Fear has does a funny thing to me over the years. It’s not actually funny at all. Kind of tragic. But sometimes I have to laugh at all this so I can deal with the frustrating reality that I didn’t figure this out sooner.
Fear, slowly but surely, rewired my brain, heart and body. It told me story after story after story that wasn’t true. I believed fear. Fear has been true in my life for years. I also heard the voice and nudging of God, the One who made me. Somehow I’ve listened to both God and Fear. But the rewiring happened so slowly over time that I arrived this spring to the uncomfortable truth that Fear was more a part of my daily life than I realized.
I could be in a meeting and something would trigger me and I’d have a fight or flight response inside. Stomach in knots, heart caught in my throat, I’d get hot and jittery. My skin would crawl and I’d spend the rest of the meeting trying to figure out how to escape the room. My body was shouting at me that I was not safe. I should be afraid. So I was.
For years. Decades actually.
No one could tell. I covered it up so well.
It’s been a lonely journey.
Fear has told me so many times that I can’t do things. After listening for decades, it’s a new world for me to consider that I can actually walk out of the prisons fear locked me in. It’s always felt like I was too weak or wouldn’t do it right so I never did it. I never thought I actually could.
My therapist calls it agency. “Jenny, you have agency. You’re actually in charge.”
As a person of faith, what has emerged for me is a complete and utter dependence on the One who made me. I’m learning in a new way what the strong power of Jesus can be in my life.
For far too long I have prayed to God with one hand palms up, ready to receive the new thing the Spirit wants to do in and through me. But the other hand has been clutching reality as I see it. And that reality has been full of fear.
But now? I’m learning God’s Spirit inside me is in charge. And that is the only way I’m walking out of prisons I didn’t even know I was trapped in.