We are told to be brave, to take courage.
We are told to face our fear, to take that thing head on.
What on earth do we do when fear assails us right in the middle of this dream that we hold dear? I’m not talking about me facing down the fear, I’m talking about the fear that was deep in my heart that came leaping up and grabbed me by the throat.
When I was a little girl I wanted to be a mommy…and a movie star. Later on, I wanted to be a journalist, a linguist, a writer, a teacher, pretty much anything to do with words, but the mommy bit never left me. It was the dream I held most dear.
My worst fear came true when we were told we wouldn’t be able to have kids unless my husband had surgery…and even then it would be iffy at best.
Sometimes, maybe a lot of times, we are staring at our fear’s dark gaping maw, not because we want to but because we have to. There was no choice involved…we didn’t get in an airplane and jump out to conquer a fear of heights. We didn’t purposefully stride across the stage to deliver a speech to face a fear of public speaking.
Often, our deepest fears come to get us. What are we going to do about it?
My dream to become a mommy did come to pass. My husband had that surgery, and we now have five biological children and one by choice. That choice, to bring in this boy with more issues than I care to think about, unhinged my dreams for an idyllic family life. We were thrown into a minefield that keeps blowing up that dream to this day. We are often asked how we handle it.
How do we handle fear? One hope-filled prayer at a time.
When our boy triggered and things would start flying, fear choked me. I was often paralyzed by it. I still suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I needed to learn how to deal with all the fear that those explosions caused. There were practical things we could do, things we could learn but my soul needed to know how to walk toward my God, rather than to someone or something. It was a long lesson that I still struggle with. My instinct is to try to be the savior, to fix it, but there is only one Savior, only one Fixer, and it isn’t me.
Am I trusting my own strengths and abilities? Am I trusting someone else to fix things for me? Am I trusting a method, a program, a medication or therapy? I have had to learn to point a finger at the thing I’m trusting and if it isn’t God, I need to realign myself.
There are, however, things you find out about yourself when the things you fear come to pass in the middle of your dream.
- You are stronger than you thought you were because He is strong. (Philippians 4:13)
- You are braver than you thought you were because He is standing with you. (Joshua 1:9)
- You will have a gift to give others because He gave it to you. (II Corinthians 1:3-7)
I never, for one moment, knew that I could endure the tumult that has been our home for the last 17 years. I never knew that I could love a child who didn’t trust me and told me often that I wasn’t his parent and that we didn’t love him. I never knew that I would be able to bring comfort, hope, and wisdom to other parents in similar situations.
I am living the dream, in the midst of the fear, knowing that my God, Who is good, is bringing good out of the suffering and pain that we’ve gone through.
“We have this hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure!” (Heb 6:19a)
Shared by: Lani Wiens