By Nancy Strackany
I’ve always been afraid, but I didn’t know how much fear controlled me. I found it comforting when I read that one of the first emotions that Adam and Eve experienced after the fall was fear. “They were ashamed and they hid from God.” Genesis 3:10
I spent the earliest part of my life being afraid of everything that had risk. Later I became anxious about failure and so I avoided anything that was difficult. In marriage I hid my true self because I made my husband upset. I learned to please, I built a wall around myself and became someone else. When God found me hiding in the shame and mess I had made of my life, I was broken.
In 2012 my life verse was Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.” God kept the promise I claimed in that verse.
Over the last eight years God has shown me that He loves me, ME, with all my faults and failures. I love Him so much just because He first loved me. He has gently shown me all the things I have thought of as mistakes and imperfections, and revealed to me that the mistakes I make are lessons. When I say something I shouldn’t He does not condemn me, I need only to be sorry and show it and God will always protect me from the outcome I once feared. When I fail, or can’t live up to another’s expectations, He tells me, “that’s OK, I’m pleased with you anyway.”
I have learned that saying ‘no’ is all right. I laugh when I tell the story of when I was a kid, I told two families I would babysit on the same night because I couldn’t say no to either of them. I can now decline to do something and not worry if that person will still like me. God says do it for my glory, not yours.
I felt as though I was a bad wife and failed my children. I tried to be good all on my own and yet I always failed. I could rarely admit I was wrong, I argued my point to the death, or so it seemed to my husband. Then Jesus began to lead me, the Holy Spirit showed me what to do and what to say, how to make amends and find forgiveness with not only Him, with my family as well.
God showed me that I have a right to be myself, to feel what I feel and say what I need to say if it lines up with Gods truth. I don’t have to be afraid to follow my Savior. If my family doesn’t like it, that’s OK, God likes it. And guess what, they can handle it and I think they like me better.
I once was afraid that when I died I would have wasted my life. Now I know that God has a plan for me. I’m not afraid of eternity, or tomorrow or even today. God loves me. His perfect love casts out all fear. And it would be great if my husband and kids can stand and call me blessed, but my greatest hope is that Jesus will say “well done, good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:23