The Two Faces of Fear: Part 1

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”   Psalm 27:3 NIV

I grew up as an only child in a broken home. My parents divorced when I was six and with new spouses, came “instant” step and half siblings. Although a confusing and tumultuous time in my childhood, I developed a powerful connection with my half-sister, Sher, that would change the course of both our lives forever.

Sher and I are a decade apart in age. We never lived in the same house and rarely shared childhood experiences. I was about 19 when we forged a lifelong friendship that would surpass any ordinary sibling experience that I could have imagined. Our paths as Christians run along the same parallel and intersect regularly. Because of the similarities, our faith walk together can also be a little spooky and unsettling, and as I was about to find out–even nightmarish…

One night, we decided to take a leisurely drive along the coast of Malibu. The sky was swaddled in fog and darkness, and the road was windy. We were convinced that her zippy Mercedes would hug the curves and keep us safe in its metal cocoon. We drove. We laughed. We inhaled the cool, misty air. We were traveling at an alarming speed and the turns were getting sharper. Yet, our chipper moods kept time with the frenetic pace until one turn was too sharp, and we jettisoned right over the edge of the cliff–Thelma and Louise style. We plummeted ferociously downward. I remember hearing four things: the barely audible whistling wind, the pounding of my heart, the collective whimpering of our voices and the internal pleading in my mind to God. I knew instantly that only He could save us and I prayed desperately for a water landing rather than a devastating impact with a granite slab. Then, I woke up.

I have never had a dream so vivid and real before or since. I have never felt such raw fear and complete surrender at the same time, real or imagined. Fear drove my sister and I on the windy road that night but not as simply as you might think. There are two faces of fear. Fear is like a two-sided coin, a juxtaposition of two parts that make up a whole, a dichotomy. The fears we face in this world threaten to rob us of our truth in Christ and keep us mired in our sin. Fear blurs our choices and often paralyzes us. Ultimately, it separates us from our Savior and keeps us stuck in our muck.

Prayer: Sovereign Father, in my darkest and most frightening moments, as I feel the ground giving way beneath me, You are there to rescue me. In your loving arms I have nothing to fear. Instead, may the righteous awe and wonder that I have for You draw me in and grant me peace in this life as I rest in the eternal glory of the next. Thank you, Father, for saving me. Amen.

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