You're not capable.
You're not qualified.
This is foolish.
My nighttime visitor is fear. He has visited before, as unwelcome as he is now. The lies were different, but the method was the same. I would lay in bed and grow anxious about a baby boy in Ethiopia who we had chosen to bring into our family. I was fearful because he was blind and that was just the beginning of his special needs. Fear would strangle me with lies about my inadequacy to raise a special needs child. I would worry about my other children and how they would be impacted by this life change.
But I didn't wait until the fear dissipated, because, honestly, it didn't. It tagged along with me all the way on that long plane ride to Ethiopia. It clawed at my dreams in Addis, and it piggybacked its way home again.
But I did it. Fear gripped me, but I didn't let it control me. I brought home a special needs son, and made him mine. I did it scared. Eventually, the fear did dissipate, but it took me stepping out and obeying God through the fear for it to fade away.
And then fear crept back when we prayed and waited for a boy from the streets of Addis to come home. The lies were suffocating. I feared crazy things, because we were bringing a teenager home who had such a broken, un-real past. He had seen and experienced things as a child, that I, as an adult, could not even fathom. At night, my mind would tell me crazy things - like hide all of the knives in the house before he comes home, sleep with the bedroom doors locked, etc. My nights were consumed with lies and panic and little sleep.
But again, I did what I was asked to do, with trembling hands and a fearful heart. I didn't let fear control my actions. I felt the fear - every bit of it, but I did it anyway. I did it scared.
It's the same thing now. The lies come fast and furious each night. Lies about fundraising to move to Ethiopia - how the money will not come, how people are already tired of us, how we are asking too much, lies about my children - how they will miss out on so much here in America and how this could ruin the rest of their lives, about my inadequacy and being uncomfortable. I fear failure and hardship and missing out on things that I have taken for granted until now - like vibrant autumn leaves, and beautiful white winters, like beach days and the convenience of fast food, like family get togethers, and grandparents, like traditions and community with people that speak my language.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
I admit my fears. They are real and raw and meet me every night. At this point in my journey, I am not past the fears, but what I am learning is that sometimes I need the courage to just push through anyway and do it scared. I know my God is with me - even in the fear.
So that's what I'm doing. I'm doing it scared. And raising my babies to do the same.