Scared… I am scared of snakes, loud thunder, the country in the dark, heights, tight places… When I think of the word scared my first thoughts are those when my knee jerk initial reaction is scared. My mind then goes to times where I was scared, or felt frightened, where my body reacted to the stimulus in a way that showed fear. I was thinking of 9 11 and how like many people, I felt scared of what everything I was seeing on TV meant. For days after being scared if a plane flew over, because all planes were grounded except military planes. It was a deeper fear that I experienced as an individual, and with my community.
Today though, I was reminded of another thing that scares me, that I would not have named as that, had the situation come up on a different day maybe. I was meeting with my prayer group, and one lady was sharing how God was asking her if she would allow Him to be in the driver seat of her “life car”. Would she allow Him to drive and direct the way she was to go? As soon as she made the analogy, I thought to myself how awful of a passenger I am. (I think I am getting better, but truly I am an awful passenger.)
I was thinking of that analogy, and then the other lady shared how she prefers to have someone else drive, but only when she is in charge of directions and telling the person how to drive, and where they are going. This was all a bit too close to my heart. This word picture was very convicting. I was relating a bit too much to this picture of God driving, or asking to drive, and then if I let Him, telling Him when to speed up, and when to slow down, where to turn, which road to take, scared of losing control.
I know that God is trustworthy. I know His ways are way better than mine. I know that He can provide all I need and knows what I need better than I do, but I do get scared when I see where He is leading, or when it seems He has pulled off and we are just sitting and waiting. What are we waiting for? How long will we wait? What are the ramifications of this way versus another way? As I was following the trail of this visual of God driving and realizing that even in this hypothetical car I am a terrible passenger, I went on Instagram and Tim Keller had shared some wisdom, “the greatest nightmare of an approval addict is rejection; of a power addict is humiliation; of a comfort addict is suffering,” and tucked nicely at the end, the sacred echo that named for me why letting someone else drive, and especially God scares me, ‘and of the control addict is uncertainty.”
What am I most scared of? apparently uncertainty. There was a time I would have argued and thought you were crazy. My outward actions and words show very much the opposite. I am ready to go wherever God has for us to go, I like spontaneity, I would say I like surprises and freedom, but deep down those things scare me. They are unsettling because they are uncertain. There is very little control over those things. As I am understanding the impact of my growing up years on me as an adult, I am realizing that the instability of my people made me grasp and hold tight to things I could control. As much as I want to be chill and laid back, flexible, my inner spirit wrestles with being afraid of what that will bring.
God has been so gracious in this journey of loosening my grip on things I have tried to control, or think I can control. He is willing to let me pour out all of this to Him. He has also given me the words to be able to name these things, which is a huge victory in this journey to walking in my full freedom that He has given me. He is teaching me how to walk in spacious places and that He is there with me to cover me and protect me.
I do not have to be scared that He will leave, or try to teach me some lesson by pulling the rug out from under me. He is good all the time. He cannot not be good. So no matter where He leads, and what He allows to come through His hand is for His glory, but also for my good. And when I am scared, I can go to Him and He will comfort me, not reprimand me. I do not need to be afraid when I am scared, I need to lean in and “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:16) He continues to invite me on this road trip of a lifetime. He invites me to hop in and enjoy the adventure, and slowly I am loosening my grip on the dashboard and checking out the view and enjoying the company.
* I am joining Five Minute Fridays in a 31 day Writing Challenge. Each day I will be writing on a different word prompt for at least 5 minutes for the month of October.
**Check out 2018’s 31 Day Writing Challenge https://inkblotlife.com/category/write-31-days-2018/