“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.
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!’
I called out to the Lord and He rescued me …
Have you ever just wept? Like sobbed your eyes out? Where you can barely catch your breath? When your eyes have so many tears in them, everything is blurry? And then you end up with swollen eyes and a massive headache?
I find myself frustrated in my current season, fighting feelings of inadequacy as I am struggling to move forward into the state of being I want to thrive in. Sometimes, honestly, a lot of times, this season feels as though I am climbing a sand dune. But the sand is loose and the dune angled steeply. I stay in the same place or slide backwards losing visual progress despite my effort. I get frustrated and I blame myself because I see it as failure. I laugh because I get nowhere and am enjoying the exhaustion of effort and ridiculousness of it all.