Fears and Freedom
"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, 'Abba! Father!'" Romans 8:15
That's a tough word to describe fear. But, that's exactly what fear is. It can hold us captive, without us even knowing it.
Freedom only comes in full surrender. Telling Jesus that your fears are too much. Asking Him to take them.
And that's exactly what He did when He literally asked me to walk through a storm with Him on a mountain in southern Virginia.
Growing up in the city, you're taught to be careful. Sleep with one eye-open. Bugs, mice, snakes, or any critter for that matter is a rare, but frightful sight in the eyes of a city-girl. Mountain roads, pitch-black darkness, ruffling in the trees…they can make a city-girl jump. And they did. Multiple times.
It only took a few nights in Duffield, Virginia, for my fear of…everything... to be exposed. As I lay in my little African cot, in a lonely dark church, with my unwanted mice and spider friends crawling under me, I realized I needed to do some soul-searching.
"Not now, Jesus. It's too late. I'm exhausted. Let's deal with this tomorrow."
Well, tomorrow came. And so did a nasty storm.
It was the calm before the storm, and I knew I needed to get out of the crowded room full of teens. I needed to be alone. I grabbed my precious Mac, and headed for a small, wooden piece of shelter, used as an "amphitheater" located in the midst of the forest. The sky was dark, rain hadn't fallen, and I knew I needed to talk to Jesus.
My fingers typed violently as I told the Lord to take my fears away. I am bigger than the spiders and the mice. The darkness can't hurt me. If I fall and break a bone…so what? It will heal. Jesus, give me a backbone.
No sooner did those words fly from my fingers, when the storm rolled in--full throttle. I could barely see the once so majestic trees in front of me. Needless to say, fear creeped in.
All of the sudden, lightning struck a nearby tree, in seconds the tree came crashing down behind me. Terrified. "Ok, God, I get it... now what?"
"Step out into the storm and walk with Me." --I felt Him press into my heart. It was clear what He wanted me to do.
"No, Jesus. I have my laptop with me. This storm is crazy right now." I argued back as I clutched my laptop tighter and forced my hoodie over my head.
"Put the laptop down. Trust me. Just take a walk through the storm with me. I got you." --He is relentless.
After about 10 minutes of arguing with the Conductor of the storm, I decided to let go. Let go of the fear and uncertainty of walking through this storm. I put my laptop down, took off my shoes, and stood there.
And then I took a step into the storm…with Jesus.
As the rain poured down my head, I looked up and giggled to myself at the silliness and beauty of it all. I was walking through a storm with Jesus. Literally and figuratively.
Walking became dancing.
Dancing equaled freedom.
"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
Be free. Dance in the storm.
Someone dear to me told me once that a life journey with Jesus is like riding a roller-coaster. You first get on, the harness is strapped over you, and initial fear and uneasiness set in. But once the roller-coaster sets off, you're free to enjoy it, because you know that harness won't let you go. Freedom comes with trust in the harness.
Trust your harness. Trust Jesus. He's got you.