Cages. We all have them. Those places that trap us and cause a sense of restriction. The wall we keep hitting no matter how hard we try to get free. Our arms squeeze through the bars and grab just enough life from the outside to keep us afloat. We accept that these walls hold our destiny within them. My cage is dangerously addictive and naturally hidden. I long to get out, but cling to it for dear life. It is the deepest place of weakness for me.
Some of you were put in your cage by someone else. Maybe it was an abusive experience or a dysfunctional family. I don’t know how I ended up in mine. It was so subtle it almost seemed invisible. Intangible.
Growing up I would dread people asking me how I came to know Jesus. I didn’t have any tear-jerking story about neglect or abuse to tell them. There were no dramatic addictions or cheap romances. Jesus came to me softly. In my tender and kind childhood He came for me and has been with me since.
It was my mistake to think this meant I didn’t have a cage. My friends had eating disorders, absent fathers, cheap sex and the ghosts of abuse. Their cages were obvious and understandable. Mine is an internal one.
This past year is when I realized I had a cage too. Fear. Not a fear of sharks, snakes or the dark. ( okay, sometimes the dark ) But subtle fears. Ones that are easy to brush off and ignore. I am afraid that people will think that I am too overbearing. I am afraid I have to work non-stop to make sure that life is what I want it to be. I am afraid people will never understand me. I am afraid something might be wrong with one of my kids. I am afraid this headache is actually caused by a rare brain tumor… I am afraid of lots of things. The buzz of anxiety is a constantly in the back of my mind.
But I have decided that it is time to stop. These past few months have been filled with me discovering just how boxed in I am by fear. I want out of my cage.
How fitting that we celebrate Good Friday and Easter this week?
Good Friday – The day Jesus got in my cage for me.
Easter – The day Jesus busted out.
So, I’m following Him. There is no need for me to stay in a cage whose bars cannot contain me.
Over these next six Tuesdays I will be posting a series about the lessons I am learning in my journey out of fear. Embarrassing? Yes. Crazy vulnerable? Yes. Doing it anyway? Dang straight.
Before we go, I have to teach you one thing. These past few weeks whenever I feel anxiety and fear creeping in, I say the following phrase:
“Fear, I have a destiny & you will not keep me from it.”
So here is to our destiny and the removal of our cages.
Thanks for journeying along.