Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Battle Waged

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

It is when I least expect it that the monster reaches out of the shadows to wrap his icy claws around my heart again. For more than 2 decades, I have run thinking I would outrun the specter. It was almost 2 decades before I knew what I was running from. Once I knew, I felt empowered and confident. The truth shall set you free, right? Ignorance is bliss, and sometimes it might be better to keep it that way.

The truth is: he is always lurking and always hungry for the next moment of weakness. I should have seen the attack brewing this time. I guess my eyes got too full of the future to keep looking back at the past trying to anticipate the next onslaught. I was minding my own business with a head full of plans and a heart full of hope. Truth be told, it was a huge relief to think of something more than looking over my shoulder wondering how to prepare for the next battle.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
My biggest problem was the sense that my blog series on parenting might have been too broad. I was wrestling with how to manage that dilemma while laying plans for 2 new writing ventures. It was a heady time for a fraidy cat like me. Just the kind of time I should have expected the past and present to collide with enough force to derail the future. Monsters don't give up easy.

Here's the thing about fraidy cats, we have a propensity for derailing. It may be, in fact, what we do best. Fear of (insert your fear here) makes it easy for us to shrink back and avoid moving toward the thing we want most in the world. Fear curls up around us like a warm fuzzy blanket on a frigid winter night. Fear becomes our comfort zone.

We become so comfortable that we don't realize the blanket has become a noose around our necks. We waken one day to find all hope has been strangled out of our lives as the blanket became an ever tighter noose. We forget when we forgot to breathe.

Fear sidled up beside me and whispered sweet nothings. “You are getting too big for your britches, Girl. Who do you think YOU are? Why mess up a good thing? Keep on doing what you are doing, but don't dare dream of anything more.”

I choked back the doubt and fear. I had trusted God last May when he had filled my heart with the plan for this blog. I would trust him again as he unfolded plans for these 2 new projects. I am so easily derailed. I am still so very, very fragile. I am easy pickings for monsters who never give up.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
When I ask why, my counselor says it is because I am of a sincere heart. The more sincere the heart, the more paralyzing the fear of failure and of rebuke. How well she knows me. Given the depth of my sincerity, any perceived word of caution, rebuke, or ridicule gives me more than pause. Even if the word of caution comes wrapped as a 'joke', my heart cries, “Oh, NO! Is it TRUE? Is that me?” The fear is so real that I might as well be teetering on the brink of a precipice ready to fall.

When it came, the stealthiness of the attack took my breath away. As the air in my lungs vaporized into nothingness, so did my words. One day became a week which became an eternity in my soul as I waited for the words to come again. Would I ever write again?

I would be lying if I told you words flow freely from my heart onto this keyboard tonight. Every word is agony. I am typing through sheer force of will. I am typing because I refuse to let the monster have one more day of my life. Of our lives.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
I am typing through the fear that questions my humility, my clarity of vision, my sensitivity to God's call, my ability to honor God with my efforts, and even my very way with words. I am typing because I refuse to let fear rule one more day of my life. Of our lives.

Monsters feed on the knowledge that fear controls us. Even if they manage us by proxy from the dark and distant past, fear is their weapon of choice because it works so well. Until it doesn't work anymore.

Courtesy B. Creasy

And so, tonight, I pick myself up and survey the damage. I count the cost of the battle we have waged to survive. I count the cost of the race required to stay one step ahead of the fears that threaten to defeat me. I have lived to fight another day. I have lived to write again.
Isaiah 40:29 (NIV)
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 

Psalm 29:11 (NIV)
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. 



  1. If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out how will you compete with horses? Jeremiah 12:5
    Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit says the Lord.

  2. Keep the faith. We NEED you!

  3. No need to fear, my friend. You can do all things through Christ. Call me if you want to talk about your writing! Maybe you just need some clarity and are over-thinking. You think?

    1. Oh, Judi! Somehow your comment slipped thru my attention span. It has been a tough siege, a situation which I know you are a bit familiar? I am so thankful for a community of writers that lovingly practice the art of iron sharpening iron. I am thankful for you!

  4. Carol, this sentence is a "wow" sentence. (The more sincere the heart, the more paralyzing the fear of failure and of rebuke.)

    I appreciate your honesty of your struggle as you wrote that sentence along with the whole post. To obey the Lord staring fear in the face takes great courage.

    For years I was very afraid of flying yet God sent us overseas, long flights and our ministry meant we would be flying into remote locations where the air strips were like a bandaide hugging onto the side of a mountain. Some of these locations where helicopter only...tiny villages on top of a small sharp ridge with mudslides occuring more often then I wanted to know.

    Fear literally often kept me from enjoying God's creation until about four years ago. We were flying into Madang, Papua New Guinea located on the Bismark Sea...breath takingly beautiful jewels of small island off the big island was the view out side the single engine plane. All of a sudden I realized I was enjoying the view and then it dawned on me...I WAS NOT AFRAID ANYMORE OF FLYING. Years of taking fear along with me on all those plane, of obeying despite the fear gave me victory. Some victories come after hard long battles, some will not be won till Jesus takes us home...but just knowing it's there gives me courage to once again risk.

    Thank you for being a courageous wise hearted woman.