Monday, April 20, 2009

much afraid

I know it's only been an hour since my last post, but I just realized something I wanted to share. I haven't fully processed it yet, but I wanted to say it anyway. It's not exactly profound, and it's probably not something you even care all that much to hear, but that's all right.

One of the basic elements for me in this process of deciding where I'm going to end up for the next couple of years for grad school has been my fear. I've placed a lot of emphasis on my fears without completely comprehending why. I still don't understand why. If I follow the lines of thinking that I have been recently, then whatever decision I make would be based on fear. If I decide to go to Abilene, it will be because I'm nervous about Boston and don't think I'm ready for the challenges it will present me with. If I decide to go to Boston, it will be because, although I'm still afraid what lies in store for me there, I believe those fears need to be faced and overcome. In the first scenario, I run to safety because of my trepidation, and perhaps justifiably so. In the second, I take steps, trembling as they may be, toward my fear and have to trust with all of my heart that God will provide and will see me through.

Now, I know this analysis is extremely simplistic and does not offer a thorough picture of my inner turmoil (which you probably wouldn't want to suffer through anyway), but I believe its simplicity holds some truth.

Firstly, it makes me ask myself who I want to be. Do I want to be the one who continues to live a relatively easy and non-threatened life spiritually and emotionally? Stay in my comfort zone a little bit longer and give myself a chance to be fortified? Perhaps I need that and the nurturing environment that Abilene would provide, especially after the things I've been through over the past few years. Or do I want to be the adventurous one who seeks out ways to humble and challenge herself? Dangerous, I know, possibly very dangerous. But along with that potential for wounding or failure is the potential for blessing beyond measure. Is it justifiable or healthy to choose a path because I know it would be more of a challenge to my faith and because I don't want to back down from this challenge? And again, would this be a genuine leap of faith or mere stupidity?

Secondly, it makes me wonder where exactly these fears are originating from. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." Is this hesitance a God-given gift to guide me in the right direction (assuming that there is a right direction)? Or ought I be anxious at all? I know that to most of you, this does not necessarily seem like that difficult of a choice, and in many ways it really shouldn't be. But for me it's not just about what school I end up at or even just about where that will lead me. It's about what kind of a statement my decision makes about me and my faith in God and His ability to preserve my heart and soul in Himself. I realize that God is able to do immeasurable and unimaginable things, and I really shouldn't worry about whether or not He'll be faithful. And as His child, He's given me boldness and the capacity to conquer all through Him, not this spirit of fear that I have been using as my springboard for decision. Shouldn't I be contemplating so much more than I am just how God could mold me and use me in each situation? Instead of moments, mercifully few though they might be, of sheer panic, ought I not rather have sustained excitement and trust in His sovereignty, no matter what choice I make or where I find myself in the future?

Some unfinished thoughts that will continue to work themselves out in my head, turning round and round so that I can see them from every angle. As I mentioned to my mom earlier this evening, being able to perceive every minute aspect of a situation is a blessing when it comes to peacemaking but a definite curse when it comes to decision making. The saga -- Decision 2009 -- continues...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You've been stewing over this for a very long time. I'm guessing you know in your heart what to do. Instead of focusing on fear, think about which direction gives you peace. All other things aside, where is the peace in your heart? After the decision is made and you are well into the next season of your life, the peace that you rest in now will also be security in the future. :) Be blessed!