Three years of marriage is time enough to change you…to show you yourself. In the three years I’ve been married, I’ve seen myself in raw and humbling ways that I never could have seen myself before…things I never knew were there. And mainly, I’ve learned how incredibly susceptible my heart is to fear.
I should have noticed it sooner…
The fear didn’t start once I got married…
Marriage simply amplified it and showed it to me in a clearer light…
In many ways, I’ve been fighting this battle against irrational fear my whole life:
As a little girl, piling my stuffed animals and dolls around myself and laying still as stone, terrified a burglar would come take them…not that I’d ever had any personal experience with burglars to prompt these fears.
As young as elementary school, my insides knotting and tensing to see my parents drink a beer or glass of wine, for fear of what that could do to them…and I had seen and still never have seen either of my parents even close to intoxicated.
As a tween, I knew I was gullible and I constantly worried that I’d be lied to or taken advantage of…but the worst I’d experienced at the time was being duped by the “they took gullible out of the dictionary” line.
Slowly, I’ve learned to see that these fears, the extents they expand to, are irrational…completely.
In my calmer moments, I’ve asked myself questions. I’ve made careful study of my fears. I’ve tried to identify any reason I have to fear these things, any proof of their reality in my life. And there is never any reason; there is never any proof that these fears have a reason to exist…
And the reasons I do manage to find are twisted distortions of truth…they reasons I do find are irrational in themselves.
It happened a few days ago again. I read a great article about discussing sexuality with your children in a godly way, but for some reason the fears started to spin and spiral out of control.
There are many areas that I have learned to not let my mind go…ever.
But this was a new place…a new fear, or at least a rarely explored one.
And I was several minutes into my terrifying, imaginary scenario and on the verge tears before I saw what was happening in my own head and how desperately I needed to stop myself.
Sisters, I don’t even have kids yet…and I’m years from having “the talk” or delving into any of the lessons leading up to it with my children. And yet my nightmarish daydreams were destroying my peace, and demonizing my husband in my own eyes.
…all from a made up scenario.
What if he doesn’t…?
What if he does…?
What if we disagree…?
So I grabbed my phone and typed out a long text to my husband explaining that I’d been struggling with irrational fears again and begging for his prayer. And then I prayed myself. And kept praying and preaching truth to my own heart.
But later that night, as things were quieting and down and my husband was eating the last cookie left over from the community group we host, I started to describe my fears to him.
I wanted his detailed plan of how we would avoid the pitfalls I feared…
I wanted him to grab my hands and passionately reassure me…
I wanted a step-by-step outline of his parenting philosophies…
But I didn’t get any of those.
He cracked a joke.
He held my hand.
He ate his cookie.
He snuggled closer.
And he said four words, “It will be okay.”
I wanted his comfort!
I wanted his plan!
I wanted his thoughtful, logical reassurance!
But what I got was far more valuable. I got an invitation to trust him. I got an invitation to trust God.
My heart battled…wanting to plead for more, but I knew he was right. Words would never be able to fix my fears…ration can never outtalk fear.
He gave me an invitation to trust.
“Are you sure.”
“Yes…It will be okay.”
To trust him.
To trust God working in him…in us.
And truthfully, he probably didn’t realize what he was doing.
He probably wasn’t thinking, “I’m going to invite her to trust me.”
But he did know that logic can never combat irrational thinking. It takes something stronger than logic. The only thing that can combat irrational fears is faith in a good God who is strong enough to change hearts and lives and situations.
I never got the reassurance I was looking for.
I instead got a reminder to live with the faith I so desperately needed.
And that’s how it often is with God. We don’t get answers and outlines and plans. We don’t get the detailed reassurances we crave. Instead we get a gentle reminder of the character of our Heavenly Father. And we get an invitation to trust Him.
But an invitation is just that…an invite.
Accept…or reject. Faith…or fear. It’s my choice. Your choice.
Will you? Will I? Will we?