It was a dark and stormy night…
And I was traveling home from Indiana. I’d been to a Mary Kay function earlier in the evening and the road conditions that late – coming up on 11 pm - were miserable: a cold, steady, heavy rain, semi’s back to back in the slow and middle lanes forcing me to stay in the far left, fast lane; other traffic, heavy and visibility, terrible.
Just south of Florence (the Florence Mall, Y’all!), all the other lanes of traffic suddenly (miraculously) cleared, and I felt my Equinox float… then skate… then spin across three lanes of interstate, bounce dramatically off the guardrail, and plummet fifty feet into the gully below.
Fear doesn’t begin to describe what I felt. I literally thought, “This is it. I will die here after I flip over the guardrail and land in a ravine. I wonder if it will hurt?” My out-loud word for the moment? “Ohhhhhhh!! (not even an expletive!) A sort of fatalistic acceptance of my reality.
Then I landed. And no airbags deployed. No crushing flips or head-long, nose-dive crashes… just, THUD. Upright. On four wheels.
On-Star lit up and talked to me and help arrived. No injuries. No irreparable damage. Even though I was 50 feet down (the wrecker charged by the foot for the winch), and the dent on the guardrail was the perfect imprint of my whole vehicle, I DROVE home. In my Equinox. Completely injury free, and ALIVE. (Major miracle!)
Today as I headed toward town, thinking about a trip to Pikeville tomorrow, I have a sudden vision of careening off a mountain, and the fear takes my breath. My heart seizes, my body tenses, and I literally gasp out loud.
Fear can be debilitating. Pondering on this, though, I realize my greatest fears are not always so easily articulated or tangible. If I were to name one fear that nearly cripples me every day, it would be the fear that you’d find out.
Find out that I’m not as efficient as I appear. Or as smart as I like to sound. Or as “together” as my confidence would indicate. That my flaws feel insurmountable, and that I have nothing to commend me, nor anything to qualify me to any kind of divine purpose or calling.
Every day, I fear.
Last year, I posted this picture on Instagram:
Sometimes the image we see – the one that causes our heart to seize and takes our breath - is not what is true. What do I see when I look in the mirror? Flaws, ineptitude, mistakes, the worst of myself.
In Romans, chapter 1, the Apostle Paul says of those who practice sexual impurity that they “exchanged the truth of God for a lie…” Don’t we do the same when we look in the mirror and see condemnation and shame and “less than”?
My fears about what others “think” – as if I know!? :-/ -- are based in my own lies as told to me by my mirror. James 1:23-25 says, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who look at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.”
My “mirror” is the truth of God’s Word. I am who I AM says I am. “Fear not,” Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.”
I made it to Pikeville without incident. No tire blow-outs, no hydroplaning into the wild blue yonder, over a precipice of certain death. And I wasn’t very efficient yesterday. I chose to make brownies, to enjoy the victories of today (I didn’t kill my children, overtly purposely sin, or spend too much on take-out), and to plan for tomorrow, should grace give me another day.
Joshua challenged Israel in the Old Testament… “Choose this day whom you will serve…”
I chose to take a deep breath as I drove to and from Eastern KY, to relax, to drive a little slower and go on with my life. I choose to believe that I am more than my internal mirror of lies tells me. Romans 8:37 (after an exhaustive list of all the things that CANNOT separate us from the LOVE of GOD!) tells me that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Fear can only strangle me if I allow it.
The love of God should make me as bold as a lion! The darkest, stormiest nights should bring with them the peace of God that passes all understanding. But I must CHOOSE.
“I’m no longer a slave to fear! I am a Child of God!”
At The Well, we desire to be a community of women who live out our potential and purpose in Christ, lead where God has placed us, and encourage others to do the same.
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