Sinking

We have been living the thing.

Taking long walks with Lucy Mae, sitting out back and star gazing each night, sharing stories, and just…dreaming.

It awakens desire, this living in the now. Nothing stirs my sehnsucht like a change of season.

Strange, how this emptiness fills.

I have been thinking a lot about the fruit of my life lately.

It is no accident. He is reminding me.

Last night, Little Jeffrey asked me, “What is the thing you are most afraid of?”

It was time for the Tucking In—the time after nightly prayers when soul questions rise up to fill the quiet.

I pulled the blankets up around him and ran my hands down his bare arms.

When did he get so big?

“Hmmm,” says I. “That’s a tough one. I suppose…the thing that I am most afraid of is that something bad might happen to someone I love.”

He thought about it for a moment, but I could tell it wasn’t the answer he wanted.

“What is the thing you are most afraid of for yourself?”

It should not have surprised me; I knew where he was headed. I could see the book he had been reading open, face down on the bed beside him—the one about the Titanic. But still, I found myself groping around inside for an answer.

What was I most afraid of?

Being a bad parent?
Bad wife?
Being alone?
Flying?

None of these seemed to ring true in my head.

But I took too long in answering and he was moving on.

“Do you want to know what I’m most afraid of?”

I glanced at the book beside him.

I think I could guess.

“Sure, if you want to share.”

“I’m scared of being on a boat out in the middle of the ocean.”

His eyes grew large, his voice hushed with awe.

What ensued was a discussion on nautical safety and modern rescue methods.

Little man digested my reassuring facts, but I couldn’t help noticing that his eyes still seemed to be bugging out of his head.

The Titanic is, after all, a very traumatic story.

“You know what?” I say, as I scoot under the covers beside him and turn out the lamp. “I don’t think much about things I’m afraid of anymore. You know why?”

He shook his head in the dark as I enveloped him in my arms.

“Because I know that God is bigger than any fear I could ever have, and I belong to Him. Even if something bad happens, He’ll help me through it. And He’ll never leave me.”

He turned on his side and burrowed deeper into the pillow.

“He’ll never leave me.”

He said it in that same hushed tone he had voiced his fear in.

Awe.

His body relaxed beside me. I gave him one last kiss and slid out from under the covers, away from the warmth of him.

I went on with the night, but his question lingered.

What am I most afraid of? For me?

I thought of this ache inside my belly—this empty place. I thought of my broken childhood.

And I knew.

I am most afraid that I won’t matter.

That the fruit of the way I choose to live the thing will spoil and rot.

Occasionally, I let this fear grip me. Will any of this matter in the end?

And it feels as if I am going down with the ship.

There is no life boat for this kind of fear.

Only truth.

I know where to take this.

And I do.

I go to the Captain; send out an SOS.

I’m not just singing a happy tune as the ship goes down. I’m not just coping.

I am rescued.

Only He can do that.

Because He is bigger than any fear I could ever have.

And He will never leave me.

Never.

Lay it down. Again, and again. Lay it down, Beloved.

He is bigger than whatever it is.

For a very powerful testimony on overcoming fear, visit Melanie…and please pray for her son, Andrew, while you are there.

Comments

  1. says

    Such a beautiful and vulnerable testimony. I just finished Max Lucado’s “Fearless” and the first chapter of fears he addresses is the “Fear of Not Mattering.”

    Thankfully, in Jesus we all matter. Blessings to you.

  2. says

    Laura,

    You are right He is bigger than any fear, and He does not leave. I have walked a pretty scary road recently. He has held my hand the whole way, I believe He actually picked me up and carried me for the first part of the journey for I surely do not remember walking. Every hug and prayer for those precious boys of yours matters for eternity…. keep pointing them to Him.

    Love,
    Tina

  3. says

    I could voice the same; not mattering is the “shadow” I carry with me everyday. I fight to believe higher, better and stronger and in the God who scripts my life quite to the contrary. I imagine it is a struggle I will carry with me until I see my Father and look into his eyes; at that point, all will make sense, and my mattering will be less insistent. Why?

    Because when I see him, I will fully understand the depths of just how much I’ve mattered to him all along.

    I’m growing more content with my life these days; maybe it’s my age, but I happen to think it’s because I’m pushing hard into my Father’s heart. There I find the peace I need.

    Lots of love, Laura. You are a kind soul and a good mother. Keep to it.

    peace~elaine

  4. says

    “the fruit of my life” – the legacy I leave through my children. I want them to seen Jesus in me and want Him in them as well. I fear I fail greatly here. So glad He rescues me and it is not about me. It’s about Him in me. Thanks for these encouraging words!

  5. says

    Oh I hear you! It took me a few months to come up with my biggest fear…being alone. I have an AMAZING husband, GREAT kids…a wonderful life to all looking in. But that lingering mess of the first 18 years seems to have left me with the inability to deeply connect on an emotional level….yet I know that must come from Him….and He is working it in….praying we find peace with our daily connection with Him…knowing He is enough…knowing that even the tiniest moment of obedience is glorious fruit in His eyes…it need not always be BIG… to be “big” to Him. Wonderful post Laura.

