“I’m trying to understand your fears.”
Though we’ve been married for twenty-nine years, I’m often an enigma to my husband. When we drove around the death-defying switchbacks in Zion National Park recently, I begged Chris to drive slower (he told me if slowed down anymore, we’d stop altogether). But when we went to Bryce Canyon and walked onto highest observation deck in the park, I was unafraid, even when it started thundering. That’s when Chris was confused. How was I unfazed when walking onto a lookout in a storm, but freaking out when seat-belted in closed vehicle on a sunny day? The answer?
When I’m walking, I decide how fast and close to the edge I want to go. My perception of the control I think have impacts my fear level, but not just in Utah. Being a loving, caring mom, I often repeatedly call, text, and annoy my family because I’m worried about them. I’m realizing that worrying, in some strange way, gives me some sense of control in relationships, too.
Yes. I know. I’m not in control, shouldn’t worry, should trust God, blah, blah, blah. But quick-fixes, pithy sayings, and religious-ese don’t transform real fears and emotions. Now that I’m realizing how interrelated worrying and my desire to control are, I’m asking the Lord what He wants me to know about that. I’m “hugging my cactus” and sitting in that gross, uncomfortable place of pain and prayer.
Hugging our cactus isn’t an exercise in masochism. It’s knowing that asking God about our struggles will not be fun, nor the solutions fast. It’s realizing that learning to trust Christ deeply with the people I love most will result in my freedom and His glory. It’s accepting that tomorrow, I will have to hug my cactus again. But it’s also doing all these things trusting the love, peace, and abundant life Christ has for me when I actively wait. Wait for the One who is fully, ultimately, ironically, and actually…