Yesterday I listened to a fantastic sermon by Tim Keller about fear and anxiety. By the way...dude can preach!
The closing part of it was a simple yet powerful statement "You won’t be able to overcome your fear unless you are in community. The opposite of FEAR is love. Fear is self centered. Love is self giving. THEREFORE you will never deal with your fear all by yourself, you have to love somebody." In that moment I knew not only the truth about the people in my life who have become that for me, but beyond that, the relentless pursuit of a Savior who has SURROUNDED me. He knew the depth of my brokenness, loneliness, shame, and desire to be known. He surrounded me with people (You know who you are!) who have SEEN me.
Enough that I may come out of hiding and consider that I MAY be lovable. And if I am, then I might also be capable of giving love. And if those things are true, then I may have a shot at overcoming my fear. My biggest fear. The fear of not being known. Of not being WORTH knowing. WORTH the effort, worth the time.
Yes, Jesus is my identity and who He says I am NEEDS to be true for me, BUT, He is also gracious enough to reiterate that message in loud, unavoidable, real, tangible, flesh and blood ways. This is how He SHOWS me who I am. Through the people in my life. These people, these broken wounded healers of my soul. Thankful doesn't quite begin to describe what I feel today.
Melting, thawing out, tentatively believing, slowly standing up. These are more accurate descriptions of what this love is doing to me and for me.
I pray and desperately hope I can offer the same to even one person in my life as I walk forward and keep choosing to believe this about myself. THIS is redemption. THIS is love. This, is the GOSPEL of Hope.