I know, it’s been awhile. Writing ebbs and flows, and there are many times I become discouraged, or simply out of practice. It’s only when the words and thoughts build up in my brain to the point that I have to move my fingers to release the mental pressure that I finally find the time to sit down and do something that’s not absently staring at social media.
I’m writing to admit something to you (and me).
I’ve spent the last several days in sadness and fear. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I tend to deliberately remain ignorant of the world around me. I fix my eyes on the things of my everyday mundane–cleaning the house, taking care of the children, feeding and washing and everything in between–that I deliberately stay away from things that interfere with it.
The truth is, my spirit can’t handle it. I am a person who has a hard time with things outside of my control. ISIS is way outside my control. The Paris attacks. The crime and all these road rage shootings here in DFW. The stories that pop up on my news app — they are so far beyond my control.
All this talk of Syrian refugees and ISIS threats and people coming into the US, well, it’s scary. There are so many days it feels like the end is near, and here I am, a young mother raising her babies and scared to think about how I can protect them. There are days I wish the Lord would just scoop all of us up and take us safely to His kingdom so we could escape this world. The truth is there are times I ask God why I had to be born in THIS age, where it feels like I won’t be able to live to see my children full grown and children of their own. How can I think to bring any more into this world when I doubt my ability to fully protect the two I have?
Then I think about the people who have gone before us. I wonder if they also felt like their generation was the last generation. I’m almost positive they did. Yet this feeling feels singular and isolating and it makes me want to move off the grid entirely. Perhaps being an adult is mainly about looking put together and mostly feeling like a helpless child in a grown up body.
This morning, I was turned towards John 16. Jesus is talking to his disciples, telling them of his coming departure. He does not sugar coat the conversation, but instead warns the disciples of the trials and difficulties that lie ahead. Verse 33 sums up his speech:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
I know it’s perfectly normal to be afraid and as much as I want to pretend that this world is going to be uneventful and safe for the duration of my life and the lives of my children and grandchildren, I know that I can’t give or get that guarantee. As much as I would like to crawl in a hole and wait for things to be my own brand of perfect, I can’t let my fear rob me of the joys I get to experience every day.
I think about the fear I feel now, and I hold it alongside the families trying to live in the midst of these atrocities. I’m not going to tell you what to believe, but I would hope that we do what we would want done for us. And I hope we have the strength to do the right thing, even if it is not popular, even without the guarantee of return.
For me, I am leaning into the fact that I don’t have to know all the answers, but I know the ultimate outcome.
He has overcome.