It’s been quite sometime since I have had the opportunity to write a bit. But, now is the time to share an amazing life experience of fear.
The summer offered a transition from a very challenging winter and early spring; I conquered the fear of knowing and moving forward. Of course, I had a great example in front of me to follow. A very dear, close friend and confidant faced fear of failure that in essence led the individual to make decisions and negotiated deals that could have cost family, friends, finances and ministry. There was a lot of pain in purpose and the testing of transparency that the individual had to face along with questions, interrogation, and shame. When I questioned my friend, I kept looking for a complex response and analytical combinations, but it was straightforward: fear of failure and disappointment to others. In the words of my friend: “Cheryl, fear will make you fool.” Well, the decisions created relational crisis that led to tribulation. It cost years of integrity for one winter season of fear.
I observed the humility, repentance and heart of the individual in a tough season of guilt, disgrace, gossip, and public ridicule yet remaining diligent in the calling of Christ. Facing the fear of rejection, my friend kept moving forward.
I observed the strength and test of stamina to remain true to the ministry call and face the consequences for bad decisions. The experience resembles a puzzle; you have all the pieces, but not in place. No one to blame; my friend had to own it all – no fault or consideration of anyone else. You have to be tested by your own teaching of accountability and transparency.
I could have easily dismissed my friend (and yes, I thought about it), and our years of history and bond, but I am not perfect. I could have forfeit ‘forward’ over fear of association to someone not perfect. I made a commitment to the commitment. I learned new lessons and had a refresher in others: 1) I learned that some individuals stand for truth and righteousness. 2) I learned that there are “groupies” that leave after the gig is up and their fad has faded. A groupie leaves gaps and questions, some lay judgment. Yet, disciples are disciplined in their place. 3) I learned that too much too soon is never good; building and developing relationships and ministry prototypes takes years. 4) I learned that some people have no loyalty; even after seeing your tears, they like everything and cut off nothing, exemplifying no values, or boundaries. No boundaries, then no bonding. I learned how to manage my personal space and access. 5) I have gained a greater revelation of the fire of forgiveness and how it purifies.
I faced the fear of knowing. It is painful to know the truth and hear a lie. I knew a long time ago of my friend’s situation, before anything was ever stated. The vision and dream world are so powerful. I could have lost my friend instead of looking at a lifetime commitment. Considering the cost of ministry work, and love for God’s people, why forfeit all for nothing? There were dark days, death moments and crisis crying. I felt my faith folding several times. The fear of moving forward in the aftermath is real. But once I made forward steps, fear dissolved and truly the understanding of Philippians 4:13 is surreal.
To kick off my new season of writing, this is dedicated to my friend, my confidant and lover . . . my husband. Our marriage was tested, not through infidelity, but fear. Months later, a dual season of healing and newness. It was worth it. #B-class#27-21#forward