Recently, at an organized church event, we discussed the topic of romantic relationships. It was surprisingly awkward and intimidating as we answered questions like “what are some of your fears about dating?” I am not shy and tend to find some way to participate during these meetings. Today, however, there was a lump in my throat. Were they asking me to peel away a protective layer I, afore to, didn’t know existed?
The next day, and still thinking about our discussion, I had a short text conversation with a friend who had also been at the meeting. Our subject landed on choices. Every day is a new choice to overcome our fears. “It’s not a one off,” my friend said, “It’s an everyday choice.” I’d heard that before. But, you know that twentieth time when something hits you like a ton of bricks? Yeah.
A few years ago, I participated in a personal growth camp. I mean, this wasn’t for sissies. We were up at five and asleep after midnight. Three days of running in sand, crawling through mud, sit ups until grown men cried, squats that burned through every layer of muscle and then the bone, brutally honest talks and graphs, running in lightening, 3min showers and fireside confessions. It was brutal… and it was beautiful. The camp wasn’t perfect, however, it left me with a greater understanding of the power of choice. What I chose to dwell on, participate in, give, take and grow in would have a huge impact on not only myself, but on those around me for years to come. Every choice, big or small, leads to the next door you face.
Back in the present, here I was speeding down E470 around Denver, text in hand and being reminded of how simple life could be. Life has so many choices. What if we lived the scriptures that way and chose to overcome fear rather than letting fear choose us? What would happen if we truly believed “His mercies are new every morning,” and “There is therefore, now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…?” Suddenly, our daily choices would be free from the shadows of yesterday, and not dependent on the wisdom we will only have when tomorrow is today. Perhaps, the only thing to fear would be fear of the Lord.
I guess there had been another layer the Lord wanted to peel away after all! Lol. And that wasn’t even the whole point.
The deepest blessing that came to me from the meeting and text message that weekend was actually something which bound these two together. Choices are good, fear of the Lord is to be sought after, but what God is after is relationship. It’s all we take with us. And it’s worth all the battles with fear in the world. Relationship.
When fears are laid aside for the sake of relationship, what may transpire is beautiful beyond words. To be honestly known, (fears on the table) loved and accepted anyway by God and each other, is indeed a very great gift. Practically speaking, to be known on an honest level requires choices of grace, time on task and a mutual respect of each other. May we choose wisely.
“Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Col 3:2-4
-Abigail Wiggins, Feb 2017