  6. says

    Wow Laura, I was in the room with you and your son! I love moments like those. Read John 15. If you are focused on Jesus you will be fruitful. He will make sure that happens. B

  7. says

    “I am most afraid that I won’t matter.”
    I discovered this last night when I couldn’t figure out why I am so angry this week that the kids go back to school. I am feeling abandoned and unneeded. Thank you for sharing. I am working on my prayer for today but have not posted it yet. I think this is a wonderful post.

  8. says

    Can I tell you how much I love your writing? It “sucks” me in. I was with you kneeling right beside your son’s bed wondering what am I most afraid of… also wondering what my kids think I’m most afraid of. I don’t want them to ever lose me due to my depression. I’m afraid I won’t win the fight. But they don’t know. Your answer to his question was brilliant. And I know it came from the Captain Himself! Thank you for sharing Laura!

  9. says

    Amen! What a sweet time of sharing with your son…I love when they share their hearts. I especially love when I can offer the comfort of Christ. Praise Jesus He is so faithful and THERE!

  10. says

    Laura,
    Isn’t it amazing how such innocent child-like questions stir the deepest parts of who we are – the best and the worst? (I love your tucking in conversations.)
    Much work on my biggest fears as of late…not mattering, not being worthy. But God is so good, He will never leave me. or you. or Jeffrey. Or any of us. He is so, so good!
    Hugs your way!

  11. says

    Laura, you vulnerability before Him is the exact thing which makes rescuing you, so worthwhile. Thank you for humbling me. I need reminders about rescue this week.

  12. says

    Hi Laura,
    Just visiting via you comment on Van’s blog.

    That fear of not mattering is a huge one for me too. Here I am 70 years old and I feel I’ve accomplished nothing in life. Nothing that matters.

    Yet a favorite phrase of Scripture is that we are “accepted in the Beloved”.

    PS: I once wrote a profile of Dr. Robert Bateman, a Jacksonville minister who died aboard the Titanic as a noted hero. He ran a rescue mission here in Jax. He was the only person from Florida on board the ship.

  13. says

    What comfort to come here and catch up on these missed posts.
    You are more than you know…
    believe in it
    it will radiate from you as the moon and the sun and the the light of your living.
    love to you
    deb

  14. says

    …sigh…What a great story.

    Your fear is mine, that nagging doubt of an unworthy life. But I’m fairly sure you matter to Little Jeffrey, and I’m fairly sure he knows it.

  15. says

    I just read your earlier post on yearning.
    Maybe this is what many of us here in this community of cyber friends share. I eluded to it a bit in my post earlier as well. It doesn’t mean I am not at peace in the here and now , it does mean that part of me is “out there”. Then there is the part of me that is still crying myself to sleep as a little girl… but she is fuzzier all the time.

  16. says

    Y’know, depends on whether or not your satisfied by mattering more in one spot than another. We often overlook where we do matter because we really want to matter in another spot. It’s like having friends in highschool except we’d rather have more popular friends.

  17. says

    Laura – your writing – you just draw me in. I found myself wanting to whisper to your heart – this is what matters – this moment with your son – this pressing truth into his heart. I am so very delighted I found this enriching place. You matter.

  18. says

    Oh, this made me audible groan, the realization:

    “I am most afraid that I won’t matter.

    That the fruit of the way I choose to live the thing will spoil and rot.”

    Oh, Laura.

    You write His truths and I hardly breathe.

    Thank you… THANK YOU.

    All’s grace,
    Ann

  19. says

    You are an eloquent writer. This is a fear that many of us share with you. That when our time here is up we will slip away without notice.

    How wonderful that we have a God who thought about that fear and gave us an out – a way to make a difference and that way is by sharing Jesus! By living out our Godly lives before men so they do notice and they are changed because of God through us.

    Thought provoking!

    Sonya Lee

  20. says

    I love your talks with your sons.
    What special memories to treasure.
    I love that you always take the time to listen and talk to your boys. I say it every time, but, you are a wonderful mom. I just love how you chose not to be bitter, but better. It always makes me smile when I read your posts. This morning I had tears in my eyes though, because it was just so precious.
    I tend to be a worrier and tend to be fearful. I’ve learned so much the past couple of years and although I am still learning, I’m practicing what I’m learning and allowing God to heal those fears and worries. His desire is for me to lay it down and not pick it back up again. (that’s the hard part, huh?)
    I have Andrew’s prayer button on my blog and am definitely praying for the sweet boy’s total healing and praying for his family.
    Nothing is too hard for our God!
    Love ya, Laura!
    Val

  21. says

    This brought a tear to my eye. I fear I won’t matter too sometimes. Must be a broken childhood. I, like you, go back to the Captain. He always throws me His truth, my life preserver.

    Bless you for writing real. It frees me.

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