that place if I allowed it. Perhaps it’s just the continual reminder of my own physical frailty (not that I’m that much more frail than others, just that our bodies do not always function as God intended) that makes me fearful. I guess it doesn’t really matter why. Facing our deepest fears is a tricky business.

The thing these past two weeks reminded me of, however, is that grace is enough. Even if I would destroy my family and my health through my own choices, God can cover that. He is big enough. Even if all of this life that I live would be taken away because of disease or accident or even death, God is big enough for that too. His grace is sufficient even for that. My family will make it. My husband will make it. Even if I fall off the deep end, I can make it too.

We are surrounded by those who love us. Beyond the pharmaceutical assistance to get past the worst of the anxiety, I’ve been carried by the support of my friends and family: tangible grace in my life.

It’s long conversations with my sister-in-law, just hashing out the worst of my feelings and symptoms, being willing to accept her offer to drive an hour just to help me deal during the hard parts (even though ended up not being necessary), and knowing she holds me up in prayer.

It’s a sweet friend who understands chronic illness, who can encourage me to trust my body, and who just becomes the presence of Jesus to me.

It’s a cousin who calls long-distance (long-distance. is that a thing still?) unexpectedly to just let me know she’s praying.

It’s another friend who is praying Scripture, the very Word of life, over me and my family.

It’s a healing practitioner who does the same thing during our sessions.

It’s my mama who encourages me to do what needs to be done to maintain until we can figure out what’s going on for sure.

It’s just sheer grace, all of it.

So, now that I’m thinking more clearly and the emotional symptoms are largely gone, I’m left with the certainty that my body is not functioning the way it should and the uncertainty of what the next step should be. Even though the fear is still there, I will not be overcome. I can trust. I can rest. I can fall on grace. It’s gonna be alright.



-Want to read more about others’ deepest fears? Check out this brilliant series over at Momastery: Sacred Scared. We all win when we admit life is messy and often hard, and we’re all just doing this whole thing together. Everybody’s got stuff. Let’s be grace to one another.

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