I walk downstairs to the kitchen counter where I pick up my phone and check the emails that filled my inbox overnight. I boil the water for coffee, grind the beans, fill the French press and my mug with hot from the tap so they’ll be good and ready.
The grounds and water need to steep for three minutes before I plunge the press, so, as I do every morning, I shuffle to the couch to lie still and receive Love, the gift of Still.
After I’ve poured my first cup, I’ll head back to the couch where I read, pray and write in my journal, but this few minute portion of my morning routine is the be still and know.
I set the timer on my phone for three minutes and notice again the pressure in my head, my nose filling. Lying down doesn’t sound as good as it usually does with the cold lodged, so instead I crouch in the corner, the fuzzy blue throw blanket brushing my cheek.
The timer plays its timba next to my head, letting me know three minutes have passed. I turn it off and notice an email that’s just come in, from my writer friend — her post entitled “Faith or Fear?” I sit up fully to uncurl my body for the first cup and see emerge from the corner where I’ve been crouched a thick-bodied black spider.
I run to the kitchen for a paper towel and back to the couch, and, wouldn’t you know, that spider seems to know my plans. It jockeys back and forth like an athlete trying to juke me out, and then I smack it hard to the floor. A few legs remain behind as a streak on the couch. The rest is a crumpled heap on the rug. I feel momentarily sorry, and then indignant.
You entered my resting place.
In the week since, each time I’m ready to lie down — this morning included — I remember the eight legs and do a sweep of that corner with the light of my phone, check behind the pillows and under the blanket in the corner that’s long been my place of peace.
And each time, I think Faith or fear?
From first waking moments and throughout the day.
Because it’s not just a once and for all decision. From that sweep with my morning searchlight to writing right here in real time (yes, here I am writing Day 2 of Day 31) and throughout the day.
Faith or fear?
When I feel the fear, I need not rationalize it away. Neither do I need to keep remembering the size of the hairy creepy crawling thing or plumb the depths for explanation.
When things do not go as planned, when I feel the pressure of emotion and the unresolved, when the chaos and to-do list begins to close in, when I face an unknown future — so often fear sits beneath.
And there’s always a choice for right here.
Faith or fear?
Yes, Perfect Love searches corners and invites surrender.
So today I’m allowing fear to help me recognize my limitations, remember my human need for the divine, release the grip.
Receive and believe.
This moment right here to the next.
This is Day 2 of Right Here. To find all posts in 31 Days of Right Here, click here or see the listing below.
To continue receiving these daily words, subscribe to this blog on the sidebar at left, click here to Like Draw Near on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @AshleyMLarkin. I’m thrilled and thankful to have you on the journey with me.
Linking with Emily and Jennifer today.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
An introduction: Welcome to 31 Days of Right Here
Day 1: For You, Too
Day 2: Fear’s Invitation
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I love you, friend. (See? Day 2… and I am resorting to this very basic fact already!)
Haha. :-) You’re so cute, Karrilee. Your love means a lot.
I love this reminder…faith or fear….yes, and moment to moment invitation.
Thank you dear one!
Thank you, Angela. You are helping me realize this in more ways than you know!
I love that I was a part of your right here, dear Ashley. And I’m so happy that you are a part of my still moment – this very one.
You are so very dear to me.
Dear Julia, I so love that we can be connected though apart. Yes, your message came at the most amazing time. So proud of you for doing your class again…talk about having to continue showing up faithfully to the right here. Love you, friend, and can’t wait to see you again.
This is beautiful. “Receive Love, the gift of Still…” Thank you for the reminder that to choose between faith and fear is “not a once and for all decision.”
This is so amazingly wonderful and true: “Perfect Love searches corners and invites surrender.”
I am continually amazed, Deb, by the way Love casts its light into the darkest, creepiest corners of my heart. Thankful for your words and presence here today.
“Faith or fear?” — that seems to be the theme of my life these days as we count down our time here in our sweet hometown and get ready to uproot five kids and plop them in a new place, a new state. When I’m walking by faith, I’m expectant for all the ways God is going to bless our obedience and show Himself in our adventure, but when I give way to fear, I can only see what we’re leaving behind. I love the way you’ve whittled life down to this one question- “faith or fear?” moment by moment by moment. Love you, friend.
Alicia, I can only imagine all the ways you are living this out right now moment by moment. Continuing to pray for your faith and for your gentleness to yourself when you fear, that you would cast your eyes once again upon God’s face of love, this One who holds each detail and step. Love you.
Faith or fear…such a powerful topic – made very recognizable in the imagery of hairy spider in your resting place. I really like what you said about “using fear” which I take to mean that you listen and allow it to inform you, an approach that makes so much more sense than trying to outrun it. This was another thought-provoking post Ashley, and a really beautiful photo!
I am trying not to judge myself for fear, though that can sometimes prove difficult. Yes, letting it inform us about what lies underneath seems to be a better approach. Allowing that to be a turning to God, rather than a running away from (which brings frantic and fear to the surface all the more). Glad you like the photo, by the way — always high praise coming from you. :-)
Ashley- I had to read this one a couple times. Fear, lack of trust… my summer has been amuk with it. Thank you for this view, one from a different angle.
I pray you are walking in some new spaces of trust and peace, Lisa. Thank you for your words here.