Fear is so ugly. It is so gripping and i can feel it consuming me at this very moment as i type. I have been reading about the massive tornado that tore through Oklahoma and it literally makes my insides quiver. It makes my heart speed up and it makes my feet feel like running. Running to school to go pick up my girls and holding them tightly.
Fear is no friend of mine.
But it is with me always.
I can remember the exact moment where fear became new to me.
It was the Fall of 2004, I was newly married and Jeromy and I were up in Duluth, at Gooseberry falls, and we were walking by the river and we got to a place where we had to jump from a one rock to another to get across. Nothing i couldn't do. Nothing i hadn't done before.
Ya see, it is a moment i remember very vividly. Because something inside me had changed. I felt weaker. More vulnerable.
I was freshly pregnant.
I specifically remember putting my hand on my stomach and thinking, There is no way i can jump! What if i miss the rock? What if theres algi on the rock and i slip?! What if I fall and i can't protect my baby!?!
Suddenly life was altered. That very moment. A fear i had never known crept in.
And it has slowly spread throughout my life as i have had more babies and my love grew even deeper---that fear has intensified.
I remember when i had Ruby, i felt like no other mother could hold my baby properly. Lord, please don't let them drop her!! That honestly was a huge fear of mine. Like a seasoned mother was going to drop a baby? Come on.
I remember an instance where my cousin came to visit and was wearing high heels and I handed Ruby to her. My wind raced as i panicked that her high heel might spontaneously break and she would fall--dropping my baby girl!
It seems silly as i look back, but it was a real fear.
There was the first rain storm that Jeromy played ball in and as we drove home--all the way up 65 to East Bethel--i literally prayed aloud as I drove us home with almost zero visibility....
...certain of impending doom.
I remember that storm as if it were yesterday.
Because a new piece of fear was inside me. I suddenly hated the rain. Hated the unknown power of the fierce wind, twisting and blowing.
I still hate it now.
I remember playing co-ed ball after i became a mother. As a short stop on a team with men, it never fazed me---until i became someones mother.
Suddenly i thought it ludicrous to be standing there, ready to take a 300 mph ball to the glove..face..shin...body...heart!
And as my kids have entered school the fear has grown. Don't get me wrong, i work very hard to control it. But it can be consuming. And that fear has stretched--not only for my kids--but for my friends as well.
Oh my gosh, the thought of my friends daughter almost getting hit by a car on the way to the bus....that broke me. I had to recover from just hearing the story.
Children are so precious. So innocent. So lovable. So in need of protection.
I feel it creeping in again....
this disgusting fear.
And it scares me.
I know as a Christian that God is in control. I know this.
But as a mother, i can't contain my love. I know i can't control all situations involving my little babies. But i want to put them under my wing and keep them there--forever.
I hate natural disasters as much as i hate the idea of someone opening fire at a school.
It makes me feel as if my heart may just stop beating. How can i protect everyone?
That thought goes through my mind too much.
I asked Jeromy last year, after many tornadoes were reported around the country, if he could make some sort of harness thing that is hammered into the concrete under the stairs in the basement, for each one of us, to ensure that none of my kids are ever ripped from my arms in a storm.
It was like a light bulb went off and i felt desperate to make it happen.
Though it hasn't. Because i suppose its bordering on lunacy.
I guess i just am writing this because i am afraid. I am sad for Oklahoma. I am fearful for the very real threat of Summer and its ugly mistress: Tornadoes.
I told Jeromy earlier, as Spring just wouldn't arrive and we kept having snow days and ugly weather, that "What if God is just going to freeze us out? What if that's how he takes us?"
And it was about 20% a joke and 80% a real fear.
These storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunami's, earthquakes--they worry me.
Because i see our country going in the total opposite direction of God honoring. And i fear His wrath.
I see these things as a sign, i guess. (in a non weird way) It reminds me as i am filled with anxiety and fear that we need to continue to honor God. To love God. To love others. To make His name known. To shine a light in an awfully dark, dark world.
In a time consumed with "self" we need to think of others.
We don't need instant gratification. We don't need the news at our finger tips. We don't need to know what everyone is doing at every moment of every day.
We need to love our families. We need to do for others. We need to enjoy the "ordinary days"--the gifts from God.
Matthew 7:16 says "You will know them by their fruits"
I want to be known by my fruits, not my fears. I want to take my fear and let it spur me on, to be better, to love deeper, and to see every moment for the blessing that God has intended it.
That is my reminder in times like these, times where i can feel myself slipping...into a gentle panic.
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." (Hebrews 12:23)
We just need to hold on.