Of Fear and Beauty

The past few days I've been bombarded with fear, brokenness, and sadness.

Personally, I've been struggling with diabetic issues- and at some points in the past few days all I could think about was how afraid I was, and how completely out of control I feel at times.

And how I wish it could be different for me.

But this week I look and see everyone has some weight they are carrying.  For one person it is a broken relationship- or a string of such... For another financial hardship that leaves them frantically trying to make ends meet- with no end in sight....  For some there is the daily mark of depression or shame that can be so debilitating and so isolating.  For some there's a loss- a death- family members that are too far away to see often, or family that is nearby but refuses to speak to each other.  Some carry the weight of the burdens others as if they were their own- and feel overwhelmed at their inability to change a situation.  Some are fighting for their lives, and others are fighting to find hope that their life is worth living.  

I was dwelling on all this- tears welling up a bit as I watched my kids run outside soaking in the rain with their umbrellas- because of course the umbrellas were only covering their heads half the time.  And I thought how our Independence Day was rained out- a day seemingly "broken", but the kids embraced it- they found the joy in the disappointment.  

Later, after they were supposed to be asleep, I found both kids upstairs worried about the fireworks noises.  My son was literally in a little ball on the wood floor under his blanket.  I decided to take them to look outside- if they could see how beautiful the fireworks were-know what caused the noise- maybe it wouldn't be so scary.  My daughter was delighted and her fear quickly melted away...but my son headed back under the blanket after a a couple minutes.  His fear overtook his ability to enjoy the beauty.    

  Sometimes just on the edge of the most disappointing and fearful situations in our lives there is something beautiful to be grasped.  Maybe a medical issue is a harsh but valuable reminder not to take any day or moment for granted- Maybe instead of giving into fear of what we can't control, we acknowledge that we were never in control...and find ourselves oddly freer- Perhaps our struggle reminds us that we, too, are imperfect...that maybe we've judged others too quickly.  Maybe we use our situation to help or protect others.  

But for me the number one thing that I take away from the worst moments of my life- is how very desperate I am for Jesus.  Because my heart is just so content to be independent- to live on my own and never need anyone else.  But that is not how I was made- and there is so much peace and joy to be found in the presence of God, but (stubborn stubborn) stubborn girl that I am, I'm afraid I would never know His presence were it not for the times of pain, and trial- the waiting- the anxiety- the hurt and doubting. 

No it does not make the hard parts go away.  It does not mean that I smile and thank God every time I have a crappy day.  I won't pretend that life doesn't leave me in a heap on the floor just like my son sometimes, wishing all the noise would just. stop. for. good.  

But it is in those moments I catch a glimpse through the window outside of myself- outside of time- to a kingdom that is more lasting, more real than what I physically see...where I am just a piece meant to honor God- but I'm learning too that in this place, I'm so loved it doesn't matter what happens to me.  I'll never escape that love.

And it is THAT perfect love which casts out all fear... and that is what I'm holding onto.