Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fear vs Love

Fear is the opposite of trust and love. Being careful to not lay the sins of others bare from my past, I will shine the light only on my struggles by simply saying that I have been hurt. I have been betrayed, and I have hurt others. I have been publicly flogged as a leader and woman (metaphorically speaking). I have hid in shame, and I have walked in fear.

Some people heal faster than others, never stop persevering, and do not alter their behavior based on the negative feedback from this world. Others of us, over time, change our hearts and ability to trust, love and serve based on the hardening of our hearts by a very cruel world.

Fear has clouded my walk for many years: fear of losing my children, being publicly humiliated (based on childhood to adult incidents), being betrayed, losing everything again, being poor again, not providing for my children, failing God, failing my school, not paying my bills, fear of debt collectors, not having a job, fear of people hating and targeting me for doing the right thing at school, having my heart broken again, being abused, used, mocked, deceived, cheated on, and the list goes on and on...

My daughter's favorite quote by John Wayne is "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." Everyday, I have to saddle up and walk, breathe, lead, live, make decisions, hold people accountable, coach, question, support, teach, and, most fearfully, love.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

People will hurt us. Students' parents have done some crazy hurtful things to me and staff; I could write a book just on the erratic, arrogant, disrespectful behavior that I have born witness to and been the receiver of for my 20+ years in the public education system.

Employees have done some pretty hurtful things to me. I have been publicly humiliated more times than I can count by students, parents, and staff. It is the nature of the education beast. For whatever reason, people feel entitled to publicly flog educators (the very people trying to serve and teach their kids while keeping them and other children safe) and there is very little respect for principals by many.

Being a change agent, I stare down the face of adversity every single day. I am not and have never been an embracer of the "system". I have always been an independent, and complacency makes me sick. I love passionately and passionately lead those willing to step out and go with me. I am not for everyone. Which is probably why I evoke such a passionate hate from some.

The Bible warns us that those of us who follow boldly the way of Christ will be hated. I take the moral imperative of education very seriously and my calling as a Christian leader. The lives of children and the sake of our society are at risk, and my job is to love, lead, encourage, teach, and hold accountable every one of those little people that have been entrusted to me as well as the other educators being paid to do the same all the while remembering that I am a servant of the one true King and will trust him to make my path straight. My path is for Him first.

Complacency is lazy and evil. Christ was not complacent. He was a quiet rock of strength and change blended with an accountability that could put you on your face. He calls down strongholds and casts out demons while extending loving arms to the children and feeding the hungry. What an amazing blend of humanity and deity. He changed forever the relationship that we can have with God, and he has set the bar for servant leadership.

I love that man. He embodies everything that I want to be and everything that I want in a man on earth. Is that possible to have on earth? No. None of us are perfect and none of us are Christ though we can each endeavor each day to pick up our cross despite or in spite of our fears and follow him and love like he loves with forgiveness and grace exuding to and from each of us.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

God's plans are not to harm us. Satans plans, however, are completely against us. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

I know that Satan has gotten involved in every fear evoking piece of my history. However, he is not my god. He is not in authority over my life. Satan may influence people and use his demons to strike fear all around me, but I will stand, breathe, live, and love through Christ who strengthens me. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

Loving and leading take every ounce of courage that I have, and I clearly don't have enough. I have to have Christ in order to function and even attempt to lead and love again. I praise God for his angels that He sends before me and for the people that He has called to love me through my walk. I praise God for a man in my life that is willing to love me through my fears, insecurities, and healing. A man who humbly sets examples for me that he probably doesn't even realize the power of in my life.

It's scary out there in the world. My heart might get pummeled again tomorrow by someone at my school, on the road, or in my house. I will saddle up anyway. I have someone in me who is greater than he that is in the world. I will stand on God's promises that His plans are for me and not against me. I will trust God and fear no evil. It's a choice, and I have to make that choice every day. I will choose to forgive and show grace and pray that those I hurt will do the same. (Keeping no record of wrong. 1Cor 13:5)

I have always said as a leader that what is best for kids is not always easiest for adults. Accountability, doing something different, learning something new, etc. all require action on my part that might not be easy. Am I going to do what is easy and popular or do what I believe to be right?

It's not easy in the trenches. We are at war with an evil, scary world. We can let this world change our ability to love and serve, or we can reach out to Christ and love through him fearlessly. We might get hurt or hurt others, but God is a healer. God is my safety net and forgiver. I will walk in faith regardless of the fears lurking around me. I will show courage because I am more than a conqueror, and I am forgiven. I will lead and love boldly.

 I pray that your heart is loving, your arms are open, your feet are firmly planted on God's word, and that your mind is free from fear. Do not allow fear to have dominion over you. Call on the one who can cast it down and set you free for his yoke is easy and his burden is light. You are forgiven and you are worthy to love and be loved. Amen

No comments:

Post a Comment