“It’s kind of scary,” she said. A young woman, who stood on the threshold ready to walk through a new door, summed up her thoughts with those four words. It’s. kind. of. scary.
I sat with her for a couple of hours. I listened, offered some suggestions but those four words didn’t leave me once we left one another and drove home in different directions.
Sometimes doors that we don’t want to go through appear and we have no choice–we have to enter them. Others may look beautifully inviting but may not be the best ones to open. She and I tried to sort that out together.
Although years separated that young woman and me, we actually weren’t that different. It’s the unknowns that lie ahead that can overshadow our faith sometimes. They can paralyze us with fear if we allow them to consume us.
She was growing up, about to venture out into the world, taking on new responsibilities and she was afraid.
I, a mature woman, recently had a few of my own fears.
My husband, Bob, started his treatment for CML last week. As he was preparing to take his first dose, I read all the possible side effects from the information sheet that came with it.
That did it. I allowed my thoughts to spin out of control. All of a sudden the scenarios of what could happen played out in my mind. Those scenarios overshadowed my faith. I began to tread on shaky ground but caught myself before I got too far.
That’s when I asked others to pray for Bob (that he wouldn’t have any adverse side effects from the chemo drug) and that I would regain my peace.
It’s times like this that we need each other. That’s when we need others to speak back to us the faith that we announced, pronounced and were walking in just hours before.
We aren’t lone rangers. In a world that glorifies independence it’s difficult, at times, to step back and then turn back to what is true–we need each other. It’s called interdependence.
Independence proclaims, “I don’t need anybody.” Dependence says “without you I can’t survive.”
Interdependence throws off pride, doesn’t pretend to have it all together, isn’t a burden on others but knows when it’s time to reach out to someone.
It’s the way we’re designed. We weren’t designed to handle life alone.
In our fear we should never be afraid to share what we’re experiencing with the right people. Often it will lose its grip on us just by telling someone else about it and talking it through.
It also loosens its hold on us when we allow others to carry us to Jesus when we’re too weary or afraid to walk toward him ourselves.
Like the paralytic man in Luke 5: 17-26 who needed someone to carry him to Jesus we, at times, need others to carry us to him when we feel paralyzed by fear. You’ll notice in the story that Jesus commended the faith of the paralytic’s friends and then ultimately healed the man.
It wasn’t long, not even a few hours, when my fears washed away and faith returned.
Also sometimes it’s good to go to a familiar place where we are alone or a place that we know will help us to enter into the presence of God.
For me, one of those places is the lake near our home.
The night of Bob’s first treatment, after he took his first dose and I asked others to pray, we drove down to the lake.
It was chilly. We sat in the car and watched the sun begin to set. Then I walked down to the water’s edge. Very few people were on the beach in the chill of that evening. It was peaceful. Some sunsets are brilliant and other times the sun looks like a ball of fire against a dark sky. The only way to describe the one before us that night was tranquil.
Bright light broke through the sky with ribbons of pink around it. Waves washed up on shore and light reflected on the wet sand from the light above.
As I think about that night, I’m reminded of the words from “Hosanna” by Paul Boloche–“In your presence all our fears are washed away.” My fears were washed away…in his presence that night on the beach.
With every wave, in the peaceful tranquility of the sun setting, I was able to carry Bob in prayer to the one who would keep him, hold him and use the medicine to heal him and not to harm him. Other friends and family came to mind too. As I carried Bob, I carried others.
And today I’m able to carry my young friend in prayer. The one who was about to walk through a door into the unknown. The one who spoke those four words to me, “It’s kind of scary.”
Written by: Nancy Janiga©2014