Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
I don’t consider myself a fearful person. I really don’t have any phobias. I’m the girl who kills the spider, I don’t freak out when a bee lands on me, I love roller coasters and swimming in the ocean. So, this summer on vacation, I was confronted with a new idea of what fear might look like in my life.
During our house devotions, we were meditating on Phillipians 4. Annie, the other half of Wondern Awe, read the message translation. Here are verses 6 & 7
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Each day on our combined family vacation ( a highlight of our summer) we would do a small wondern awe style creative exercise, in order to interact with the truths in this passage more wholeheartedly.
Meditating on this scripture, I began to see that my anxieties and worries are rooted in fear, and I began to recognize deep fears in my life that hinder my walk with Christ. More on that later.
The idyllic farm on which we vacation, is located on several acres in the Pocono mountains. On the property, there is a beautiful creek. I started thinking about this verse, what would my fears look like if I shaped them into prayers, how can I release them? I got an idea. Together, we all walked down to the creek. Once there I read this verse and challenged everyone in our group to consider what fear/worry/anxiety they might be carrying with them. This was not a sharing exercise, this was something private, between you and the Lord alone. I encouraged my friends and family to search their hearts to really examine the dark worries and woes that weigh us down.
Then I passed out smooth river rocks to each person and instructed everyone to find a quiet private spot on the creek to pray. Instead of using quiet words whispered to the almighty, I asked us each to use the watercolors I brought to “confess” their worry by painting it on the rock. Instead of worrying, pray. To use this action as a form of prayer and a way of letting God know your concerns.
My next instruction was to hold that worry “prayer” rock in your hand, asking God to wash away this anxiety. Praising Him for who He is, and His power to overcome our every doubt and conquer each fear. Let no one else see or hear you, this is between you and your God. When you have prayed, throw your rock into the river, and let your fears be washed away. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
I realized in those moments of meditation and prayer, that I have a lot of worries and fears. I was convicted that in my heart, these fears represented something, doubt. I doubt that He is big enough to protect my family, to provide, to satisfy my soul.
What I wrote (confessed) on my rock was this:
“I am afraid of never wholly being known or loved.”
I knew that this sentence, one of my deep fears, actually controls so much of my life. Or stunts it rather. Feeling unloved and misunderstood by the people around me, my heart is guarded and my fists are up. In that moment I realized that I live my life looking for Jesus plus something. Not Jesus alone. A truth emerged, I have a deep dissatisfaction with life that showed me, I live my life like I feel like God is holding out on me.
Throwing that rock into the creek and watching the water wash away my fear was oddly powerful and moving. I felt released and cleansed. I cried and thanked God that He is enough! I prayed that He would help me with my doubt and dissatisfaction and that I would pursue the satisfaction and contentment that His wholeness provides. We pray that each day you behold His forgiveness with awe and His unfathomable love with wonder!