Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I Know Fear

The other day I was having a heart-to-heart with one of my daughters. She had gotten her siblings upset with her and I realized that it was time for mama to step in and make things all better. As we talked I kept hearing her use the words, "I'm just afraid." One problem after another boiled down to her being afraid. I spoke with her about fighting her fears and I quoted the Scriptures, but nothing seemed to set her free or even connect with her. Then it hit me, "She doesn't think that I have ever been afraid!" I rolled up my proverbial sleeves, sat her down and got to work.

I asked her if she thought I had fears as a child. She told me, "No." The only thing left to do was to invite her into my childhood. I took my childhood from off the top shelf, dusted it off, opened it up and allowed her in. I shared with her how I was the youngest of not only seven children, but the youngest of five girls. I told her how my older sisters mistreated me and how I was always left alone. From my sisters abuse I became very unsure of myself and became afraid to even voice my own opinion. She seemed sorry for me, but that wasn't what I was going for. I wanted her to know that I know fear.

In my mind, I turned through many chapters of my childhood and stopped when I fell upon the chapters on my father. I didn't want to open it. I didn't want to read it. I didn't want her to know. But she needed to know me. She needed to know that she was not alone in her fears. She needed to hear that there is victory. I slowly began telling her about my was hard.

I remember being a young teenager, my mother had recently walked out on my father and abandoned us which left my father as fierce as ever. The deepest fear of him motivated me to be perfect. I did everything right. I served him and never got in his way, except one night.

We were having dinner, my father, my sister and I, when my father began talking about how much he hated us. I listened and stayed completely still, and never uttered a word. As I sat motionless I realized that my food had become cold and soon he would yell at me for not eating. As politely and quietly as I could I stood up, and walked toward the microwave with my plate to heat up my dinner. After a few steps I heard my father's chair kick back from the table and crash to the floor. I then heard his footsteps race towards me. He grabbed me by the back of the neck and threw me across the kitchen. Raging after me, he then grabbed me by the front of the neck and picked me up off the floor. He pinned me against the wall, my feet not able to reach the ground. He yelled and yelled at me. His face puffed and became red. His screaming seemed endless as I gasped for breath. "YOU WILL NEVER WALK OUT ON ME!!! YOU WILL NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON ME!!! Lastly, he punched me across the face. I lost consciousness. He dropped my body to the ground and left...

My daughter's sweet eyes were large and filled with tears-mine were too. I held her and said, "I know fear." I know what it is to be rejected by my mother, my father and my sisters. I know what it is to feel unsure of myself. BUT I also know what it is to be grafted into the family of God, (Romans 10). I know what it is to be loved so much by God that He sent Jesus to us. (John 3). I know what it is to face my fears with God and have victory. I know what it is to have joy in all situations.

As we held each other and cried, I kissed her gently on top of her head. She said, "You do understand fear." I said, yes, and reminded her that she will never, ever have the kind of fear like I did. I told her that she is in a home filled with people that love her. I explained how siblings and others may tease her (which I cannot stand), but that they really do love her. She agreed, smiled and nestled in my arms for a bit longer.

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