What If? Fear’s Motto

Just talking to myself here…
Hand-lettered words under broken pieces of glass. Simple yet profound.
Breathe in faith, breathe out fear
A few wise words from my very wise friend. The move to the farm ( the new home of Mosaics at the Farm) is exciting and a bit scary. I will say that the excitement tips the scales but there’s an undercurrent of fear that I have decided to face.

What am I so afraid of?

It’s the fear that has me realizing my dependence upon my husband, my marriage and our “oneness”, which is good. It has me leaning heavily on my weak side into the Lord of all strength.
I face that this move to a relatively secluded piece of paradise will require a bit of resilience and strength. My nearest neighbor is about a mile and a half down the road. My driveway alone accounting for seven-tenths of that. I realize a lot of things I can’t do are things my husband does quite well. Good team. But I face that I’d not be doing this without him because it would be too much for me alone. I’m grateful and we as a team are over the moon (are you saying “duh” yet?) But my fear is that if anything were to happen to Bean, this new farm might be way too much for me to manage alone. It’s even hard to write it down because who even wants to think about stuff like that? But I believe we all think about stuff like that.

Fear’s Stronghold

Your fears may look nothing like mine but if we got to the very root of them, I think we’d discover that fear is fear. It has a great power to paralyze people. It stops great things from happening because of an unknown future. “What if?” is its insidious motto. What if you move and then something happens to Bean and you end up having to manage the farm alone? What if you move there and realize you don’t like being so secluded? What if you find the new commute to work too burdensome? What if you don’t like being that far from your children?  Maybe it boils down to the base question of WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO BEAN?  (quick side note- Bean is my husband’s nickname if you were getting distracted by that as being a spelling error for Dean or just a strange thing to call a person)

Your Base Fear

Do you hear that ugly, relentless chant sometimes? What if? What if tomorrow this happens? Or, worse sometimes, what if it doesn’t?! What if you embark on an excited yet scary adventure and it doesn’t go well? What if it turns out poorly? What if you regret it? What if you decide not to do it and then regret that?  Do you see its paralyzing effects?

Fear Fight Victory Plan

I have decided to do a few things about this thing called fear. Here’s the three-part plan…

1. Name it

Call it what it is. As Zach Brown sings, Fear, He is a Liar. Jesus says the liar comes to steal, kill and destroy. ( John 10:10) Fear has a job. The enemy uses it to stop us from choosing joy.  I will call fear what it is. A Liar.

2. Think Right

We can collect all the What Ifs in the world but they rob of us the joy of today because they live in an unreal world called tomorrow.  We can plan for tomorrow but we cannot control it. And we certainly ought not to live there!
Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Think about these things.  Not about THOSE things that are not real. I make a conscious choice to think about the lovely setting of the new farm. The charm of the house, the stained glass windows that are original to the structure. The quaint setting, the prospect of meeting new neighbors and inviting people to this spectacular space.  I choose to think about the sweet cabin in the grove, the vision of having more mosaic classes in a much nicer workshop. I think about the possibility of my grown children coming out to enjoy the farm with us and each other. About the magic that happens when one sits under the stars and breathes in deeply the clean, country air. I imagine sleeping better. And I will praise the Lord for the burdens lifted from Bean’s back– gratitude abounds for the shorter commute and the simplified upkeep. The more we think on good things, the less time and space we have for thinking on the bad.

3. Do it Afraid

The second half of John 10:10 is WAY better than the first part.  John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. But I come to give life in abundance”  What a contrast.  Life or Death. Stealing or Giving. Destroying or Growing. Lack or Abundance.

In the end, we must DO something with fear.  One of us wins.  One loses.  The sad, ugly truth is if fear wins, we lose. And the joyous, beautiful truth is if fear loses, we win! And the BEST NEWS is in Jesus we’ve already won!  He tells us to take courage because in the end with Him, we win! Spoiler alert, we win!

In this world, you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world!- John 16:33

Most likely the fear won’t just walk away without a fight. The Liar wants to steal your joy, kill your dreams, destroy your life. And he’s pretty clever at it. He comes as an angel of light, the scriptures tell us (2 Corinthians 11:14) That is a scary thought for someone as vulnerable as me.  But Jesus provides the answer.  He declares the final and certain victory over the enemy.  With Him, we defeat even death.  He gives us life and not only that. Life in abundance!  More than enough. Overflowing. It’s all good.

So I walk ahead into the abundance with courage. I take the next steps in faith without sight. I do this exciting thing afraid.  I don’t let fear stop me.  And the movement, the action, the stepping out, it drains the power of fear.  I say to the Liar:

Yes, I am afraid of what might happen. I’m afraid of what might not happen. But I am choosing to trust the Truth Teller. He says He is with me. He says He is for me. He says He holds a good future of me. He promises protection, provision, and unconditional love. He speaks life. He speaks goodness. He offers mercy, freedom, grace, and forgiveness. He is light. He is power. He is.  He says we win. He says we’ve already won. So I choose victory! And I step out in faith with gratitude. And I walk away from the Liar.  And God says “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)  So I walk away from you Liar, and you run from me.  Who’s afraid now?