Tuesday, September 10, 2019

FEAR & HOPE

Untitled

I took all the kids to Hobby Lobby, which held some dicey moments.  It also held this stream of questions from William at the cash register:

"Can God give me a bunch of brothers instead of a bunch of sisters?"
"Where does God live?  Can we get there by a road?"
"Is God still making things or did he finish?"

You know, light Saturday fodder that is easy to answer with an audience at the check out line.  🤣

I, like so many others I know, have been a little Enneagram obsessed over the last couple of years.  I went through a book early in 2018 and have been talking about it ever since.  I'm a type Seven.  In a nutshell that means I love to have fun and often seek to avoid pain.  It also means that one of my underlying struggles is fear.  At first, I didn't relate to this, because I'm not really "afraid" of much, nor do I often spend time worrying.

However, what seems to be true for my type is that we FORGET and BURY the fear.  We pretend it isn't there.  Unfortunately, this rings incredibly true, and as I've continued in counseling for the past year and half or so, it has bubbled to the surface repeatedly.  Underlying much of my life is a fear that the good things will not last.  That things will somehow implode, and I'll only be able to look backwards into happy memories with no more to be made.

I've lived through some worst case scenarios that my brain sometimes uses to underline the fear.  My dad got pancreatic cancer and died, even when we prayed and believed in faith for healing.  A dear family friend died suddenly this year.  And there are a lot of unknowns ahead of us that often taunt me.  How will things possibly go "right"?

Last week I actually said to my counselor,
"It doesn't matter what I want, because God is going to do what he is going to do."

And there is truth in that statement, but it misses the heart of who God is.  It also misses the mark of the Christ follower I want to be.  It assumes that I somehow know what is best for everyone, including myself.  It also narrows the focus onto me and my wants and what I think I need, instead of the larger picture of my life in context of God's glory.  God is for me, ultimately.  He is a good father who will not give his children rocks when they ask for bread.

I'm making concerted choices to look up and towards the Lord.  To silence the fear and cynicism that rise in my heart.  To trust the heart of God and know that he sees and knows more than I ever will, and that he is working a good plan for my good and his glory.  I don't know and understand everything (or even a lot of things) that God does.  His ways are higher than mine, so when I am filled with questions like William's, I have to remind myself of God's greatness and goodness.

I have to choose to trust.  Over and over again.  Not blindly, but with assurance, because I know who he is, and he loves me and I love him.  I'm one of those fortunate people who has known this fact for as long as I can remember.  I want to trust a God that is so powerful and consuming that I will never be able to understand him, and yet when I encounter the one true God who is exactly that, my humanness wants to boil down his essence and actions into something I can put my mind around.

My sweet counselor prayed hope over me, and I'm working to relinquish the cynicism that I've put on through life.  I don't like admitting it, but cynicism is easier.  It allows me to resign myself to whatever God is doing instead of hoping and knowing that whatever it is will somehow be made good and right.  The acceptance is similar, but the posture is dramatically different.  So - here's to a posture of hope and optimism and receiving good things from a good father.  And being able to point my kiddos to him whenever they ask in-depth questions in the check-out line.

0 comments: