So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. –Isaiah 41:10 NIV
For the past couple of months, I’ve been working through Priscilla Shirer’s Bible study Breathe.
And I’ve been forced to confront myself.
That may sound strange, but there are things about ourselves we don’t see, things we don’t want to see, things we see but aren’t ready to deal with.
Take fear, for instance.
Now I believe I’m a person of strong faith and thus have not addressed or acknowledged fear. Before this Bible study, I would have said I have no fears. Except bathophobia (fear of deep water), acrophobia (fear of heights), and claustrophobia (fear of being trapped in a small space).
Over the past few years, I’ve conquered some of those fears. I’ve learned to swim in deep water, stepped across narrow footlogs, ridden a ski lift up a mountain, and enjoyed the view 175 feet above Elliott Bay in Seattle on the tallest Ferris wheel on the West Coast. Granted I rode in an enclosed gondola, but there was a time I wouldn’t have even considered an enclosed car, which would have spiked not only my acrophobia but also my claustrophobia.
While I’ve dealt with lots of fears over my lifetime, there’s one I never realized existed until recently. Well, maybe I knew it was there, but I shoved it down deep and refused to acknowledge it existed.
What is that fear?
The fear my dreams will never come true.
The dream of my husband retiring. The dream of traveling with him in our fifth wheel camper without having to worry about time or money.
The dream of a speaking ministry in which my husband and I work together. I have a glimpse of what this can be like, as he’s travelled with me to several speaking engagements.
The dream of becoming a well-selling author of fiction. Best-selling would be nice, but I’ll settle for well-selling. Right now, I’m lucky to break even on the books I write and publish as an independent author-publisher.
Fear that writing fiction isn’t God’s will for me. I’ve asked God to take the desire to write fiction out of my heart if that isn’t what He wants for me. Yet when I think about not writing fiction, instead of peace, I experience sadness and grief.
I keep praying, “God, take the desire to write fiction out of my heart if that isn’t Your will for me,” waiting for God to do it. Yet He has not removed it from my heart. I still love writing fiction.
It isn’t that He hasn’t answered my prayer, but that He has and I didn’t see it.
Have you ever done that?—Prayed a prayer and didn’t see the answer because you were expecting something else? You were looking for a “no” and God was shouting His “yes!”
Can what I want so badly be exactly what God wants for me? I’m still wrapping my mind and heart around this.
The key is wanting what God wants more than what I want. Asking God to give me the desires of my heart—to place His desires in my heart and remove my desires so that I’m on the same page God is.
It’s as simple as A,B, C—Accepting His answer, Believing the dreams He has placed in my heart will come true, and Confidently stepping into the plans He has just for me.
When I wrestle with fear and doubt, O God, give me the strength to overcome and to pursue the plans You have for me with confident assurance and joy. Amen.
Scripture to meditate on:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11
The Lord will work out his plans for my life. –Psalm 138:8
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. –Hebrews 10:35–36
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. –Romans 15:13
© 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.