By Sarah Nyhan
I can remember being elementary-school-aged and experiencing a specific event where I thought to myself something like, “It’s going to be up to me to take care of myself.”
Fast-forward a few years later when I was in high school and I created a female superhero cartoon character. She was who I aspired to be. I even created and wore a t-shirt with her logo.
Fast-forward to probably shortly after my 18th birthday and I had the logo I created for my female superhero cartoon character tattooed on me. The only tattoo I’ve ever had.
I would save myself.
I believed Jesus for eternal salvation, but probably not much more. Afterall, I incorrectly thought God’s primary emotion was anger. I had pasted the face of other adults onto God. I had projected my thoughts onto God.
I look back in hindsight and see how so many of my decisions were motivated by this drive to save myself. To do my “part”. To figure it all out.
And I hear the words ring back to me, “How’s that been working for ya?”
I look back and see how the best things in my life came as surprises. God-sent surprises. Nothing I orchestrated. Nothing I planned.
And yet it’s been such a long time coming to that realization. Decades. I’m happy for the process even when it has been painful. Maybe I would have taken the truth for granted otherwise. Maybe I wouldn’t really have understood the sweetness of being loved by God had things always been smooth sailing.
Now I am learning to let go. I am putting down my torn and tattered superhero cape. I am living loved. I am relishing the reality that I am a very loved child. That I don’t have to come to my own rescue. That’s it’s ok and to be expected that I do not and will not be able to know or figure everything out.
My motivations for my actions are thankfully changing from fear to following my heart. I can barely type those words after being oppressed in religious errors for so many decades. It feels almost wrong to say. But I experience God for myself these days. So I know it to be true.
Regardless of where you stand on the issues, 2020 has exposed the fact that many of us may have been unconsciously in the habit of defaulting to fear-based decisions. Which situations have we stayed in due to fear? Which actions have we taken out of fear?
You’d think my own track record would be enough motivation, but lately I have become aware that I have my first name to thank for the continuous reminder of how well the fear-based decisions worked for the Biblical Abraham and Sarah. Among many other recorded testimonies.
To be sure, there is never any condemnation. And Trinity never does abandonment. Holy Spirit is only ever and always in the healing business. They always go to rescue the little lambs no matter how far they wander.
But I am really tired of circling this desert of self-sufficiency and fear. How about you? I want to get on with Life. I want to experience all there is to experience. I want to stop giving any power to lies.
My prayer for 2021 and beyond is that we will all more deeply experience and know the perfect love of Trinity. So that we will be free. So that we and our world and our relationships will be healed. I think it is ours for the taking once we realize who and Whose we are and always have been.