Does it ever feel like the moment you make a decision to do something that feels brave, fear comes right on the heels of that decision, obnoxious and pushy, explaining in detail why you made the wrong decision?
Yeah, me too.
One year ago, we were praying seriously about pursuing adoption. We both had always wanted to adopt, even before we met and were married, but this particular adoption process seemed…well, daunting, to say the least. Even so, God seemed to be opening doors left and right and we were preparing ourselves to walk through them.
And yet, there were so many questions. So many unknowns. (But hey, it wouldn’t really be brave if we had all the answers, right?). My heart and my brain wanted answers, assurances that if we really took this step, it would all be ok (again, nothing really brave about that, but there you go).
And then I read this:
Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God, Who cherish and relish his commandments, Their children robust on the earth, And the homes of the upright – how blessed!
Their houses brim with wealth And a generosity that never runs dry.
Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people – God’s grace and mercy and justice!
The good person is generous and lends lavishly; No shuffling or stumbling around for this one, But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.
Unfazed by rumor and gossip, Heart ready, trusting in God, Spirit firm, unperturbed, Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies, They lavish gifts on the poor – A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.
An honored life! A beautiful life!
It was that part right at the end that got me…the description that I wished to be true of me: “heart ready, trusting in God, Spirit firm, unperturbed…relaxed among enemies.” But oh, how far I have to go! My spirit longs for firmness, but truthfully, it has a tendency to waver. To be relaxed among enemies? I so want that to be true. Because fear is an enemy – no doubt about it. Somehow though, being relaxed in the face of fear brings to mind images such as Jesus, Mother Theresa…or Sidney Bristow from Alias. Me? Not so much. (Also, can you tell what we’re currently watching in our house?)
But slowly, God is teaching me that a firm spirit and a heart relaxed in the face of fear, of the unknown, comes less from gritting my teeth, and more from opening my hands. It starts with fearing God. With knowing that I am wildly and unconditionally loved as I am. With resting in the freedom of His grace, mercy, generosity and justice.
And as I open my hands to know and rest, the questions gradually quiet down in His presence. Still there, but put in their proper perspective. Because the One who holds the stars in His hands already knows the answers. And maybe, just maybe, I don’t need to right now. And that’s ok…I think.
Is there some decision you’re facing that’s stirring up fear? Would you love to be able to relax and look fear straight in the face? I’d love to be able to pray for you. Let’s lean into His presence together.