In 2013, my absolute worst fear came to reality. Over the course of 7 months, my family watched our “glue,” our nurturer, our beloved, a rock in our family, deteriorate bit by bit until cancer took her away from us for the rest of this lifetime. I lost one of the people I loved most on this planet earth, and I was devastated. Fear that must have simmered cloaked in the guise of comfort reared its ugly head with the blatant reality that all I had feared was coming to reality: fear of losing someone I loved and the fear of death accompanied taunts from the fear of being left alone. After it happened, I felt that I had faced my worst fear and survived so surely had nothing left to fear. I was so very wrong.
Facing a fear does not conquer it, and I was foolish to think so.
Fast forward a few months as I found myself trying to “grieve well” and trying to live a life free from fear now that it has been “dealt with.” And suddenly, I was in shambles again, and I woke up one morning to find that I was more a slave to fear now than I ever was. I found myself afraid of losing control, afraid of losing anyone else I love and facing the pain and heartbreak yet again, afraid of being left without anyone to run or turn to. I thought I had dealt with it and left it behind, but fear crept in bit by bit until it was holding my heart in a vice of lies.
Facing a fear does not conquer it.
Fear does not respond to passive action. It is aggressive, binding, and crippling in the most subtle of ways. Fear responds to an active defiance of its false power because in that, it is powerless. And the way to defy it?
It requires an action so powerful and yet so simple, something that slips beyond fallen human grasp and whose very essence speaks of divinity, something elusive in our own power and yet freely and abundantly given.
It is found in the letting go. It is found in a choice. It is found in the nail-pierced hands and thorn-pierced brow.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are.”
Fear does not define me. Love defines me, and Love drives out fear.
I am learning to embrace my identity by letting go of the need to control, the need to try to earn something that is already freely given. And oh, how difficult it is to do so, to fight against my old nature that demands fear be a part of my daily living, but, bit by bit, I am letting go and learning to embrace the reality that my identity does not rest in what I do but who I am, and who I am has been defined in perfect Love.
In Love, I need not fear loss for what I have gained is far greater. In Love, death has no sting but has been swallowed up in Life. In Love, I need not fear being left alone for I have been promised that He is always with me.
Oh, how great is the love of the Father, that we should be called His children, His own. And fear does not have the final say, because Love has already won.