How do I recap sixteen hour-long-sessions that represent years’ worth of the Holy Spirit’s work in my life? Years of birth pains culminated in Orlando, in the middle of my very own Disney World - and the sessions were only the channel.
I have been suffering for thirty years against the strangling hold of my own lukewarm faith and I realized it in the midst of four-thousand other women.
It was awful, scary, and real. It came at a great cost. Anything worth having, is worth working for. And until now, it’s all been veiled in metaphors.
Now it gets real. The veil lifts today.
Words protect me. I use them to distract and deflect. It is a great defense mechanism to keep me from the fear of dealing with my own gunk. “Fake it till you make it,” right?!
What if I fake it so long that I fool even myself? I have used words and false humility as a cape of protection for way too long. Really, it is only false vulnerability. If I trick you and earn your trust, you will trust me more.
I win both ways - I give you fake and you give me trust. I win and you are fooled. Safe for me, until now. This weekend I stared my greatest fears in the face. I hopped on the largest, fastest, scariest roller coaster I’ve ever seen.
I called it quits on the kiddie-rides of fear and insecurity, and hopped on the scariest ride ever - the faith ride.
I have tried every ride that boasted affirmation and never found one that would produce.
I sought comfort, validation, and affirmation in people.
Words of love and wisdom received as shame and rejection. Words of honor, a source of constant fear and bondage. The same words they meant as grace, I saw as chains.
I never found love and comfort, even from well-meaning family and friends. I didn’t know what I needed, how could they?
I threw them off. In the process I threw off not only chains, but also people. I learned to build a castle of isolation. I built my own prison, all alone with no one worthy of my trust.
I ran from one friendship to another, one problem to another, one heartache to another. However far I ran, I ended up right where I began. Trapped and gripped by fear. Paralyzed.
Ten years later, I can see my past through lenses of grace, knowing I have never walked alone. I see that God has heard every cry and wiped every tear.
I have known Jesus for ten years. I have been confident in him for only a few weeks. Fear has ensnared me for too long.
Today I choose light over darkness. Real over fake. Today it gets real, because it goes live. No turning back. You are reading it, so it’s too late for take-backs.
I never expected a restful vacation to leave me in absolute exposure. I stood in the middle of four thousand women and yet I felt so alone. I stared my fears in the face and called them out.
Do I trust God? Do I love him? Is he worth the cost? Do I love him and trust him enough to give him all of my fear, insecurity, and doubt?
I spent so much time “soul-spelunking” that I used up all of my brain power. My need was Jesus. Not a better grip on my sinfulness. I was confident in my failures, I needed to be confident in his grace.
And this weekend, I found my ticket, my ticket out of fear and into rest. I’ve never been happier.