How much security is enough? Sometimes I wake up in the night afraid.
I’m fairly secure…more secure than the average person as far as shelter, food, and clothing go and yet I wake up and experience fear just as real as anybody else on the face of the planet. Or who knows…maybe a good chunk of the world is so terribly unprovided for daily maybe their feelings of insecurity and fear are nothing like mine.
At any little moment with our bodies we know that if things go wrong it will be huge. I’m getting older…I’m aware of this. I’m awake right now because my knees hurt. I biked 39 miles with my daughter yesterday. I’m almost 43…my knees are letting me know about it. I’ve seen what cancer can do. And even stuff as little as poison ivy…I probably need to call the doctor this week. I try to fight that stuff off but usually can’t without a trip to the doctor. I notice how certain doctors and dentists and other health care people only take certain people with certain insurance and I wonder how that’s going to feel soon when I’m not in the ok group. Assuming that’s probably what will happen.
And trying to make the change I’m trying to make…sometimes in the dark of the night it doesn’t seem very realistic. Just today out of three lessons I had one completely not show up. One say they are going to take a break til they have money to pay for it again and one say that they need to take a break til August. I competely understand and for today…it was ok. My body was hurting enough after biking that I was ok with a break. But I lay in bed and wonder if a person can really make their way without a huge organization to be connected to.
I’m afraid. No courage would be required to live this life if I wasn’t I remind myself. My back up plan is completely God. On one hand I know He can raise the dead and do miracles and provide for me adequately, in fact more than adequately…on the other hand I see the natural disasters all around and how a good part of the world goes without and suffers terribly and I wonder what kind of God I’m trusting. In the middle of the day trusting in God sounds so inspirational…so secure. Sometimes in the middle of the night it sounds terrifying.
Most people have a husband to fall back on, family near, solid work, health insurance, pension….at least that’s my first thought and then I start to realize…no Ruth, you’ve just been in that group for long enough you’ve forgotten how most people really have it. A ton of people are single parents these days. A ton of people are without family near. A ton of people are in need of a job. A ton of people have no health insurance or pension, no retirement plan beyond working the rest of their lives. I’m just changing view points…deliberately.
Which makes it sound like I just made this choice on a whim. I didn’t. What good it is if a man gains the whole world and loses his soul. That’s how I was feeling if I kept going down the same path. I think teaching is right for lots of people. I just knew it was time for me to get out at least for a year if I was to stay sane and healthy.
There are always tradeoffs.
In the night, sometimes I’m afraid. Truthfully…sometimes even in the day. This is what’s happening…I’m fast coming to the cross roads where either I believe that God is who He say He is or I don’t. He is either enough or not. He either loves me and will keep His promises to me or He won’t. My fear is causing me to turn those beliefs around in my mind and either dig deeper and cling tighter or to panic.
I must trust all the harder. I’m no idiot. I’ve been working hard at starting my business since February despite working fulltime. It’s really astounding that I picked up the students I did in that time period. In July, it will be time for a fresh push and a trust that God will provide.
Yesterday it was an unexpected water heater cost. But even in that, which is being fixed today…God did provide.
I have to remind myself often…I don’t need much, in fact very little. When I wake up in the night and feel afraid…I’m just hearing lies that have swirled around me in our culture for a long time. This world tells us we need security, and comfort, the ability to buy the latest and greatest. It’s a lie. I know I’m on the right path…but going against the culture of our day is not an easy thing.
I have no desire to put my kids at any risk in my decision and yet…how can I not put them at risk and who do I think I am if I think staying with the status quo will put them at no risk anyway. Life is daily about risk.
This is what I know.
God will never leave me or forsake me.
As I delight myself in Him…He will give me the desires of my heart.
Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding…in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
These are very real promises from God. Sometimes when I’m afraid…God seems too huge, too holy, too far away and removed to care about my little ole life. These promises remind me of His deep love for me. The fact that He is very near to me. Sitting right here with me as I type this post. Watching over me as I sleep or toss and turn. These promises don’t say that things will be easy or involve no pain. But they go deeper really if I’ll let them. They let me know I’ll never be alone. I’ll never be forgotten. I will always be directed by Him. And that He will shape the desires of my heart to match His as I look to Him.
