An apple has many different layers. The precious, but thin exterior skin, the thick and tough apple, and the core, where the innermost seeds lie within. These past four years of my life have been like a shiny apple with a tough path to the core. High school was a time of much loneliness. From the bubbling joy I had in my heart came a steep slope down to the trenches of the valley of fear. Many nights I spent alone, crying out to the Lord, wondering if He could hear me, hoping that my works would be enough for his majesty. Little did I know that my downcast face was training me to worry and make anxiety my god and closest friend. All that I did felt compulsive, there was no desire to obey. There were so many days where I just wanted to give up and stop fighting. My weariness gave way to bitterness and anger towards God as I felt like the battle of fear was on my shoulders, a burden I could not carry on my own. Even now, I feel the entanglement of fear as my first instinct, the frustration rising within me when I cannot feel God’s presence close to me.

But somewhere deep inside of my heart, there is a sprinkle of peace seeking its way outwards around my heart. Though the years have brought much heartache, I believe that God used my fear of condemnation to keep me alive and is still working out good for me. Like a piece of clay, I am a slow working, yet a marvelously beautiful one; a masterpiece in the making by God Himself.

This summer, I worked as a camp counselor in training. One of the little girls I met was very homesick. What a beautiful love she had for her family. I remember her being constantly in tears about how deeply she longed to be with them again. But as I tried to comfort her, I found there was little I could do if she did not trust me and take me at my word that things would work out okay. What a reflection of the way God sees things. In order for him to work, I must have faith and trust Him. Maybe my longings for affirmation in my salvation and freedom from fear begin with me surrendering my fear, letting go of the anxiety that has become my landline, and taking a leap of faith into the arms and promises of Jesus.

My prayer, Oh Lord, is to rejoice in You. To have joy once again in You. May I be set free by Your perfect love.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” ~ ` John 4:18

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