“Mommy, I had a bad dream,” I said as I climbed onto her bed. Dad groaned and rolled over.
Mom sat up and put her arms around me. “It’s okay. It’s not real.”
I sniffed, wiping the tears from my cheeks. “But, it scared me.”
She caressed my back as if trying to remove the fear from my body. “It can’t hurt you.”
I rubbed my sleepy eyes. “Can I sleep here? Will you protect me?”
“Sweetie, how about I take you back and stay with you until you fall asleep?” She got up and reached out to me. “Come on, take my hand. We’ll do this together.”
I climbed out of bed and held tightly to my mother’s hand as we made our way back to my room. My shoulders relaxed in her calm presence. I could get through this.
What is your worst fear? I know you have one. I do.
After my father died, I was terrified of losing my mother. The thought of life without her was unbearable.
On Oct. 6, 2006, Mom was diagnosed with the unthinkable. A fast-moving cancer invaded and seized her brain. My worst fear became reality. I wanted to crawl back into her arms and never let her go.
Then years later, the other shoe dropped. My dear brother was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. Really, Lord? You’re going to take us through another loss…so soon?
Again, I wanted to curl up in a ball and let the pain pass. If it could.
But God had other plans.
After wrestling with Him, I began to learn I couldn’t run away from my fear. I had to live through it. It was the only way to get to the other side. The only way to truly live.
Let me explain. If we don’t face our fears and learn to rely on God, we become stale and this inhibits our growth. We skirt around issues and try to live thinking they will go away. We run in circles and don’t get anywhere. Do we really want to live like that?
Perhaps we try to lean on others to go through it for us. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. We need to face our fears and learn from them.
Of course, this is not easy and I don’t have all the answers on how to do it, but I do know the One who can help. Our Saviour. All we need to do is ask.
It was hard to watch my mother and brother die a bit more each day, but we savoured every moment with them. We made new memories in a difficult time. We cried together, laughed together, and held each other. When one was weak, the others held tightly and became our strength. We clung to the hope we would see them again…whole.
We faced the fear of losing our mother and brother together. Head on. With God’s help.
What fear are you going through today? I encourage you not to walk in circles around it. Ask God for strength, hold His hand, take a big breath, and walk through it.
It’s the only way.
Her feeble hand struggled with the stitches left on the quilt. She knew it was almost time. There were only a few left to finish and then she would say good-bye. The fear of dying sent a wave of emotion over her body, but she knew her Saviour would be there to hold her hand. She would cling to it and never let go.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (The Message)
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”