My roommate and I woke up this morning to that less-than-familiar sound of extremely tiny paws scurrying through the kitchen.
We never found him [assuming it is a him], but we cleaned up to the last minuscule crumbs that may have looked like a welcome mat. Roomie and I began talking about what we are afraid of, since, you know, this was probably the beginning of an invasion, not a random passer-by. She said, “I’m not really afraid of mice, but spiders and cockroaches are the worst. I can’t even handle them.”
I stood in the kitchen, sanitizing every.single.surface, thinking that through.
What am I afraid of?
As the oldest daughter in a family of daughters, being afraid of tiny crawly things just was never an option for me, so I’m not scared of bugs, slugs, or thugs. [Well, thugs are kinda scary.] There are other fears in my life, for sure, that don’t have four legs. Or a tail.
. . . . .
I wanted to be a missionary to Scotland for 11 years. ELEVEN YEARS. Multiple times in my 20s, the opportunity to move there for a season or two to live kept coming up.
A mission training school.
A youth group internship.
A children’s ministry position.
I always said no. Every time.
The timing wasn’t every quite right, I never felt like it was God’s best plan, but also, in the back of my head….
I was scared.
I was scared that moving to Scotland would mean I would never get married.
So I never did. I let an entire decade go by in hopes that choosing America meant choosing marriage. Now, I’m not saying that staying here was out of God’s will- I know He did good things with my life in that decade, I just know that each time one of those opportunities was placed before me, that fear whispered to me.
When I turned 30, I sat with a few friends in rocking chairs on a front porch. I was talking about twirling and how much I expected of this next decade.
And I said, “I’m moving to Scotland.”
A new opportunity came about [4 times the charm? Apparently.], and I knew this was my chance. The right chance. The right opportunity to say YES to God and NO to the fear.
I said no in my 20s. I let the fear of being alone, the fear of singleness, keep me from things. And I wasn’t going to do that in my 30s.
“What if I look back in 10 years,” I said to my friend Lyndsay, “and I’m still single AND I’ve said ‘no’ for another decade waiting for something that still hadn’t come?”
That became my biggest fear: waiting for a marriage that I am not guaranteed, keeping me from doing good things that bring glory to God RIGHT NOW.
So I moved to Scotland for six months of 2011 and you know what? My life is SO much richer because of that experience. Saying YES to that open door, ignoring the fear, has made me a better human and someday, hopefully, a better wife.
. . . . .
I want to be careful here. I do NOT want you to hear me say that you should choose sinful behaviors or throw caution to the wind because you are tired of waiting on a husband. I don’t want you to hear me say that if you are single, that you have “caused” that by being a missionary or anything of that nature. I don’t know you or your choices.
I am merely making an observation from my own life and wondering if you’ve ever seen the same in yours.
Just think, just for a few minutes today, where are you letting fear, my singlet friend, make you say ‘no’ to God-honoring opportunities?
What are you afraid of?