I don’t know about you, but there have been times when God asks me to do something so unthinkably scary, that it has me curled up in bed and hiding under the covers. Terrified, and eating my body weight in hydrogenated oil laden snacks, in an attempt to calm the fear that is raging in my soul.
That is where I’ve found myself this week (and the potato chip crumbs dusting my keyboard as I type, are proof.)
The reason for my fear, you ask? …My husband is back in New York City.
You should know, that when my husband is back in his hometown of New York City, I brace myself. Knowing full-well, that whether my husband means to or not, he will be casting vision, developing strategy, and praying for our future there. He can’t help it.
My only fear is what if this time — when he prays — God answers?
Like, by making us move back way quicker than I feel mentally prepared for!
Though that likely won’t be the case, I know clearer than I ever have before, that one day…. someday… that time will come.
When despite all the ways God has restored my life here in South Carolina, that God will ask us (yet again) to give it all up and move back to the city that scares me.
— Move back to the city that unapologetically took EVERYTHING from me and quite literally, almost killed me.
But it’s what God has called us to do…
…And sometimes God asks us to do things that makes us want to hide under the covers, doesn’t He?
A few nights ago, and before my husband left for his trip, we went to check on my daughter before heading to bed ourselves. We expected to find her sleeping, only to find her instead, hiding under the covers literally trembling in fear.
As I lifted the blanket I noticed the tears in her eyes.
“I’m afraid!” she cried out into the darkness.
Me too, sweet girl. Me too….
But as quickly as he heard her cries, I watched as her father swept her up in his arms, whispering sweet promises in an effort to console her.
I looked on, as he comforted her. Watching as his pep talk, was all it took to unleash the bravery she needed to get back in bed, amid all the things she was afraid of in the darkness of her room.
It reminded me of what God does for me on weeks like these, when I am absolutely petrified of the future. How God so lovingly, sweeps us up in His promises, and speaks tenderly to us. Infusing our inadequacy with (just enough) courage and bravery to continue doing what He is asking us to do, even amid all the questions and things we can’t, for the life of us, understand.
And that’s exactly what God has done for me this week! And I figured I’d share with you exactly what He has spoken over me, given the chance that maybe its the same pep talk you need to hear as well.
His words have indeed succeeded in calming the restlessness in my heart (though I’ll admit, the potato chips are still proving to be a problem…)
Pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep in your heart… (Proverbs 4:20-21)
Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Stay the path, and don’t get sidetracked. I have amazing things planned for you in the future! (vs. 25-27)
I know you are afraid, but you have nothing to worry about. I will never let you be disgraced — I will be a rock of protection, a fortress where you will be safe. (Psalm 31:1,3)
For ‘I am the God of your ancestors.’ — the God who gave Abraham more blessings than he could comprehend, and who gave Joseph My favor, and Moses My power (Acts 7) And I, the very same God, am working on your behalf in this very moment.
So continue doing what I am asking you to do. Never give up. Never back down. (Acts 5:41-42)
Because You can trust everything I do. And when you find yourself struggling to believe that, remind yourself what I am capable of — I merely spoke and the heavens were created. I breathed the word, and all the stars were born. (Psalm 33:4,6) So imagine, what I could do in-and-through you…
So take back your bravery, My Child, and get back to bed. Sleep peacefully, and with great expectation!
For while you sleep, I am paving the way to your destiny.
You are on the runway, ready to take off…
– Your Heavenly Father
Psalm 31:19 says this of God (and of the moments we find ourselves crying in fear under the covers) “How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.”
I have a mason jar full of money I have had hidden away for the last few months. Money stored up for a purpose: for a trip my husband and I are going on in a few weeks. (More on this later.)
And the same can be said of God’s goodness — He stores it up for a purpose, just like the verse says. For the moments we are afraid and in need of His protection. When we are crying fearfully under the covers of our callings, and crumbling under the weight of our blaring unworthiness, God lavishes us with the comfort and blessing we need to keep pushing through.
So that one day…someday... whether next week, next year, or in the next decade, we can step into what we were put on this earth to do.
And just like that, He tucks us back into bed and says there is no need to fear. I’m here if you need me, My blessing and comfort are only a cry away.
…We are braver than we realize, I said kissing my daughter’s forehead, speaking to bad dreams, looming uncertainties, and big scary cities.
…And to all the other things God will likely call us to, that will make us want to hide under the covers.