We all want to be secure. We crave it. We were made for it. We were supposed to be walking in the garden with God, unafraid, unashamed, unclothed and be completely unaware of it. Instead…we are in a world that causes much fear, much shame and much awareness of ourselves. I just had the verse run through my mind that In this world you will have many trials…but do not be afraid…I have overcome the world. That might not be an exact word for word remembrance but as I sit here tonight typing this post even in that sentence that God just brought to my mind I know that’s all that matters.
For I am convinced that neither death or life, nothing high above or below, etc. can separate me from the love of Christ…another scripture that’s just come rushing to my mind.
My version tonight…
For I am convinced that neither poor health insurance or none at all, lessons cancelled or students added, husband or no husband, stuff that breaks down and costs extra money, kids college coming not far off, less money, unknown pension changes, sickness or health can separate me from the love of God.
God loves me. He is with me. He has already won. He is the only secure thing. He is able to provide for me. He is faithful, can’t be anything but. He knows me…so intimately that He knows how many hairs are on my head. He cares for all of creation, how much more will He care for me.
Anytime I think any of this stuff relies on me, what I do, who I am, what security I create I’m leading a deluded life. It’s a lie. It’s a culture that we’ve all pretty much bought into…but it’s a lie.
When I am afraid I will trust in Him.
I know I will have many nights ahead of me in the years to come where I’m sure I’ll have fears assault me. I know I’ll have times when my heart will race and my mind will wonder. But in the end, I’m counting on God and He is counting on me.Whether that’s for money, for security, for provision of any sort. Whether that’s for companionship, health and peace. Whether that’s for my children or myself or others that are dear to me. I’m trusting in God.
I want to be known as a woman of great courage and bravery…that can only be so if I also deal with fear and don’t back down. Courage with no fear involved is not really courage.
Maybe it seems like the type of decision I’m making is unnecessary…but sometimes we just know that it’s time for us to walk a different path.
This could be a time when I scramble, panic and grab. I can’t live that way. I have a choice…I can either count on myself or count on God. The only way this whole bravery thing will work is for me to completely let go of my rights to run anything and trust in God to catch me. Tonight is just one more time when I have to release my strangle hold on life. My grasping and clawing and hanging on for dear life and just rest and let go into the hands of God who is already working all things for my good.
Your fears maybe far different than mine. You may think my fears are silly or unfounded. Fear tends to be that way in the light of day. But even if your fears don’t match mine, you probably have your own set. You can’t get through this life without fear. Even rich people who could feel very secure have fears. Even healthy people who are perfectly in shape and ageless have fears. Even people who have the love and support of family nearby have fears. No situation is immune. Facing fear is something that unites us as a people. We all know what it is to be afraid.
There are glamourous, lovely parts to what I’m doing getting off the ride. It sounds lovely to not have to go back to school in the fall. Or to have freedom to make my own way. But there are really hard parts too as is with any major life choice. Bridges crossed can change life often with no looking back. I’ve crossed a few of those bridges. I understand what that’s like. Requires letting go. You can’t move forward and into new areas of life without letting go of some of the stuff in the past.
Tonight I’m just letting go again. Falling into the arms of God. Hoping to be caught. Reminding myself and hearing from God through verse and scripture that He has already caught me and is taking care of me. When I am afraid I will trust in God.
(I apologize that I know I’ve posted about fear in the middle of the night before. But the reality is…dealing with it, working it out in my heart and mind is something that I have to do often. I know even as I type this there will be other nights when I will wake up afraid. This moment in time doesn’t secure that I will never have to wrestle fear down again. On the contrary…knowing it will be a repeat subject, lets me know what to look for and how to handle it the next time it comes around. The best way for me to come to peace is to return to scripture. To remember the promises of God. To breathe deeply. To let go. To try to understand how much God really loves me and is working everything for my good.)