I believe God is who He says He is. I believe He is sovereign, that Jesus died and rose again, and that the Holy Spirit resides in me. I believe that death has no victory over those alive in Christ. God has proven himself faithful time and time again in my life and I know with a certainty that He will never abandon me.
And yet, even in the midst of my certainty, in the midst of my conviction there is fear. It didn’t happen until I had Eva; this little child brought forth a love so fierce and deep that I can’t always make sense of it. Ironically, early in my marriage one of my stepdaughters was discerning and saw the struggles to come when she commented once: “Julia takes parenting very seriously.” She was right, I do. I have such deep and passionate feelings about the importance of parenting and the role of parents in a child’s life.
This deep love I have for my child can be crippling at times. I leave for Milwaukee today; I am traveling for work and won’t return until Friday. My sweet girl will be with her dad and her sister, and both sets of in-laws will be around to help out this week. And yet, for the last couple of days my stomach has been upset, I’ve not slept well and truth be told I am worrying. I play the horribly morbid “what if” game. I do this every time I have to leave without her. “What if” I don’t come home; “What if” something happens to me and Eva is without her mother.
I have no fear of planes and have traveled a good bit across the globe (solo and in groups) to countries I had never been and most certainly did not speak the language. Never before has travel caused me any fear; not until after I had my daughter. And even though I know that I can trust God with my daughter; even though I know that He loves her even more than I do, I fear that I will be taken from her and the enormity of that impact.
Fear is not of God and it can keep us from living the life He has called us to live.
The truth is that if God decides to call me home it doesn’t matter whether I am near or far from my child. The truth is that God has a plan for my child and He doesn’t need me to accomplish it. He may choose to use me; but He doesn’t need me. The truth is that I used to love traveling; I loved going to new places (near or far) and I’ve let satan steal a bit of that joy by distracting me with other things. The truth is that God has placed me in my job and until He opens the door to something else I need to do it and be able to do it effectively and joyfully – as though I was serving the Lord.
This morning as I finish my packing and head to the airport this is the verse I will meditate on:
Isaiah 41:13 “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”