Fear vs. freedom

Lately I’ve been scared of driving.

Let me explain—but first I’ll have to give you some back story.

About a month ago I wrangled in a friend and a carload of snacks for a 9-hour road trip to Dallas, Texas. After spending a couple of months in the dreaded silence following submitted job applications, I’d heard back from a few companies about in-house interviews. Being the person I am (aka a person who loves road trips and easily accepts travel propositions of any kind), I excitedly agreed to meet these Texans in their offices in hopes turning a meeting into a hire.

After a fuel mishap in the middle of Louisiana, a debit card malfunction in the midst of chaotic Dallas explorations (still unsure of where that card is…), and a job offer that seemed less than appealing, my friend and I trekked down toward Austin with lots of laughter and prayers for a bit of better luck through the rest of our trip.

Which seemed to be the case.

#blessed

We filled up on cupcakes at Waco’s Magnolia Bakery, our Austin Airbnb host was just the sweetest, and my job interview there seemed just shy of perfect. After a short stop in San Antonio, we headed home with my heart full of assurance that Austin, Texas is where I’d end up.

But then somewhere in the middle of Mississippi (my least favorite state for many reasons), we hit a bit of a rough patch—literally and metaphorically.

As I-59 curved northeast toward the Alabama state line, a wet spot on the road sent the tail of my car spinning around toward the front. In a state of helplessness, all I could do was apologize to my friend and take my hands off the wheel.

We spun through mud and wet grass up onto an embankment, thankfully hurting nothing more than one of my tire rims. As the car slowed and my friend’s screaming stopped, my brain was still processing…so I started to laugh (can’t you tell how well I handle situations of high pressure/stress?).

It wasn’t until we were driving home on that same slick road and a spare tire that my mind felt the weight of what had happened. I couldn’t stop replaying the scenario in my head, thanking God that we hadn’t been hurt, and—consequently—apologizing to my friend for nearly killing her.

I haven’t driven on wet roads the same way since.

And as I’m back in my hometown, with no out-of-state job propositions visible and the infamous summer thunderstorms abundant, I’m a bit fearful. What if I get stuck in the same hometown cycle I’ve always hated (there’s nothing wrong with that cycle, it just definitely is not for me)? What if the rain sends my car tumbling down the mountain or straight into the river?

That might sound a little dramatic to you (it does to my family, too), but these kinds of experiences and fears embed themselves in our minds, changing the way we see and interact with the world. And when situations don’t end up as bright or lucky or planned-out as others, it can change the way we view God, too.

We were never meant to live in fear, friends. Especially as Christ-followers, we’ve been given freedom and victory over even the most dangerous situations on earth. Whether a slick road or loneliness or loved ones’ deaths, Jesus conquered it all so we wouldn’t have to suffer.

So as we celebrate wins or mourn losses, as we hear first responders say, “You’re lucky it wasn’t worse” or friends assure that, “God has a plan for our pain,” we have to remind ourselves that living in fear isn’t living. It only builds barriers to a full life and strips God of His deserved glory.

Whatever you’re fearing right now—no matter the size of it—the cross was and is big enough to defeat it. I promise.

Lay it down at the feet of Jesus and be free from fear forever.


By Danielle

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