After years of church ministry I’ve heard many stories…stories of grief and sadness…stories of redemption and hope. And then there are the stories laced in fear. Many of them sounding much like my own. Fear has a way of taking some of our best hopes and intentions and choking the life out of them. It finds great success in labeling us “failure” before we even begin. The “what ifs” speak louder than fact and possibility.
Sometimes our greatest blessings come in the form of our greatest fears becoming reality. It’s like God intervenes and says “Let me show you just how big your fears really are.” Several of my greatest fears have happened. And you know what? I survived. And when you live within the boundaries of fear, that is exactly what you do, you survive. But what happens AFTER you survive? Do you continue being stuck? Do you continue listening to that same broken record playing in your head? “Don’t do that, something bad will happen.” “Don’t even try because you are going to fail.” “Oh you can’t do that.”
The problem with this thinking…the thinking that I battle every day, is it conflicts with my doctrine. For me to believe in the power of the Bible I read as current and relevant for me today is to believe that “all things are possible”, that
“I CAN do all things through Him who strengthens me”. To live, to act, to think otherwise is to contradict what I claim to believe.
So, what happens after you survive? You thrive. I thrive. We thrive. We hold each other up. We speak truth in love into each others lives. And then something magical happens. We dream outside the box we’ve put ourselves in. When the fears you have feared are no longer relevant, no longer as big as you once believed, you walk in places you never thought you would, or could, walk.
When I decided to paint my tiger, it was because I wanted to paint something that reflected what was going on inside of me. I’ve changed and I want a reminder of the fearlessness readily available to me. I wanted a visual representation of the strength, the courage, and the authority I have access to whenever I need it. “The Enforcer” is my reminder there is something greater, something bigger, than any fear I can fear.
All things are possible.