For God is not the author of confusion but of peace … 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV)
My Beloved lets me sleep late some mornings. It is one of the many gifts he gives me…rest. I tried committing to resting my temple this weekend, I promised the people who love me that I would, and have mostly honored that agreement.
Tired. Nonetheless, I arise thankful to see another day. Feeling overwhelmed, off-put by circumstances that would fell a weaker woman, and in desperate need of an infilling, I thank God that I no longer fight this feeling. I have learned to embrace still and quiet rather than snapping (or worse) at people I love. So, once I stop being petulant, I remember that quiet, that stillness is one of my deepest aspirations. I am learning the practice of ataraxy, I have often prayed for just this…Lord, I desire quiet closeness with You.
I have made peace with uneasiness, I have made peace with my fears.
Formerly on days like this, I’d wallow and then determine to power through. Wiser now, armed with family and friends who lift and encourage me, I sit quietly with doubt, with my discontent, even with my fear, letting it have its way, listening to its lessons.
I am frequently afflicted with what I came to know as Jennifer Pastiloff’s “the imminent fear.”
“The imminent fear. Of drowning. Of people not surviving. Of what others think. Of breathing. Of living. Of dying. It’s everywhere, really. If you look. It’s as big as the ocean and beyond, and it will get you if you stop paying attention. Pay attention.
Listen: that is your breath. Listen: that is my breath. Listen: that is the wind. Listen. This is your life.”
When faced with fear, for me, there are only two options, fight or flight, and here’s a clue to my personality…
I don’t run.
The last few years represent my embrace of the journey called Life through Fear. Hear my declaration. Be Afraid, fear is often is prudent, but NEVER Lose Faith. Never let doubt of any kind keep you from pursuing your dreams. Sometimes, I name it. I call it HER and tell her to come along. I’m going wherever I’m headed, with or without her.
Yes, this feeling is that thing-my fear; your fear The imminent fear. But listen to me, when you are afraid…naming your fear steals its power. Your fear is biggest when you fail to call it by its name. And then there is the thing that Jennifer didn’t write, the thing that fills my soul, that draws me out of myself, not out of my stillness but away from my fear…
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace.
God is not the author of fear or confusion, but of peace. God created us for joy. God created us for praise. God created us to step out in faith, to walk towards God-sized dreams planted deep within us. We were created to succeed. So, hear me, now and always, embrace the lesson, even when it’s hard.
Accept with grace your imminent fear along with the resulting lesson in faith and in trust.
Learn to focus upon the achievements just beyond your reach. At first you may feel afraid, you may even feel broken but finally redeemed. You will succeed.
I am a very serious person, so I laugh a lot. I write because it helps me understand the way I feel about the world. I married my high school sweetheart, and together we made two exceptional people and raised a dog so remarkable, I wrote a book about the faith lessons he taught me. I envision a world where each of us embraces the Perfect, Precise Image of God that we are, naturally, at every given moment, even as each of us exists in a liminal state.
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