Posted by: karanoel | December 23, 2010

The backside of fear

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

A couple nights ago, I spent many hours in a restless wakefulness. I tried to hear clearly from God, wanting so much to know what was right, but the other voices in my head seemed louder. So, in a desperate attempt to get some peace, I tried my usual escape hatch. In the morning, I received some timely insight from my mom about working out fears in the context of relationship instead of jumping out of bounds each time a fear arose. So I jumped back in and went on another perfectly lovely date with this guy… an amazing meal, honest conversation, earnest prayer, a sweet kiss at the end… and walked through my door in peace.

I was reminded of a time a friend and I took a kayak out at the beach. The waves were not huge, but they were loud and raucous, and seemed intent on tipping the kayak over. But we kept heading straight into them, paddling hard, and made it past where they were breaking. The thing that struck me most was the silence and calm on the backside of the waves. There was hardly a ripple or a sound, and we sat there in the warm sun at perfect ease.

These past few weeks, I have received kindness from a man in ways I’m not used to. It is uncomfortable. I have felt squirmy. I have doubted myself and I have doubted him. I have openly expressed my fears. But he just keeps extending kindness, giving me space to work things out, and seems undeterred by my skittish behavior or any of the other flaws he has seen so far. I don’t quite know where to put that, but it is calming and good.

I can see that this is the way the Lord drew me into a loving relationship with him, unmoved by my attempts to scare him off or prove my unworthiness. He already knew I was messed up, but he saw beyond that and loved me anyway. I showed him my worst, but in the end he gained my trust and quieted my spirit. And he has been the love of my life ever since.

As I was sitting at my desk yesterday, in the calm beyond the waves, a thought rose up out of the quiet. The possibility that a man, maybe even this one, could genuinely like me. It struck so deeply that I sat staring blankly at the computer for several minutes. I’ve always considered interest in me a character defect that automatically disqualifies a guy from having a place in my life. It seems to reveal deficient understanding, and makes me feel very anxious about the moment they will open their eyes and see my lack. So I preempt the natural course of discovery by removing the possibility and running away. But in the purity of that moment at my desk, I saw a path open up through the fear and into relationship. It was revelatory.

And in the beauty of that quietness, another thought floated in. That if someone could accept me as I am, covering my imperfections with grace, I could do the same for him. I’m sure this seems obvious to most, but it was the truest, most personal glimpse of relationship that I’ve ever had.

So, I will continue to push on, with a little more hopefulness than before. I’m sure there will be more loud and raucous waves to paddle through, but it is good to know that there is a backside to fear where love dwells and peace reigns.


Responses

  1. Wow! So happy for what God is bringing you through!

    • Pretty amazing. Such a faithful God.

  2. What amazing insights – especially the flash of realization that you thought any male who liked/appreciated (not even to think “loved”) you for you (aside from your dad and nephew!) has to be deficient himself. I love the freedom you feel to express your revelations to others openly – and that the Holy Spirit has given you the vehicle of writing posts for those expressions. Each one seems more genuine and transparent, less “written” and more spoken freely.

    It almost feels like we’re listening to you talk to yourself. And it’s a wonderful conversation you’re having.

    • Funny you say that. This is probably as close to what goes on in my head as anything I’ve written. Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. this is beautiful.

    kara, you are inspiring & amazing person. any man who comes into your life is lucky to even know you. i will definitely be praying for your journey & your relationship with God (& -maybe- a special someone :)) throughout this time.

    • Wow. That is so sweet Morgan. Thanks for the prayer and encouragement. I could say the very same about you!


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