Stepping out of the van into the hot, dry air, I couldn’t breathe. Was it the heat? The dust? No, it was that old familiar feeling: fear. I looked around, just need to get my bearings. Cement buildings. Dry hills. Old busses. Unfamiliar faces. Brown trees. Dark colored bugs crawling around in the dust. I can’t stay here.
“Mom, mom, mom, I am hot.” Oh, there’s my person. She’s the reason I am here. I have to stay. Come on, get your bearings. Get it together.
We had arrived at Rancho De Sus Ninos, an orphanage in Tijuana for our week long mission trip, along with 60 other people. Mikayla and I were tagging along with another church, not our church, so Mikayla could experience something she had saved up for and had been talking about for years. She was ready. I had been an anxious mess leading up to this point and here I was, filled with fear.
This wasn’t my first mission trip. When I was a brand new Christian, I stepped out with bold adventure on a mission trip to Honduras. That was before. Before becoming dependent on modern medicine for health maintenance. Before two incredible little girls became dependent on me.
The questions always couple with fear. What if you forgot your medicine? What if your kidneys fail? What if the food or water make you sick? What if you end up needing medical help out here in the desert? What if Abby is sad the whole time you are gone? What if this isn’t a safe place for Mikayla to be and she gets kidnapped? What if? What if? What if? My heart pounds and the fear is winning.
“Come on, mom. Everyone is picking their bunks. Mom, hurry!” There’s that voice again interrupting my useless thought pattern.
My heart stopped racing. My mind stopped rehearsing the what ifs. I remembered.
God, my provider.
God, my healer.
God, my comfort.
God, my power.
God, my voice.
God, my strength.
God, my Father.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Throughout my walk with God I have experienced trials bringing an excruciating amount of fear with them. Sleepless weeks, irritable days, panic filled hours, minutes that stretched on like hours. I have found that if I can talk about, journal about, take note of how God led me to my current place and how His goodness has never, ever, not once, let me down, then I can walk through those fear-filled times. I remember thinking that once I truly arrived as a Christian, once I really matured, once I learned more of God’s word, I wouldn’t deal with fear anymore. What I am finding is that fear is dictating less of my life and the Spirit’s voice is becoming louder and faster, more dominant. And this is good. So very good.