For the last couple of years I have had recurring dreams of the same person. The dreams themselves are different every time, it’s just that this particular person happens to show up in them from time to time. It is someone I do not know in my waking life and usually when I dream of him, he has an important message to share with me or to help me understand something. I’ve come to refer to him as my “teacher” because that is the role that I most often relate to him in these dreams.
A few weeks ago I had a dream where he came to me and told me that God had a specific task for me to complete and that I was hesitating to do it. As if that wasn’t convicting enough he said, “You move in fear instead of love.” Ouch! I could not refute his claims. How often have we let fear be a motivating factor in how we act (or in what we avoid) rather than love?
I knew exactly what he was referring to. If you’ve read any of the Being Rahab series, you know that I am in contact with a woman who lives on the other side of the globe from me. Recently, she had some questions that she only felt comfortable talking to me about. She suggested doing a video chat. This is a simple solution to the problem of living so far apart and not being able to meet in person. A phone call isn’t ideal because there is a bit of a language barrier between us so we often need the help of facial expressions and hand gestures to communicate. Video was the best alternative. For me however, this was a terrifying request. The thought of being on the internet like that nearly sent me into a full blown panic. Just the thought of doing it, never mind actually going through with it.
This may come as a surprise to many of our readers since you know that I have been putting my posts on the internet for at least two years now. There is a big difference between putting words on a screen and putting your face out there. Where I could be seen. And heard. Even recognized. Or recorded. Especially recorded. You’ve never seen my face on this blog and I don’t even use my real name so making the shift to a video chat was a giant leap for me. Giant. Did I think my friend was planning to record me? No. Or worse, planning to distribute the video out into the world? Of course not. But I am paranoid and I don’t trust technology and frankly the whole idea is horrifying to me.
This paranoia is not completely without justification. I know what it is like to be involuntarily recorded. I know what it feels like to not have any control over that and to not be able to retrieve the recordings. I know the haunting fear that one day those recordings will resurface. I never want to be in that situation again so I have spent years avoiding technology that might take pictures or videos and transmit them somewhere.
But then there’s this woman half a world away. She has questions about the Lord and the church and salvation. She has past issues she needs help working through. She has fears and she needs someone to reassure her that the Lord is her shield and buckler. She needs someone to confirm that Jesus is a healer. And she wants to talk to me. Only to me.
I wanted so much to help her, but I honestly didn’t think I could get over my debilitating fear in order to do it. How could I possibly allow myself to be seen on video? The thought was unbearable.
But then I had a dream. My “teacher” came and told me that I needed to demonstrate my burden. He invited me to demonstrate my love for the Lord and for the souls I cry out for.
He asked me, “Do you love Him enough to leave your fear behind?” I could not answer the question. So he told me that God would be with me and that my calling required a giving up of self and a constant overcoming of fear.
He asked me again, “Do you love Him enough to put your own fear aside?”
Again, I could not answer him.
“Do you love Him?”
I answered with a resounding, “Yes!”
He said, “If you love Him, but cannot put your fear aside, then be afraid and do it anyway.”
With that, he walked away and the dream ended. When I woke up, I knew I had to do the video chat. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew that I could. Despite my fear, I had to move in love. I had to reach out to a woman thousands of miles away in a way that was utterly terrifying to me because it was what she needed. I had to put myself aside. I had to be afraid and do it anyway.
And you know what? I did it. Through the Lord, by the Lord, with the Lord, He helped me do it. It was not easy. It took a lot of prayer. I admit I cried and threw up before the video chat started. But when the switch was flipped and there she was on a screen across from me, Jesus helped me to move in love instead of fear. As far as I know, she had no knowledge of how difficult it was for me. And God accomplished something amazing in that conversation. Two women a world apart and He helped us both overcome that day!
I often think that God has to remove a fear before I can be free to act, but I have learned through this situation that sometimes God moves in the fear. He doesn’t always take the fear away first. You have to be willing to say that your love for Him and your love for souls is more important than the fear you are feeling.
When I feel God leading me to do something that feels scary, I have a new motto: Be afraid and do it anyway.
Dear Readers: May the Lord help you to walk in love instead of fear. May you never shy away from His bidding because of fear. May you overcome by facing that fear and doing the very thing that you are afraid of.
In His Love,