what does it mean to trust and wait with no anxious fear?
this is the simple yet complicated question that swirls around your rhythm of life.
it began as a simple lyric tucked into a song repetitively used to flood your mind when all else hits levels of insanity that tear you apart.
but this is also a bold line tucked into the song.
in the midnight dark sky storming routes you tread. overrun by anxieties and places the fear steals the rhythm from your heart. the oxygen supply is getting low with the sun and you’re startled awake when the fear hits your system. your veins filled with shaking hope send shivers glistening. this is not the best yet and you wish, “please tell me there’s more”. so weary of never arriving on a safe shore. and this has been the way it goes right now.
When the storm clouds rise
And the sky is dark
And I’m pressed with anxious care
I’ve a safe retreat in the strong, high tower
For no ill can harm me there
When the lightnings flash
And the thunders roar
And the storms in fury be
When they seem so sure to engulf my soul
Then I’ll hide in Your safe retreat
Soon the storms will pass
And the sky will clear
And my rest be calm and sweet
I will trust and wait with no anxious fear
For I’ll hide in Your safe retreat
In Your arms I can safely rest
You’re the God who gives life from death
What does it mean that there is One who is the refuge of my soul?
That I am fully known, loved, and belong in that place where the shadows hold only a passing weight and fear can’t shout louder than the waves, the waves of total pull and control over all?
Over and over again, the Psalms talk about God being a refuge, a place to turn in all disasters and storms. And this is something my aching heart desperately needs right now.
Home is a somewhat foreign thing these days, as I’ve spilled out onto previous digital pages. Friends will display the love of Christ is beyond amazing ways, but they can still let you down. Community comes with the joys and the burdens and sometimes much tension. Family will love you no matter what, but be human and have rough edges. Dreams are worth nothing if there is not purpose and hope guiding them. So no matter where you turn, at the end of the exhausting strain of everyday, the safest place where your soul can truly release is in Him. And I am learning to keep bringing my heart, flawed and bleeding as it is, back to Him.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” | Psalm 91.1-2
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. | Psalm 59.16
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. | Psalm 57.1
so you keep rereading those words until they are imprinted on your soul.
what are those things that cause anxious fear? and what do you do with your anxious fear?
this is important to identify.
there has been a lot that has caused anxiety, caused those waves to rise until they seem to overtake all else. a future full of unknowns and not enough time to think through the plans, to seemingly get a hold of what it is you want to move towards. swirling conversations of grad schools and jobs and internships and places. and in the most heartbreaking year of life how do you adjust to all the changes and find out who you are?
friendships and the hard but rewarding yet messy work of living in community. of learning to be transparent and invest in others stories, even while you struggle to face all that is going on in your own. the highs and the lows and the inevitable tensions. the beginnings and moments that make you smile so big because having others surround you genuinely displaying the love of Christ is beyond treasured.
the constant shift of dynamics and the ways grief reveals itself in the most intricately complicated of layers. losing voice mails of my mom, wishing desperately for one more conversation to unpack all that’s making me anxious, having to buy all the things + figure out all the things, not always knowing where to turn. and though you know He is good and whatever way things turn out is right, you still have an entire lifetime of reliance on your mom up to this point and that is still hard to live without.
wrestling with the heaviest of things, like God’s sovereignty and the hope we live for and all the flood of questions and doubts that you try to walk through. still trying to define what your purpose is here on this earth, the meaning of it all, and try to balance being a student and friend and daughter and sister and live life well on top of the rest of the tangled thoughts.
after all of those things, the line “with no anxious fear” is something you almost laugh at.
I know there’s an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, and that the sufferings of this present time aren’t worth considering in comparison to the glory that will be revealed.
but when it’s all future lack of clarity and anxious anticipation, and the days right here, right now are no celebration, desperately envisioning the end, ready to take out everything because it’s wilderness and your soul is unsettled, ungrounded. and uncertainty’s the only thing your hands know that you’re surrounded with.
victory is guaranteed and the outcome is sure, so you fight half-heartedly but never stopping, endure but in violent storms and weather patterns confusing your system in unpredictable terror. you know there is a safe place with Him and the promise of something beyond all comparison. but it slips away so easily.
It means entrusting.
right now it feels terrifying letting go of the control of my story. but if anything has been clear from the previous events of this year, it is that nothing is in my hands to begin with. but it is far safer and better in His.
And in these questions, in the anxiety while trying to entrust, I quickly forget. I forget about the fact that it is possible to have multiple emotions contrasting yet residing within at the same time (Holding Both | Leeana Tankersley). All the conflicting feelings are okay. It might be exhausting to live with them both (amen and amen), but it will only increase all you’re learning.
living with no anxious fear does not mean those fears never rise, or that you ignore them with choruses of “He is good.” instead it means walking through all the emotions, recognizing their impact, and still bringing it all back to Him. Every. Single. Time.
So I sit down and hold on tight in the middle of the complete mess, in the middle where I want to run as far away as I can. Death and life is one of the foundations of how we live. Joy and pain. The lovely and the broken. The light and the shadow. The moments of wonder and the mundane grey. Every single day. And life is made richer for these contrasts.
it’s a forever work in progress, but one well worth the effort. because He is a safe retreat and refuge that provides security and assurance in the uncertain and overwhelming.
ending in the words of the song, I’ve been growing to realize:
None of this is wasted
Still becoming who we are
From a million places
Like a million shooting stars
We belong to hope now
Heaven isn’t all that far
Song linked here |