By Ashlynne Bell
I haven’t written in quite some time, and in all reality, I’ve avoided the thought. There is something that happens when you allow your heart to be penned on paper; then there’s the vulnerability of letting others look inside and read what the heart produced.
Writing used to be something my mind, body, and soul longed for. It became the only escape my tired hands and feet could run to. It was a place that dealt no standard of performance, no measuring stick, definitely had no agenda or desire for anything in return. For me, “writing” was an area where I could feel God Himself pay visit to every single time my hands would begin. He didn’t wait until I reached the second paragraph or the last punch line. His voice would thunder like a wave — resounding over every lie or vain imagination I had been entertaining. His whisper that would sometimes blow in like a trumpet would mark moments of truth in my heart–truth that, more often than not, would become a lost sound beneath the cry of fear, torment, and worry.
For me, fear has been a regular visitor in my waiting room of destiny.
Its tactics are myriad, and its impact feels like the most scarring storm of the century. Its voice is like a giant shouting my name, when in reality; it is more like a mouse that comes in through the back door. Fear, also known as panic, terror, worry, or dread, will not mask itself with one face and then melt away somewhere in the crowd. For me, FEAR found its place and then made a throne within crevices of my heart.
You see, fear will not place itself in the position of apology, nor will it posture itself for the sake of the cause. It thrives off of every reaction and places bets on how many monumental moments can be ruined by its false truth. Fear will ride in like a flood and ruin relationships, taint surroundings, and silence the voice of the Almighty. It has no exit plan. It carries no weight of responsibility. It keeps no record of its wrongdoings but will be the first to remind you of your failings. You try to escape its route of confusion and chaos, which only leads to another detour, taking you off of destiny’s track to wholeness.
I lived in this cycle of what I call “dismantilization” (no, this is not a real word). Fear tried to rule my world, my relationships, my marriage, and, most importantly, my walk with Abba Father. I would spend so much time and energy dismantling every promise breathed over my life by entering into the gates of torment—that by the time another call for freedom would arise, I had no fight left to give. Was this it? Was this what my life had become? I was entangled by lies. I was a prisoner of war. UNTIL…
Until I realized fear had a name…and it was ME. I had fed into the lies for so long that my own existence had become the very thing I feared. Hopeless. Broken. Discouraged. Starved. Then I remembered. This is what HIS WORD promises: who the SON sets free WILL be free indeed.
He says in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear you not; for I am with you; be not dismayed; for I am your God; I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.”
I heard him say, “I knew you would battle fear, so I wanted you to know that I’m always with you. Do not be dismayed–be not broken or alone. I say to you, “YES, I will help free you from this bondage. Yes, I will be your God–the One in whom no one can compare. I will guide your tired feet and pour strength upon strength over your weary hands. My right hand will uphold you. I will be faithful and true. Yes, I will be faithful and true.”
So, when the wave of insecurity, misunderstanding, or doubt tries to wash over me, I will be anchored by the undercurrent of mercy–mercy that has triumphed over judgment. Mercy and hope have a depth far beyond what any circumstance or situation could ever bring. JOY for the moment and peace to be all around. He holds me through every season of discouragement. He carries me through every valley of uncertainty, and He leads me on—always taking me from glory to glory.
His design for my life is to live fiercely driven by a Kingdom whose King takes no command from fear…but instead casts out the very mention of its name. He lives so that I might live–not broken and weary in the moment, but outrageously devoted to the wonder of His Name–the glory of His presence and the power of His word.
I pray you find HIM today. Everyday. I pray that the train of HIS robe would cover over every doubt, every burden, and every FEAR.