I have observed from the sidelines as some of my friends have written wild and free on Fridays. The challenge is five minutes, no real editing off a prompt given by Kate. The community is real and so is the practice of letting words flow in worship. The prompt this week is “dear.” The confession is that words did not begin to flow for several minutes. I broke the rule on my first week. I bet the writing itself only took 6 or 7. When words came I realized it was an update on the state of my heart and the journey the Lord has had me on.
Five Minutes, go.
I don’t know how to say this so I’m going to just step out and say it. We are breaking up.
You have been a lousy, long-term friend to me. You have terrorized me since childhood. I was the one who was always wondering how I would die certain that cancer and terrible sickness would be my lot. You entered my dreams painting vivid scenarios that left me breathless. I spun circles and lies as you wrapped your icy hands around my heart whispering lies that I was never enough.
I thought we were done when I gave my life to Christ. Forgiveness meant Heaven and that meant no fear, right? And while I have memorized verse upon verse about YOU having no place in my life and how I am no longer ensnared, you have lingered in the shadows. And giving FEAR one inch means you took a mile.
Push came to shove this fall, Fear. I was writing about you, chasing you down, warring against you, teaching my Sisters to do the same when you reared up. I was laying down thoughts and Scriptures when you showed up all over again. Failure. Unknowns. Impending doom. And the thing that was laid down was not YOU and beautifully crafted words, but my pen. And I laid in the dark pinned down, writhing, wondering if I would ever be free again. Wondering if it was possible to suffocate from fear.
What I’m beginning to realize is that the only way to diminish you is not to tell myself not to FEAR, but rather to gaze at the greatness of my God. That His steadfast love endures forever. His ways are infinitely higher. His protection is sure. His grace sufficient. He never slumbers. His fruit is peace.
I can’t be done with the news, Fear. But I choose HOPE.
I don’t know how I’ll die, Fear. But I anticipate my Savior’s greeting.
I can’t control my husband, or my children, or my friends, or even my enemies. But my Savior does.
I’m bad at breakups, but you are terrible for me. Consider this your eviction notice. I’m so done.
And that’s where I’ve been, my Friends. Sidelined and fighting back. The book is on hold, for now. The lessons from the ash heap are proving to be diamonds. Beautiful. Costly. Worth it.
I hope to see you around here, more.