Sunday, December 21, 2014

Be Not Afraid

I can just hear it…God having a conversation with us.

God: Please note that Scripture contains the phrase, “Be Not Afraid” 366 times. 

Us: Uh huh. 

God: Don’t you get it?

Us: Get what?

God: Perhaps I’m serious about you not being afraid. 

Us: Yeah, but what about tomorrow? 

God: Do not be afraid, I got you covered.

Us: But my mortgage is due and my car needs to be fixed and I don’t have the money…

God: Be not afraid.

Us: But people are dying all over the world and there’s no end in sight to it.

God: Your life on earth is temporary. Your life with me is eternal. 

Us: That seems so long away. I’m not even sure about tomorrow…

God: That’s why I said, “Be Not Afraid.”

Us: But…

God: I’m trying to tell you how much I love you and that I’ll take care of you 365 days a year.

Us: But God, you said “Be Not Afraid” appears in the Bible 366 times.

God: My child, don’t forget about leap years.

Us: Oh...cool.

God: I got you covered.

As we celebrate the coming of Jesus in Christmas, I reflect on the angel’s words, “Be not afraid,” to Mary and her response, “May it be done to me according to your word.” After she said yes, the angel left her alone. How scary is that? But I must admit I’ve felt that same “alone” chasm this last year.

A year ago today I lost my mom. Though Heaven gained a gem, it was devastating for me. I realized the training wheels came off and instead of relying on my mom’s unconditional love, I had to learn to rely on God’s unconditional love. Seems simple enough except that with my mom I knew if I said, “I love you,” I was gonna hear that phrase echoed right back to me. I don’t always hear that from God with my ears…He speaks to my heart and I haven’t always learned to trust that yet.

Another big change was for us financially.  I had to set my writing aside and find full time employment. That was difficult. I had so much I was on the verge of completing and releasing but alas, God’s timing not mine! It was also a change for my kids as I wasn’t there when they got home from school. Being a stay at home mom for 17 years, I think everyone (including my husband) got used to it.

Finally, an odd thing happened. Friends that I had known for so long seemed to fly away. Some moved, a couple died, and others just fell away. The proverbial rug pulled out from under me in so many ways. But in the end, a new solid ground emerged beneath me, one much stronger and stable than I had before.  

And now that I look back on this last scary year, I see that I was covered by my Heavenly Father’s love—every day, whether I realized it or not.  Some days it felt as though I was on a tightrope looking down over a deep dark chasm, I was only seeing that tightrope from my point of view…the chasm of feeling alone. 

I miss my mom terribly. But the lesson I have learned is that I am never alone. And though I am still learning to hear God’s “I love you,” there is more joy to discover. And I’m going after it. It’s what my mom would do and it’s what God is asking me to do. For that, I am grateful.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing all this. You don't know how close to your experiences that I have experienced. Let's have coffee over break I would love to share with you. Jane whitley

Helen Williams said...

That was beautiful, Loretta. I love you, too!

Loretta Oakes said...

Thanks, Helen for stopping by. Miss you.

Jane: Let's get together. I could use some sharing. :)

Mark Beronte said...

So when good things happen God is the reason, and when bad things happen God just had other plans. Well if God is just going to do whatever he wants regardless, why pray to him?