On February 12th, something happened that seriously rocked my world. I’m not an overly brave person, I confess, but I stepped out of my comfort zone (way out) and agreed to drive cross-country from Florida to California because my daughter wanted to come back home.
It’s a trip we’ve done many times, but always with my husband. He’s a great driver, loves road trips and has always done the bulk of the driving. So, on a clear and sunny Friday, my daughter and I headed out with the intent to make our country trip in five days—a trip my husband and I have normally done in four days. I wanted to be safe and reasonable.
I wanted to be brave for my daughter and husband and do this thing. I wanted to prove to myself too that I could handle such a trip without the comfort and security of my husband.
We were doing fine for the most part, my daughter and I, swapping turns driving. Day one brought us out of Florida to Alabama without incident except for an engine light. Okay, not part of the plan but we could handle it. We lost a couple hours the next day but left the service garage with the security of knowing all was well with the engine.
Security. I like security. I like knowing what’s ahead of me, what to expect, how to prepare and be ready.
But what happened on our third day wasn’t expected. Wasn’t at all something I could have prepared for. Inclement weather we thought would clear up left a patch of ice on an overpass and in a matter of seconds, the most terrifying thing I could imagine happened.
Why? I’d prayed, asked God for protection, to bring us home safely. But it still happened. The car that had so faithfully brought us halfway across the country now sat in a center median, mangled and in despair of ever cruising a road again.
Thankfully (and praise God) my daughter and I were okay. But for this person who’d done her best to brave a new adventure, my deepest fear had materilized. We were banged up, had no car, and were out in the middle of nowhere in Texas, far from the comfort of home. Details had to be dealt with and worked out when all I really wanted to do was curl up in a ball and hide.
Where was God? I needed help. I could accept that He had a plan in all this, but I needed tangible evidence He was there helping me deal with the situation. I muddled through, we worked out arrangements, then my husband decided to come get us. I was relieved...so relieved. I didn’t have the strength to be brave anymore.
God helped me face a truth: I have a fearful spirit.
God has shown me this in the days since our accident. I’d built my security in my world based upon controllable circumstances. The minute those circumstances changed and moved completely (and I mean totally and completely) out of my control, my false security crumbled. I couldn’t do anything but look to God and wait for Him to show me the way out of this mess of mangled emotions and broken perceptions.
The more I cried out, the more I realized I was now on another journey. One that meant rebuilding and repairing certain areas of my faith. I’m on that journey now, still waiting for God to reveal more of what this is all about. What more does He want me to allow the tow truck to haul away and allow Him access to replace and rebuild?
I only know I don’t want to live in this place of fear, nor does God. It’s not going to be a pleasant process to let go of my false securities. Sometimes the thing we fear most is the very thing we need most. Doesn’t make sense but I’m starting to understand its truth.
The best cure for a fearful spirit is trusting God. That is true security because it requires relinquishing our expectations, weaknesses and fears into God’s control. Completely.
For now I’m clinging to Psalm 34:4:
I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
God brought me to this verse and it’s my prayer and comfort right now. I’m learning that even in the worst-case scenarios—the ones we never expected and wonder how we’ll walk out of with any semblance of wholeness and strength—God is really there. We may not feel like He is at times, but we can KNOW and BELIEVE it.
Lord, we seek you with our fearful spirits, ready to trust You in new ways. Hear us and deliver us from all our fears. Though the future looks so insecure at times, dry our tears with the comfort and security of your constant presence and that You are in complete and total control, working for our good—always. We cling to your Son who is our hope and proof of these truths—and our greatest security of all. Amen.
Praying and believing,