How do you know you didn’t just dodge a bullet?

A friend asked me that today, a new question in contrast to what I’ve been receiving lately.  There have been a lot of suggestions and plenty of advice but there hasn’t been a lot of what that question was, something I hadn’t heard before.

He went on… What if God has something right around the corner?  How do you know that He’s not preparing you for something else?  Something better?

I’ve been stuck in the pain and intensity of it all.  It’s hard to have perspective when some nights all you’ve got is loneliness in the form of Netflix and flavorless popcorn.

Feeling lonely is really just a symptom of deep fear I’ve been harboring and I think loneliness might be something I’ve made up.  It’s me letting my boredom lead to disgust with myself and my circumstances.  It’s me being so unhappy with myself that when I get super alone, all I can see and feel is my frustration and discontentment at my inability to be perfectly tied together.

I am afraid.

I am so afraid that I lie about being as scared as I am, because if I’m honest and I confess my deepest fears out loud then I have to own that they’re a part of me.  But that’s what God is asking me to do: confess.

Maybe I’m addicted to this fear, and I hold it tightly because it’s too scary to let it go.  It’s too unstable and uncertain.  If I let it go and I’m not controlled by it anymore then what do I have left?

If I let it go and confess and God really does take the fear away, then I’m really not going to get what I want.

Fears can be a security blanket because they are something we can control.  We make friends with fear because it’s something we understand.  Fear is a lot easier to look in the face than freedom.  In my head, fear has colors that I can comprehend.  It causes us to manipulate and stifle ourselves; it makes us stagnant.

Freedom on the other hand has the ability to unleash parts of ourselves that we don’t even know yet.  Freedom causes us to do crazy things, it makes us dare to turn off the perceptions that others have of us.  It’s doesn’t make them go away, but it frees us up to let go.  Freedom gives us the miraculous ability to be merciful when we should be infuriated, to love when we’re justifiably angry, and it takes us out of the way to pave the way for God to come in.

Freedom makes me care less and want God more.

It’s scary to let go because it propels us in to uncharted waters.

I’m afraid to let go because I’m afraid this is the death sentence for what I want to happen.  Confessing is me giving up any shred of hope that this would ever happen for me.  I’m taking the dog out back and straight up shooting it in the face.

The fear that consumes me is this:

I’m going to end up alone.

Sitting with that fear is uncomfortable and embarrassing.  It makes me realize how I’ve put all my eggs in the basket of my relationships with a select few people.

If it’s not that person, then it’s no one echoes in my ears constantly.

I believe that God is faithful.  He has proven that to me time and time again.  I know I can trust Him because I know He’s always working.  He is working when I don’t see it and because of my faith in Jesus, I know that He is with me.

So there it is, my confession.  I’m terrified that I’m going to end up alone and I’m addicted to my fear of it.

When my friend asked me those questions, I genuinely hadn’t considered the possibility of something else.  It opened my eyes to something revolutionary.  God is stitching together a story that can’t be manipulated or controlled by me no matter how hard I try to manipulate and control.

I don’t have to wonder if there’s something better around the corner, I can know that there is.  What if I didn’t have to be afraid of being alone because it’s not going to happen?

God is stitching together a story and that story is going to be beautiful.  It’s my beautiful story and I’m going to choose to cling to it.  His story is my hope, and my fears don’t have nearly as much power as I think they do.

RD

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