"Perfect love casts out fear." -1 John 4:18
My progesterone level plummeted last week, a hormone that should normally rise in pregnancy.
But our little one continues to dance around beneath my heart and I'm taking one for the team with two injections a week to help my levels rise.
So many tears and so many fears that day. I was frustrated and exhausted by the hope/fear cycle of pregnancy after loss. It feels like each time my heart begins to soar with unfettered joy for the life within, something happens to jolt me back to reality that a happy ending isn't always certain. I had just started to feel the amazing kicks of our baby and rejoice in the beauty of connecting with the unique child inside me by his or her sweet movements...then a few days later my body fails to protect that child.
I've been reflecting on the experience and the Lord is showing me a powerful, challenging truth.
We are called to love fearlessly in this life.
Everything is uncertain. We are not in control-- which can be both terrifying and comforting at different times! But what we can do is choose to love no matter what comes, even if it be loss or lack.
Fear can hold us back from experiencing true love and the abundant life Jesus offers us (John 10:10). When we fear, we hesitate. We hold back. We don't want to get attached or fully invested. But by doing so, we're missing out on freedom. Fear cripples us. It binds us from love without limits.
When we love without fear of rejection or loss, when we allow our love to conquer fear of the unknown or the unwanted, we experience the truest freedom and fullest love. We let go of the chains and we now can know boundless love...which leads to deep joy and peace.
That means talking to my sweet baby (he/she can hear now!) and relishing these moments of communion, even if Jesus takes our little one to heaven sooner than I would want.
It means sharing my deepest self with my husband--physically, emotionally, mentally-- without fearing he'll love me less or find me inadequate.
It means diving deeper into my relationships with family and friends instead of fearing losing them to distance, changing circumstances, or even death.
It means tithing, giving, and sharing with others instead of looking ahead and fearing financially as we add another person to our family.
It means sharing the truths of my God and my Faith with a friend without fearing she'll make fun of me or misunderstand.
It means throwing myself into my Heavenly Father's arms when I make mistakes, commit sin, or just feel like I'm not living up to my potential, trusting that He will never reject me and is always ready with mercy and grace to start fresh.
In what areas of your life is fear holding you back from love? How can you cast out fear by loving more fully, more freely?