When I show this picture to my daughter, she will smile wide. I just know it. How do I know this? She’s been traveling through a season of fears, night-time fears, and surrounding her are pillows tucked in all the crevices. In some way, she is trying to control her circumstances, she is trying to conquer this alone. And it continues to press in around her.
The difference is she is no longer little. She is ten years old. She can think and reason differently than she could at 3. She has a relationship with Jesus. She has a gift of memorization, including scripture. And she had a breakdown while driving in the van with me the other night. In a cry of desperation she screamed, “I JUST NEED YOU TO HELP ME!”
And I felt this surge of fierce passion. A passion to fight FOR her while she’s fighting AGAINST me… just like when she was 3. First, I’m so thankful she is willing to talk to me. Out of the blue one day, she mentioned the source of this fear. A classmate that sits at her table shared a creepy story one day. And it’s stuck with her, ever since. And this classmate continues to tell such stories, even after expressing that it interrupts her sleeping at night. And instead of fighting AGAINST said girl and marching myself into her classroom, I found myself fighting FOR her by asking her what she could do about it, how she could involve her teacher if need be and what the possible results could be.
During the van moments, emotions were rising and walls were being built, so a solution could not be reached. Her desire was to find a quick-fix and fast. And yet, this quick-fix had to be on her terms. She feels that she needs a warm body next to her, I know that her only need is to trust in the One who never leaves her side. In my desire to break the chains of human dependency, I want to create an opportunity for her to practice and experience the reality of Her God being more than enough, completely sufficient, her all in all. That evening, every suggestion was met with, “I already tried that!” She used the word “ignore”. I clearly stated that her fear was real, but someone is bigger. As I prayed and attempted to hold out His word to her, her exhaustion coupled with a strong-will continued to build that oh-so-familiar wall brick by brick. So quickly, in fact, that the very words I held out to her were the very words meant for myself as well, “Emma (Heather), sweetheart, you just need to let. it. go. Release. And trust.”
I gathered for a women’s study that night to follow, and the topic – fear. And the Lord brought women to me who expressed their fears and how their minds think, and scriptures were gifted to my mind and my heart, and then I shared a conversation with a friend who has walked with me in a soul-sister season for the past year and her parting words – “Heather, you should blog about this.” And I doubted. I haven’t written in quite awhile. And I knew, God would have me process and perhaps, pass along His word to another.
2 Timothy 1:7 – God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
And even though Emma knows that the pillows will not erase the images in her mind, they continue to lend her support as she practices her attempts at letting go of the image that pierces her mind, and replaces it with a different picture. Perhaps a picture of her Almighty Heavenly Father that stands tall behind her, handa on hips, gentle expression on His face, no words needed. Because He stands there, the monster diminishes in size. Instead of a monster looming, it shrinks, eventually into oblivion. And the very thing that threatened to take her down will be the tool used to draw her nearer and deeper to the heart of her Heavenly Father.
And this will take time. Time to not only know His truth, but to believe it. And the more we fill our minds with truth, the less room we will have for fear to redirect us. The truth is that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38) – no thing. Fear, anxiety, doubt, and worry can never erase this, only distance us from His love. His freedom awaits, His truth abounds, His love is never-ending. God is bigger than any monster or giant in our life. Do we believe Him? Can we obey and “let go”, release it to Him, knowing that He always has our back?
I want to choose this and continue to try, how about you? How can I pray for you today?
My daughter continues to model to me her child-like faith, Lord may this be the image I take with me to another country this week. Thank you for teaching me through my children, for it is in them, I see a reflection of my child-like self.