guest post from a friend and very gifted artist Anita
So what is it, what is my biggest fear – what am I really scared over, what is that deep gnawing feeling within me, the one that aches, the one that likes to tug at my shirt tails as I try to move forward, the one that finds a questioning voice to pepper my mind with?
I toy with lots of names for these emotions, these feelings, these limitations but yet I have the feeling that there is probably a key one, one that links them all. You know like that first domino that when given a little nudge, (whether helpful or hindering) will in effect knock the rest down.
So what is my first domino then?
I hear it almost like a revelation, it stops me in my tracks as I walk across the kitchen, chocolate cake in hand! That’s so true I hear my inner self answer, that is it, that’s the wound right there!! Geronimo, light bulb moment! I take a few bites of my cake to soften the blow, to aide my mental processing. I set the cake aside and I write here, now, to process a little further. I’m afraid of this 6 word revelation:
“I’m afraid of being left behind”
For now, I divulge these words to myself, God and my laptop. Whether courage rises so that I might invite others to share my processing, time will tell. God I pray you would heal and shine a light on the lies which reside and replace them with your word, your truth, your love, your touch!
“I’m afraid of being left behind”
I repeat these words several times as I try to understand. I ask myself some questions almost like a friend would, helping another friend put voice to their hurt and work towards finding resolution and peace. Another bite of cake.
Question: What are you afraid of being left behind from?
Question: Is it a people, a group, a rite of passage, is it life?
Question: Where does it really hurt?
Lisen/Hold/Hug/Embrace/Cry Question: What’s the next domino to fall down after this revelation, what does this fear affect in your life?
Answers ripple out, walls fall down, one domino after another;
– I’m afraid of not being accepted,
– I’m afraid of not being good enough,
– I’m afraid that depression will steal my best,
– I’m afraid of failing,
– I’m afraid of missing out on life, on the life that God has for me.
Pause, breathe, cry, take another bite of cake.
This chocolate cake i’m devouring, it’s my favourite, my speciality, a faithful offering. A James Martin recipe ‘Chocolate & Cola Cake’. It is particularly delicious a little melted and gooey. It is sweet, it is comforting, it cheers and it is loved by most. But tonight, it has been left behind. It was made specifically for a purpose, extra effort was given to get some missing ingredients in, to find the time to bake it and yet it sits left behind. It didn’t make it to the party. I didn’t make it to the party.
You see the trusty cake failed. It burnt a little on the top, it didn’t seem to be baked properly. The spring loaded tin holding the whole thing together was opened too soon, (in haste by the baker trying to rush the process so to finish) still too warm it collapsed around the sides. The deliciously sweet icing didn’t cover up the collapse or could it fix the fear that maybe it hadn’t cooked through fully. Too late to put back in the oven now! My faithful cake sat sadly on it’s beautiful platter, not fit for the party, a shop bought offering would have to replace it! And the baker? The baker too did not make it to the party, sickness meant she was left behind. The baker felt guilty, sad and sore. The baker braved the eating of the maybe not baked properly cake despite it’s appearance and found that 30 seconds in the microwave rendered it sweet and comforting.
How funny that a chocolate cake could illustrate my greatest fear. My chocolate cola cake left behind also. I stand on my mental soap box: “My dear sweet cake you were not meant for the bin, your ingredients are too rich, too expensive, too beautiful when combined to simply scrape you off that platter, plop you into the bin. I could not dispose of you so. I’m not done with you, my messy cake, you have comfort to bring!”
And God the Father said to me: “My sweet little child, I have not left you behind either, I will not leave you, I will not forsake you. I have knit you together in your mother’s womb. I am all over your life, from the beginning. I know you, I see you, I delight in you. You are my masterpiece. I could not and will not dispose of you into some big world bin. I will not scrape you off a platter. I will not plop you into a heap of rubbish, you do not belong there. Do you hear me child, do you believe me? You do not belong there. Little cake, little child, you may feel inadequate around the other offerings but you are not. I made you, I delight in you. I have not set to put you in some worldly reject bin or some Christian failure rubbish heap. I’m not done with you. I’m not done with you!!
You have NOT been left behind because at 33(an age when you were sure you’d be sorted)
– you have not married, despite your prayers, your dreams, your desires
– you have not become a mother, despite your prayers, your dreams, your desires
– you do not own your own home, in the conventual manner
– you do not have a brilliant, rising career
– you do not connect as closely with those precious friends from before as you once did
– your life is not in the same state/stage as other friends your age
– you have suffered from depression
– you struggle socially
– your life is not what you dreamed it would be
– you don’t think you’ve become who you were born to be, who God wants you to be
And there’s the biggy, the fear that I will somehow miss God’s plan for me, that i’d be left behind from it, from my destiny. That I would fail God and fail others. That I would not live the abundant life that He has for me.
And now as I pick at the chocolaty crumbs, savouring the congealed, gooey taste, I savour His truth, His word; ‘The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me’ Psalm 138 v 8. This text drawn in calligraphy and watercolour given by an early and faithful encourager sits against my cooker hood. If I’d only looked up! And there it is look up, hear His word, trust His heart, Hear His voice. He has not left you behind, He will not leave you behind. You are more than the most delicious dessert at the party, more than the life and soul of the party, more than the most sorted person at the party. You are His most precious bride, His masterpiece, His beloved, His witness, His child. You are not left behind. You are here, right now, seen, loved and held in His hand. Yummy!