I snatched the comforter over my head and pressed my nose into the crevice between my husband’s snoring shoulders. “Lord, why am I so terrified?” I pleaded, “Have you left me here?”

The first year of marriage exposed vulnerabilities in my heart that had been long hidden under covers of “I’m fine” and “No worries here.” Uncertainties began to seep out in the ordinary of my days, morphing into uncontrollable fear by night.  No matter how near I drew to my husband in the safety of our home, fear gripped each breath and stirred away all sound thinking in my mind. I felt ashamed and crazy.

Did you bring me here to abandon me? Why don’t I feel myself?” I petitioned the God my heart faintly felt. I did not understand why I was swirling down a black hole of thoughts of which I could not climb my way out, even if I clawed.

Trust the process, Phoebe.”

The Lord’s hands cupped my face, and the whisper of His words comforted and agonized me all in one swoop.

Was fear part of the process? Was drowning inside going to teach me to swim?

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”   – James 1:2-4

Unhealthy hurt made a habitat in my heart for too long. What I thought was punishment induced was really love in action. The Lord had not inserted fear into my heart; He was casting it out.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18

It was painful because I had embraced fear as a part of who I was. I claimed the net in which fear held me as my home. The God who was making His home in me had a different plan in mind. Setting me free was not going to be easy, but necessary.

Daughter, the Lord will never allow you to settle in a place that is not His best for you if you are seeking Him. He is after our COMPLETE healing, COMPLETE restoration. He will not stop at saving you, but wants to make you more like Himself: whole, healed, and victorious.

The price of our healing was high, but paid for. The race we are running is costly, but the only way to Life.  Walk each step of this day knowing that we can set our hope fully in the promise that God has purchased us.

Beloved, His plans are for good and not for harm. Ask the Lord what He wants to work out in you. We can securely trust the process to the Perfector.