“Monique? What’s wrong?!”
“I-my stomach hurts. I need to come home.”
” It’s just your nerves. You can’t miss the first day of school.”
“But mom I can’t-I- I need to come home. It’s -it’s more than nerves. I think I’m sick”
“Sigh. You have to stay. You can’t keep doing this.”
“I’m not trying to..I just can’t stay today…”
Up until high school this was a all too normal phone call my mom would recieve every first day of school. It would start the night before and would end with me in tears not wanting to stay at school. I would be excited for school all summer but for some reason walking into the first class after being outside in the crisp morning air would make me realize that I was stuck. But more than stuck I was away from my MOM. My mind would flood with anxious thoughts of anything and everything ranging from what if I never see her again because something happens to her or what if she chooses not to pick me up. As a child I was scared that I would lose the one who I loved more than myself. This thought
plagued haunted me constantly. Going to friends’ houses to spend the night weren’t a norm because I simply missed my mom. There were several times I would go to my aunts house for the summer and within a couple of days I was too sick to stay and she’d have to take me home days early. When I got home it was like my stomach got a dose of the right medicine and things were fine.
Fear of Separation. To be apart.
Looking back now I realize that a huge part of why I was so anxious when I wasn’t around my mom for long period of time was a combination of being a mommas girl and fear of being abandoned. Though I was very young when I lived near my dad I believe that a part of me emotionally knew that I had already lost one parent and I had to hold on for dear life or else the other one could be snatched from me too. This caused anxiety that leaked into so many other relationships besides the one with my mom.
I was listening to Pastor Steven Furticks message, You Had to Be There. He was talking about 1 Kings 17 and how there was a drought sent but God sent Elijah to a brook where He sustained him for a time. God even sent Ravens to feed him, pretty cool right?! I would encourage you to read it. As you read it you will see that God allows the brook that He provided for Elijah to dry up. Pastor Steven then says that God allowed the brook to dry up because Elijah was obedient to what God had for him and it was time for God to move him to the next step.
Anxiety: a feeling of worry, fear, nervousness. Anxiety is something that plagues so many people. It can come in small doses that most people can relate to or it can come in dooming mind sets that you can’t shake. Do you think people in the Bible dealt with anxiety? Fear?
Two chapters later we find Elijah in a very different light.
So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.” Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there. Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” (1 Kings 19:2-4 NLT)
What happened? What happened to the obedient prophet who saw God’s provision. I didn’t even mention but in chapter 18 we find Elijah totally obliterating the idols that the people were believing in. So he was victorious, saw God’s provision more than once but ran. away.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. (1 John 4:18 NLT)
Too often we lose sight of our sustainer. We forget that God is not a human and believe that He separates himself from us if a circumstance arises that is hard, challenging, or scary. We forget. We believe that because we can’t feel Him, He has separated himself from us, thus creating anxiety that we are alone, abandoned, neglected, punished. We believe the lies that tell us we are worthless, always a mess, too much to handle and God has punished us by separating His love from our hearts.
But I found a truth that blew my mind.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)
I will end with this. In the book Breaking Free by Beth Moore she talks about how one of the definitions of God’s unfailing love is a love that is evoked by small babies. She goes on to talk about how when she became a mother her children unlocked a love in her she never experienced. This next truth sealed the fact that I never have to be anxious about the one who loves me more than I will ever fully know will never abandon me. She says, “I once heard a Christian child psychologist explain then necessity of some conflict and power struggle with teenagers. He explained that a certain amount of difficulty most naturally arise as children began to become young adults and parents would never be able to help them out of the nest and onto independence. He commented if the bond we had with them as infants did not change we would never be able to let them go. All our lives God retains the strong feelings towards us that infant evoke and their parents because he never has to let us go! He’s not rearing us to leave home! God is ruining us to come home!”
This journey of choosing to see ourselves the way God does has already proven to be hard but when we choose to align our minds with the truth that He will not leave us we no longer have to believe that from punishment separation will come. We can believe that He is with us every step of the way.
Don’t give up. You are great. You are loved. You are worth it. Simply because you are alive and breathing. That means there’s still a good purpose for you here on the Earth and God is with you. He wants you to accomplish all that He has for you so that you can finally go home and be with Him. What a beautiful picture of our amazing Daddy.
Keep traveling friends