Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fear Factor: India

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." ~Meg Cabot

I am not immobilized, I know this because (1) I'm writing. When I get so fearful that the fear is in control, I cannot bring myself to open my laptop, let alone figure out where to place my fingers on the little black alphabet squares. So, the fact that I am caressing this keyboard and letting my fingers do their job means...the fear has not paralyzed me!
I also know that I am not immobilized because (2) I asked for help. I was fearful and so rather than basking in the "what ifs" I prayerfully challenged them with some "then God will" responses. This is how it works:

"What if the money for India doesn't come in?"
"Then God will have to find another way to get me to the other side of the world for this mission."

"What if I try to sell 'honey sticks' to raise the money and people laugh at me?"
"The God will see me through that in His own 'sweet' way"

"What if I send out letters asking for support and everyone decides instead to use my letter as a backdrop for their dartboards or lining for their birdcages?"
"The God will repair the dart holes and clean the bird droppings from my face"

So, in other words...
"What if I am unable to...?"
"Then God will ..."

Immobilization would have found me under the covers in my bed, unable to communicate with one person (let alone ALL of YOU), and envisioning the impending doom that awaited me. Sometimes this place that I hate, this ugly and fear-filled place of ruins, is exactly where I feel the most at home. The pain feels so bad, that it feels good. It reminds me of the feelings that I felt the day my daughter died--and any connection to her (good or otherwise) is still a connection. I know that isn't what people like to admit to--that we sometimes choose to feel fearful or sad. But, being a martyr in our everyday lives does happen. We allow it, or at least I do. I believe the lies of the enemy and I revel in my pain for just a few minutes. But, minutes can turn into hours and hours can turn into months and months have suddenly turned into "that really bad year when I my kids were in Jr. High". So, I have to battle for the sake of being in God's will, which is not depression and fear-filled. For the sake of the living, and for the sake of His will I cannot go to that desperate place.

Going to India is causing me to become fearful. Not for the sake of India. I would never pretend that anything I may encounter would be less than trivial compared to those who live in poverty stricken areas day in and day out. Going to India is making me fearful because I have to believe that God is in control while I am raising the money to get there. Quite honestly, on my own, I do not have the money.

I need to send out letters asking for support and I am fearful. I feel like that 14-year-old girl who walked up to that 15-year-old boy in 1979 and asked him to go to the "Hearts & Flowers Girl's Choice Formal Dance" at La Mirada High School. Standing in the middle of the cafeteria staring up into his dark brown eyes, I presented my request for him to be my date. I can still see his longing for this moment to have never happened, and I can still see his lips forming the word "No." All around us, I can hear the sounds of the other teenagers moving through the cafeteria; the sound of the food scraping off their divided trays and into the trash cans near the lady running the dishwasher. I looked away from him and gulped back tears of disappointment. Unable to know where to look, avoiding his eye contact and the eye contact of my friends who watched from a table, I left the torturous room--uncertain if I would ever be able to face my peers again.

Alright, so maybe, just maybe, I am a little dramatic. I guess I take after my Creator. He is dramatic. He loves drama and He loves that He is the star of it all. He loves that this is bigger than me, because in the end when all the necessary funds come in...He ALONE will get the credit. I can sell my sweet honey sticks, I can have a garage sale--these are the things I can do along the way, but raising $3300.00 is bigger than those things, so when it happens it will all point back to Him.

"For I am the Lord, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,
Do not fear; I will help you."
-Isaiah 41:13