Friday, October 8, 2010

Breaking Chains

 Who knew that something as casual as flipping through the mail would be such a devastating, my-worst-fear-has-just-been-realized kind of moment?

Craig and I had just returned from our honeymoon, which consisted of two days in Fredericksburg, Texas at a B&B, one day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, and eight days on the Senior High Mission Trip to the Navajo Indian Reservation in  New Mexico.  (Yes, driving in a 16 passenger van filled with high school kids might not be part of the average person's honeymoon, but it was actually fun and full of blessings.  Plus, the whole reason we met was because of these kids, so you know, it was a nice way to pay it back.)  Anyway, we were freshly showered and snuggled into our 600 square foot apartment and I was opening the mail.  There was thin envelope from the life insurance company with which we had just applied.  It was addressed only to Craig.

It says I don't qualify.

Surely, you read that wrong, I said, snatching it from his hands.

He didn't pass the bodily fluids test.  Death is at his door, I thought.  The letter said something about abnormally high levels of protein in his urine and creatine in his blood.  I immediately called the nearest hospital to talk to a nurse.  What does this all mean??  The nurse said she couldn't make a diagnosis on the phone, yada, yada, yada.   

Look, lady, do these things mean my husband is going to die?  Like right now?  Hypothetically speaking, of course.

After I felt reassured enough to stop hyperventilating, we discussed making doctor's appointments, etc.  Through the general practitioner, the kidney specialist, the kidney biopsy, the medications, the routine tests, my thoughts were always the same:  My worst fears are coming true. I am going to get married and then my husband is going to die and I will be left alone.  For so long, I had dreamed of him and now *poof*, he will be gone.   

Rational,  no.  Real, yes.  Despite the heartache and worry and unceasing fear, I can look back on that time and be...thankful.  I'm thankful, of course, that he is fully healed now and has no more problems with his kidneys.  I'm thankful that he no longer needs the medications to keep everything in proper balance.  But most of, I'm thankful that I had the opportunity to look at the greatest fear of my life at the time in the face and STARE. IT. DOWN. 

Through all that, God showed me that even if my husband were to cease to live here on this earth, my life would still go on.  It would be hard.  It would be terrible.  It would be hell on earth.  But, my God would still be with me.  He would still carry me through.  He would still love me, still equip me, still take care of me.  I would still have His mission to carry on and I would do it because everything in this world is temporary and we are all really just preparing for going Home.

If I was still tied to that fear (and it still creeps up every now and then when I can't get a hold of him on the phone and he is late and he hasn't called OR he goes camping where things like bears and mountain lions exist), I would be bound to something that is not of God.  I think about how differently I act when I let fear settle into my heart and my mind.  When I am worried, I am uptight, short-tempered, and generally unpleasant.  That kind of me with my kind  of busy life does not mix well, I tell you.  The freedom of placing these fears in the hands of a God far mightier than me, allows me to breath the breathe of new life, of a surrendered life, of a life filled with abundant joy.  Living through this experience with Craig, and with other experiences in my life (like being afraid of not being able to pay my bills) has shown me that God is trustworthy.  He is a provider.  He is Love.

Do you have chains of fear that need to be broken?

"So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.  Now we call him, 'Abba, Father.'"
Romans 8:15, NLT

I'm linking up with Studio JRU, Lost in the Prairies, and Home Sanctuary today.  Please stop in and see these amazing ladies!


  1. I love that you're so open and honest with us Jen. I can't believe you had to go through that so soon after your wedding. I thought our credit card getting stolen was bad. Again the difference between lump in oatmeal and lump in breast. (I'll tell you about that sometime.) I think we all have fears about being alone, something happening to our children, car accidents. Something I'm going to have think about.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear that you are facing such pain and the "not knowing' must be the Worst!! Your faith will keep you strong and your witness will make others strong. No matter what, God will use this to Glorify Him. I will pray for His healing hand to touch your family.

  3. I always know there will be a challenge in it for me when I start reading your posts. Thanks for making me think...about possible chain breaking that needs to be done with me! Hope your weekend is great!!

  4. I love your drawing! AWESOME!
    Jenny at

  5. I love the picture. I started crying when I saw it. The whole time I was processing through my own trauma, God continually gave me the vision of him breaking the chains. This is like the perfect illustration of when He finally busted me loose!!! After reading your blog, and some stuff over at incourage, I decided to post a poem I wrote when I was in the throws of trying to forgive myself. That was one of my major areas of bondage, I couldn't forgive myself. You will have to swing by and check it out! Blessings for an awesome weekend!!!

  6. Well, you just keep coming with such profound entries! I believe that the Lord has so much more in store for you. You are an amazing young woman with such depth. What a privilege to know you and to love you through blogging.

    May God wrap His loving arms around you and squeeze you tightly. Hugs!

  7. He is love! Experiencing health problems with my husband for years has really taught me about these chains of fear. I can SO relate to your post. Love the broken chain drawing!! :)

  8. So much to first, OH MY GOSH. I am so thrilled your husband's journey turned out to have a healthy ending. Losing my husband is truly one of my big fears as well. If he is late, I assume he is dead. Yes, probably need a little work on that, but good for you for "staring it down". I hope when I am faced with such a MAJOR problems as that, I will be brave enough to do the same.

  9. It takes most people a lifetime to learn what you already have: that God's love will prevail, no matter what strife we face.

  10. Wow, it takes a lot to share our fears with others. Thanks for always being real with us. It opens up avenues to share our stories with each other and see that there are others who understand or may go through the same thing. Isn't it wonderful to have a God who is bigger than our fears? Reminds me of the verse John 14:27. He is our Comfort. He is our Provider. He is our Peace.

  11. Thank you for sharing. So thankful your husband is completely healed! I want to live this way, knowing and trusting that His love would prevail over all things. It's a very vulnerable place to be. But I know that If I continue to seek Him and draw near to Him, should anything devastating happen in my life, He will surround me with his unending love.

  12. This is something I really needed to read. How convicting...I live in fear all the time. I have severe anxiety, and while it is a part of me, I haven't yet learned how to fully release those fears to God's hands. A very timely reminder for me to continue praying on this issue.

  13. I constantly worry about my kids and those are chains I need to break and let go of.
    Dropped by from SITS to say hi.

  14. Jumping in late to this conversation, but I just had to add my "Yes, me too!" Fear cripples me frequently, from worrying about my future to my daughter, it seems it's everywhere I turn. Thanks for sharing so candidly. It's refreshing!


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