“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
– 2 Timothy 1:7
For as long as I can remember, fear was something that controlled who I was and what I did. I allowed fear to keep me away from pursuing my goals. It was a huge factor in relationships as I struggled to trust others and trust God. Fear had become my unwanted guest – the one that overstayed their welcome much longer than I had the energy to deal with. It was a cancer to my soul as it slowly killed off any surge of joy or hope I attempted to grasp. My heart was longing to be set free and open, and yet I was bound by fear and anxiety so much that I became prone to panic attacks.
At first, I was able to manage these, and would try to keep away from places that would “spark triggers”. Eventually, my avoidance led to agoraphobia. That means that my fears had exacerbated to the point where I could no longer leave my apartment for fear of something bad happening to me.
They say our social media is a highlight reel, and they’re right! I wish I could tell you that it all matches up but the truth is, it doesn’t. Believe me, there’s a whole other side of life behind the scenes. A lot of you know this, but I know there’s a lot of you that don’t. Only those close to me have been in constant prayer over me to kneel and stand by my side. This isnt easy to admit and say “out loud” but I think it’s totally worth sharing. I’ve been in a battle. A battle within myself. A spiritual battle, physical and emotional, all at once!
You may have heard the phrase “The straw that broke the Camel’s back” before. While that seems like a ridiculous notion, that something as light as a piece of straw could break anything, there is a breaking point for everything. Camels are known for being able to travel long distances in the harsh desert, and even carry burdens as large as 1000 pounds on its back. A wise owner of any creature is careful to keep it from being overburdened or overworked, but a foolish or unknowledgeable owner might overestimate the Camel’s physical capabilities.
I have read the “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” a thousand times. I have heard pastors draw out from the older son’s conversation at the end of this parable.
Here is that conversation.
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’