I didn’t know that goodness surrounded me, and I certainly didn’t know how to access it.
All I knew was that I needed to control those around me.
It wasn’t overt (usually) and it wasn’t deliberate. I just thought I could see more clearly than others—–particularly TDH (tall, dark and handsome) and the short people running around our house.
I loved so deeply and lived under such a subtle weight of fear that I micro-managed their lives:
“No, don’t do it like that. Here let me show you.”
“Did you take your vitamins?”
“Have you called them back yet? You really need to do that before they can’t fit you in.”
“Have you done your homework?”
It crafted the structure of our home. Everything filtered through mom.
I didn’t see it as control, and I didn’t know it was rooted in fear.
The Way Out
That is until God cleared His throat a few times and started shedding light on my “helpful input.” It’s hard to let go of something when there is nothing else to cling to.
God is so kind to take us through process.
After He shed light on the issue, I had to decide if I wanted to let go of control. I did, which meant we had to deal with my fears. Control is only a by-product of that root issue.
We are interesting creatures. Complex and multi-dimensional. We are like houses with rooms, closets, basements and windows.
Some of our rooms have all the blinds open, letting light pour in. Other rooms are securely locked with all the windows shuttered. Some rooms we leave open to allows others in, while some of us have barricades and barbed-wire surrounding our houses, making them intimidating and unapproachable.
And many of us, though we may have the blinds up and rooms open, leave certain closets and the basement tightly sealed off. We won’t go near those memories, nor give anyone access to them. To our innermost parts.
God gradually began inviting me to open doors to areas I had shut off. You see, fear resides where we lack an experience with love.
God is love (1 John 4:8) and perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). Fear is always bound to a lie. I needed to uncover the lies that allowed fear to take up residence:
- God won’t protect my kids, so I have to.
- People won’t like me if they get to know the real me.
- Love doesn’t allow others to feel pain.
- God isn’t trustworthy.
- God is distant.
- I’m not lovable.
Lies were fueling fear in my life and preventing me from trusting others to find their own way (and ultimately preventing me from trusting God).
The Journey Begins
As I began to see how these lies hindered freedom in my life and in my relationships, I yearned to be freed into a different kind of life.
So I began a journey to make God’s truth the reality I lived through.
It wasn’t easy. Truth bouncing around in our gray matter does nothing for us until it makes the twelve inch drop to our hearts. It’s in our hearts where our perceptions of our experiences determine what we believe.
We can have belief systems that run counter to the truth of the Bible. Real life experience, filtered through our perceptions, is stronger than words on a page, even if they are written by God.
God had to take me into some of those rooms where my experiences seemed to prove that He wasn’t a mighty conqueror in my life. And He had to show me where He was and what He was doing during those difficult times.
- God is trustworthy and powerful.
- Because God delights in me, I can allow others to know me.
- Love allows difficulty and pain, but never abandons.
- God is closer than a brother.
- I am deeply loved.
And so I began my journey out of fear and into intimacy with God.
You’re invited to this journey that will be uniquely yours, because there is no formula; there is just persistence.
Father, reveal the areas where I lack an experience of You, where lies are keeping me bound to fear. Where discouragement and depression have set in, telling me this is how life is, that nothing will ever change. You say differently. You have hope for my future, and You have great things in store for me. Show me Your love. Teach me Your ways. Show me how to follow you into intimacy. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Photos by Pixabay