Playing with Fear


Greetings from Houston! Here we are, on the other side of our move. And wow was that a lot of work. When did we accumulate so much stuff?!

It was a long, hard two weeks. There were too many tearful goodbyes, several hours of drive time, and a lot of heavy lifting. But in a way, the weeks that preceded them were even more difficult. It was that question people kept asking: “Are you ready?”

Well, I’m a good Christian girl so my answer had to sound spiritual, right? “As much as we can be; the rest is up to God.” “Yep, we feel prepared but in the end, it’s in God’s hands.” “We are if He is.”

The trouble is, whenever I gave one of these answers, it was with a grimace and (I kid you not) crossed fingers. I literally stood in front of people, professed faith in God, and held up crossed fingers.

One night, about a week before we left, I was praying and what I’d been doing hit me like a ton of bricks.

I realized I had been presenting the move to people as if it were some huge risk that my husband and I were spiritual enough to take. I professed faith with my mouth while at the same time, purposely showing that I was fearful because we were taking such a chance.

I realized I was doing this for two reasons:

First, because my faith was (is) weak. I’m all right when it comes to showing faith in big things like Salvation (I only question that when I’m feeling down on myself). But when it comes to relying on God for our daily bread? Well, that’s a tricky one.

The second, larger reason was that I wanted the glory. By making it clear to everyone who asked that we were taking a huge leap of faith, I was keeping the attention fixed on myself. Instead of steadfastly affirming that God is good, I allowed fear into my voice and my face, to show how brave I was to press on anyway. I was down-playing God in order to raise myself up.

Now, I know that we need to keep it real with our brothers and sisters, and that we shouldn’t try to hide or stifle our problems. But the issue here was that I really wasn’t that afraid.

I know God will take care of us and that He’s promised to provide. But when people started making comments on how great it was that we were stepping out in faith, I wanted more of that praise. So I played it up.

Instead of acting like I knew God was good, I told people that I hoped He was.

And I began to buy my own product. “Wow, this is a big risk we’re taking.” “Yeah, I really would rather stay in Colorado.” “Uh-oh, what if things don’t work out?”

Because I wanted credit for overcoming fear, I played with it. And I got burned. I lost my peace and my joy and, even worse, I missed out on a terrific opportunity to give God the glory.

So on this side of The Move, I’m determined to act like I believe in the faithfulness of God. And so far, He has been so good. Our journey down here was completely incident free, our travels were protected, we had some great fellowship with friends, our apartment turned out to be even nicer than the one we left, our stuff arrived safely and we were able to unpack it in record time, and we had a very nice experience in the first church we tried.

God is good. And I can’t wait to see what else He has planned for us.


About Leah Ness

I am a self-professed story addict. Ever since I was little, I've had an overactive imagination and a passion for a well-spun yarn. When I grew up, I was blessed with a passion for God as well. It was then that I noticed a relative shortage of unique Christian fiction, the kind that can both captivate you and glorify God. So, despite the hurdles of things like commas and homonyms, I am endeavoring to write some of my own. Check out my Books page for updates on current and future books. View all posts by Leah Ness

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