Trembling hands, forehead damp, breathing shallow. The room spins as I rise to my feet and my stomach feels like I’m going down roller coaster at 75 miles an hour.The intense suspense comes over me in almost overwhelming waves. I press against the feeling with a deep breath, feet firmly on the floor. As I cross the five steps from my resting area to the door, I think of the weight of the words I’ve been trying not to write and the memories I’ve been trying to erase. Maybe today isn’t the day to do this. However, too many tomorrows have passed and I cannot ignore the gnawing, guilt of silence and the destructive measures I’ve taken to preserve anonymity.
I was afraid: If I started writing, I feared I wouldn’t be able to stop until I’d said it all. That meant giving it all. Losing it all.
For years, I’ve recited lines from the Bible, demonstrating my knowledge that God (the one I believed in) hasn’t given me “the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind,” (1 Tim. 2:17) and I thought I knew what that meant.
I am learning that fear is more than a mere noun. It’s a force, a spirit, a being with a purpose that puts it in direct opposition to God, power, love and sound thinking.
If I connect to God, power, love and sound thinking, fear can be defeated. This made it obvious to me that before I could do anything, I had to first come to terms with my feelings of spiritual disconnect. I found myself in a 360° situation held together by silence. I began to study the thing that was so bent on silencing me. I found a darkness that wanted to consume me until I was dead. It’s the same force that lives in the fake smiles of many truth-knowers who tuck away lies–their own and others–to protect the balance and harmony of organizations, institutions and relationships that we love and believe in.
I wanted to protect myself just as much as I wanted to preserve those I cared about. I was slow to understand silence to be a powerful ammunition and for 3 decades, I’d been feeding this force. One day, I looked up and realized that fear was bigger than me. It didn’t look the way I thought it would look. In the mirror, I thought it was me. Closer examination revealed it was made up of doubts, secrets, the inability to hear myself without affirmation of others, the anger of feeling muted, and the very same trembling sensation of same nerves I felt when I got up this morning (the unknown) and started to write.
If I’m going to do this–and I am–it has to be done without concern for most things that usually give me pause. It has to be done with self-sacrificial honesty. It has to be done with faith, knowing that whatever may be lost in the fire, is a part of my own purification process and whatever happens to me is a part of a plan that is bigger than me. God made me to write and He allowed me to experience, observe and survive so many things.
I never thought my pen would be a light. Faith is power, though and with fear removed we do–I do have power. So here she is: Jess, speaking out, walking, waking, talking and living, writing. Here she is: Jess. By Faith unafraid.