Last night, I had a nightmare.
I was all alone in a dark house, and I sensed that there was something incredibly threatening somewhere locked inside with me. I had no idea what it was and no concept of its nature, but I ran from room to room, just screaming in fright and seriously struggling to catch my breath. My heaving breaths woke me up and I lie very still, just listening. Cody was still asleep but I was wide awake. And as I lie there, every tiny noise the house made sent a knife of fear through me and my heart would start pounding. I finally fell back asleep. This morning as I was getting ready, I told Cody about my dream, and he said he had the same type of dream last night. And I was trying to remember what I might have been running from in my dream, but it hit me that it was simply a dream of fear. Just total, solid fear. There could have been absolutely nothing in my dream chasing me, and I know there wasn’t anything in my house when I woke up, but I was still nearly paralyzed with fear anyways.
I live life like this sometimes. Isn’t that sad? I hate being out of control. I hate not having everything together, all my ducks in a row, etc. I know a lot of my anxiety and worry issues spring from this, and lately I have felt very trapped by it. I feel inadequate at work so I worry what will become of me there. I feel inadequate to be a mom so I worry what will happen when I get pregnant. I feel inadequate to work and go to school at the same time so it has kept me from really pursuing some big life changes/decisions I know I need to make.
It’s a control issue but also a fear issue. I refrain from making choices or being joyful because I am so afraid I might fail, so afraid I might get hurt, so afraid I might lose something. And in the process, I don’t move. I don’t grow. I don’t talk to God because I don’t trust He can make it better or take the fear away. I am so convinced something is out to get me that I just freeze in place.
The entire point behind the sermon series lately is living in freedom. In our brokenness as humans, we often settle for less than what God intends because sin becomes part of our life pattern. If worry and anxiety are woven so deeply into my life pattern, I will never grow to trust God in a way that frees me to live in joy. And I won’t even realize it because it’s so normal.
And as much as need the Word and prayer, this is also why we need the church. I almost didn’t go to church this morning *shame* but am so grateful I did. I heard some stories of amazing brokenness and redemption from people whose lives had almost fallen apart. But in confession, they came to God, they came to the church, they knelt in prayer and God showed them they can can move on from their past to live healthy, abundant lives of growth. It was touching and so encouraging to be surrounded by people who a) want to love and obey God but b) also admit they don’t have it all together.
That my kind of people. 🙂
“Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord…” Romans 7:25
“This then is how we know that we belong to the truth,
and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence
whenever our hearts condemn us.
For God is greater than our hearts,
and He knows everything.” 1 John 3:20
“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10