In the past few weeks I have come to a realization. I have spent most of my adult, spiritual life afraid of God. Afraid of losing his love. Afraid of not performing well enough. Afraid of not being radical enough, not giving enough. Afraid that I am selfish, seeking comfort, luke-warm. Afraid that I am not doing enough “big things” to serve him. Afraid that I don’t have enough faith. Afraid that when I stand before him I will be turned away as one of the goats who thought she was a sheep.
The thing about fear is that it steals joy. So I have also spent most of my adult, spiritual life desperately trying to find joy. I tried to pry the fruit of the Spirit from my frightened soul and despaired when that didn’t work.
When we decided not to pursue adoption right now all of my fears came bubbling to the surface. Everything that I thought about God and my faith was laid bare because in my mind I had failed. And the fear threatened to paralyze me.
Then the most amazing thing began to happen. I began to see love. Everywhere. There was love in the people around me, and in the Bible, and in the world outside my door, and in blog posts like this, and in the still small voice that kept whispering to my heart in the darkness of the night, “I love you!” I was astonished at the love that I knew I didn’t earn or deserve but was receiving anyway.
As I allow the pure, unconditional, unadulterated love to pour in the fear is fleeing and the joy is coming.