When I have fear.....

Fear doesn't seem to easily shift out of me. I try to stick God's promises onto it like a band-aid but they slide off and I get repetitive strain injury keep reaching for that band-aid and putting it back on again. It doesn't seem to get to the root of the problem.
And it's bad lately. Put together a mass shooting in Aurora then an abduction and murder of an innocent 10 year old girl in Westminster and I am squirming, holding my kids tight and making sure all the doors are locked. The fortress works to some degree but the disease is inside of me.
I.HAVE.FEAR.
There, I said it.
We are told multiple times in the Bible to not be afraid. Well, I just am failing then because I am afraid. My mind wanders straight into what might have happened when the sex offender chased me down the back path behind my house in broad daylight that day while I'm pushing my kids in the jogging stroller. That scared me. Or what about the time last summer where my kids are playing outside the house with the neighbor friends and I pop into the house, come out a few minutes later to find an old man talking to them who leaves as soon as I get there. Or what about the time when I am at Starbucks one night with the kids and a man follows me out into the dark, insistent that he is going to help me get the kids strapped into their car seats.
My palms are sweating even as I write this, my breathing shallow.
"Do not be afraid..." He says.
How do I not be afraid when my visceral response is fear. I don't choose it. It happens.
We live in an age where suspicion is becoming my "friend" and fear my "compass", and I know it's not supposed to be this way. I am not supposed to live this way.
And I cling to the chest of the one who looked evil in the face and with fear-filled eyes I look up at Him because He knows the frailty of my frame. What I "see" surprises me (yet, why should it?). His eyes, filled with compassion, see everything, the broken, barren nature of my trust, and He gets it because He, Himself, has had to overcome.
There is comfort in that place. There is comfort for me to cling to Him, to lay my head on the chest of the One who faced fear himself.
There is safety in that gaze and I feel the fear beginning to seep away as I know I am not alone in this overwhelming emotion. He walks with me knowing my temptations to fear and bears with me as I fail.
Then, somewhere in that beautiful exchange of love I feel the grip of fear letting go of my heart, its talons being pried loose. He loves me even in my weakness. His love is enough.

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