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The Lockdown Project - Fear, a knife stabbing and walking the road home

I remember the day Elize told me we were going to have a baby like it was yesterday. I was barely awake when she surprised me with the news but I was up in seconds choking back the tears. We had been waiting for a while but there was one thing I could never have foreseen. I was about to meet fear in a new way. When the initial excitement of informing family members and friends was over I started catching myself setting what I call goals of fear. If we at least get to 12 weeks then we will be clear of the most danger. We would not properly be at 12 weeks then I would start setting my mind to 6 months and once Ben was born the fear of SIDS was real for me. No-one ever told me that to be a parent is to have a new arch enemy in your life. Fear. Fear that your child will be fine, healthy and develop well.

Fear in its most primal form is not bad and surely not evil. When you stand next to the edge of a cliff my fear of heights is not a bad thing. Even social fear can be protective, but when fear of any kind moves into your heart and start darkening your soul then you know you have let some stuff into your mind for too long. The fear of death in its immediate protective sense might save your life one day. When I was pushed up against a fence in a dark alley in London in 2004 the fear for my life gave me the will to start punching and kicking. Although I still ended up being stabbed in the chest, initially breaking free from them in the alley directly saved my life. The fear I felt that night together with adrenaline rushing through my veins was not bad but the fear I had to fight every single night after that walking home could have been a soul destroyer. The first Sunday back at church my friend pulled me aside backstage before worship started and read me 2 Timothy 1:7. It simply and powerfully stated, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

I quoted that scripture every single night going home after work but believe me it was a fight. Even typing this now I am choking back tears. Events like that have the power to rewire your brain and we have to fight tooth and nail to keep our souls safe. The first thing I did was ironically the easiest. I forgave those 3 young guys because God gives me a spirit of love and calls me to forgive those who wrongs me. This command or rather call on our lives is as much for our sakes than those we forgive. It is part of our healing. I still pray for them. The most soul wrenching thing I had to do was go home at night walking the same road or when I struggled too much walk another road home, but I kept on walking always quoting that scripture sometimes out loud.

Fear is real even irrational fear is real when it grips your heart. Whatever you are facing or fighting remember that you are called to live by faith. Hebrews 10 tells us it is the very thing that will pull us through and preserve our souls.

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