By Alison Feinauer
At the beginning of the year, I signed my son up for church camp – 5 hours away for a week with no contact at all. He’s 7, doesn’t like the dark, and likes his mommy tucking him in at night. I thought for sure he’d back out. However, the time came and he went for it. On one hand, I was proud of his bravery. On the other, I did not want to leave my baby.
I said goodbye. As we were both crying, I felt the Lord asking me to trust Him, telling me that the week was more about me, than Ashton.
Well, the control and fear crept in came abruptly, in my sleep, during the day, all the time. I didn’t realize the grip it had on me until I had to surrender it. I had to, literally, turn my most precious one over to someone else’s care.
It was a choice to let him go. I had to drive away with no communication the whole week. I had to cry out to the Lord in my fear, sadness, and hurting. I had to take away the most precious thing I have in my life, hand it to God, and tell Him I trust him. Wow, it rocked me. And it was only for a week.
What I realized is that I’m a lot of talk. I’ve always said, “Ashton is the Lord’s. He’s just on loan to me.” But when I was forced to put my words in action, I realized the same fear and control I felt over my son is the same fear and control I have over my image.
I want to let that go. I say that I trust God with my image, that I bear His image, and He made me wonderfully and perfectly. But I have realized that more often than not, I’m still holding up that mask, the one I want everyone to see me through.
If something bad happened, like I got burned in a fire or lost a limb, I wouldn’t be able to “control” my physical image. I want to keep asking God to increase my belief that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, that He formed me in the secret place just that way He wanted me, that the gifts He’s put inside me, He wants and will use. I don’t have to hide or live behind a mask.
What fear or control do you need to trust God with wholeheartedly? Fear of failure, of getting fat, of failed marriage? Are you afraid to eat, or afraid you’ll never get married? Afraid of not feeling valued or that you matter? Fear of poverty or betrayal? Whatever it is, let’s do it together. He’s waiting for us with gentle eyes and a kindness that will lead to repentance. We’ll only get freedom when we lay it down by choice.
Father, I lay down my image before you. I lay down the fear of what people would say if I set all of that aside. I repent of still holding up the mask even though, in my head, I know the truth. I want to believe and live it with my heart. I want to be Your image bearer; I want to trust you with my life. I want the air that I breathe to be Your Spirit and to breathe out the joy that you give me. Holy Spirit, come in. Help me not to walk in shame, but in vulnerability and courage that I’m yours and that your opinion is the only one that matters. I’ll follow where you lead. Lead me to freedom. I no longer want to be a slave to fear. I love and trust you. Amen.