The fear has crippled me some days. Emails sit in my inbox for days because I am too scared to open them…
I wake up in the morning, drink my coffee, sit down to read and pray, then I open my computer and pull up Gmail. Living on the opposite side of the world means I don’t receive a steady flow of emails throughout the day like you probably do. Instead there they all are each morning, piled up and waiting for me like Saturday piles of clean family laundry waiting to be folded. But some days, I am just too scared to open them.
Never mind the fact that I can read the first line of every email without opening it. My fear is so stinkin irrational that even when the first lines read-
Leah, I am so excited for you!
or Leah, I just love the work you’re doing!
or Leah, we will definitely keep you in our prayers as you transition!…
…EVEN STILL, I convince myself that once I actually open the whole email and scroll past their cozy accolades, there I will surely find their true feelings towards me and this change of ministry God has thrust me into. It can’t be that easy, I tell myself. Surely they doubt me now, and most definitely I’ve lost their trust and support.
That’s my fear.
Everyone I’m sure, is battling something. And that something is bound to change over time. For me, in this season, it’s the most irrational, silly fear that my tribe of people at home will not understand or support me leaving streetlight and moving into the unreached mountain villages. That somehow your love and partnership, prayers and support are conditional and only given when I stick to my original plan of serving street children.
It’s impossible to articulate with words the pain of not being with “my” kids everyday and so, out of my fear, I assume that because I cannot explain how hard it is to everyone, you will just conclude that it must be easy and therefore deem me heartless.
My goodness, what a tangled web of lies from the enemy.
That’s exactly what fear is though, right? A bunch of lies that take up root in our mind twisting and warping the lens through which we view our life? Fear can stunt us from growing, distract us away from God’s best, and eventually even defeat us if we don’t draw a line in the sand and say that’s enough.
So that’s what I’ve done the past couple of weeks- I drew my line in the sand and finally said I’m done. I’m not going to let this ridiculous fear rule my life and keep me from opening my computer.
Because you know what? Not one time have I received an email like the one I dread finding each morning. Not once. No one has criticized me, no one has rudely questioned my intentions or withdrawn their support out of anger. Instead, my amazing tribe of people God has surrounded me with have responded in the most incredible of ways- exactly how the church of God is meant to respond. With grace, understanding, love, and sweet encouragement during this time of difficult change.
Someone recently reminded me that no one is partnering with me on the mission field because I’m amazing. Which is a huge relief, because I am definitely NOT amazing. People chose to partner with me because they believe in what God is doing here and want to play a part in furthering His Kingdom- whether that is on the streets or in the villages. And when I remember that, I can open my emails in peace, because I know that I am just one set of tiny hands in God’s big plan for His world.
My ultimate calling is not specific to street kids or even village kids. My calling is simply to go where He leads and do what He says. And there should be no fear in that.
So I draw my line deeply in the sand. I open my emails and I read them and smile, because you people of God are simply the best. Your kind words of support as I transition into this next season carries me farther than you will ever know. Thank you for your commitment to journey with me wherever the Lord is leading.
We begin heading into the villages this month! Fear be gone.