They said the lump is probably nothing. But I can’t know yet.
I have to wait. And my mind—it goes there every single day. I don’t mean for it to. It just…does.
What if I’m dying and I don’t know it? What if I don’t have much time left?
I am afraid to die. I am afraid of many things.
And it shifts. Sometimes it’s ISIS. Or mass shootings. And I wonder if some gunman will start unloading while we’re in the grocery store, or at Target. Or the movie theater. Or a restaurant. Or concert hall.
Because that’s what happened in Paris, right?
And is there any safe place?
Some nights I go to bed, and wonder if some foreign enemy will attack our lands over night? And every sunrise feels like a little miracle. That we are safe another day.
When I get in the car, I whisper a prayer over my daughter in her car seat. I strap her in tight. I kiss her face all over.
I ask the angels to watch over us.
And, I try to be so safe, you know? I try to be so vigilant. But I worry we’ll get in some horrible accident.
There are so many fears that haunt me. There are so many fears that shake my inner peace.
I don’t want to die—but look at me. Look at my fears:
I spend my days dying, more than living.
Fear has this way of choking out everything good in my life.
All the joy.
And this is one of those things—I don’t really want to talk about.
But I have to.
Because it’s real. It’s this reality that is living under the surface of my skin. All the time.
Tonight, after I gave my daughter her bath, and dried her hair, and zipped her into her fleece jammies, I started worrying about the “lump” again. The one they said is probably just a lypoma. But they can’t be 100% certain.
And as I began to get lost in the fear—that I could be dying—the Holy Spirit whispered something to my heart, He said,
“Will you choose life or death?”
He was confronting me, ever so gently. “Will you spend your life living? Or dying? Because if you spend the days I’ve given you as a slave to fear and death–then you will spend your days dying and missing all the good I have for you. But if you trust Me, you will live and spend your days alive in Me.”
I remember reading a Scripture about God telling His people to choose life or death. And I left the last few dishes in the sink, and I went to find it.
I searched in the back of my husband’s big study bible—and I found it. It’s in Deuteronomy 30.
Moses is at the end of his life and he is preaching to the people of Israel. He’s telling them to choose life or death. Obedience or rebellion. Blessings or curses.
“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off…But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.”
Deuteronomy 30:11 &14
It is not too hard for you.
It is not far off.
It is near you.
It is in your mouth and heart.
You can do it.
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping His commandments and his statutes and His rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish.” Deuteronomy 30:15-18
He sets before you life and death.
Good and evil.
And if you want to possess the land—and the life—then obey His voice. And live.
But if your heart turns away from Him. If you stop listening for His voice. If you are drawn away to worship other gods. (Even the god of self-preservation. And the god of fear.) And if you serve those gods—
If you serve those gods, you will surely perish.
The god of fear makes you a slave–and it will make you spend your days dying, not living.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse.” Deuteronomy 30:19
God says, we get to choose.
Life or death.
Will we follow the way of Life,
Or the way of Death?
Every day Death haunts me—threatens to steal my peace, my joy, my life.
But tonight Life is calling me.
He’s running toward me, and beckoning. He’s shouting loudly, “Live!”
Don’t spend your life fearing you will lose your life. Or you will lose it. Slowly. Every day.
If I keep living in fear, if I keep letting anxiety rule my life, if I keep letting dread dictate my steps, and my thoughts—I won’t be living anymore. I will be dying.
Dear brothers and sisters—I don’t want to constantly think about how I might die.
I want to start thinking about how I will live.
I don’t know how I will die–and I don’t need to know. I need to know how I will live. I need to know how I will every day and every hour throw off the shackles of fear, and burdens of doubt. I need to know how I will inhale and exhale the breath of God and eat His Word like it is my only food. I need to love well, and love hard, stop being so afraid to risk this life–because it’s not my own anyway. I was bought at a price.
And I hope when I come to the end–however near or far that may be–that I show up to heaven’s gates having lived. That I will have spent my life living–and not dying. I hope I show up with my heart riveted with scars, but bursting with joy, with wrinkles in my skin, and fire in my eyes, and my arms open, and my pockets empty. Before Him who is Jesus.
The One who called me. The faithful and true. The beginning and the end. Who first whispered my name, and who I will hear whisper it again–the moment my eyes flutter open to eternity. To see Him, with my own eyes.
“Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Choose life. (Choose Him over your fears.)
Love the Lord your God.
Obey His voice.
Hold fast to Him.
For He is your life.
And length of days.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. But I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.”
And have it more abundantly.
So stop thinking about how you will die,
And start thinking about how you will live.
For He is your life,
and length of days.
I appreciate you sharing this post. I will keep u in my prayers.. Such great advice you gave in this post too,
Thank you Lizzy, I truly appreciate that!! May you LIVE to the fullest in Christ. 🙂
I gotta ask, as a writer, does writing something like this get your adrenaline pumping, almost scare you to publish it, because that makes it final and certain and VULNERABLE.
I struggle with that sometimes. I struggle with letting the Spirit speak and take over me when I write. It is almost like the fears multiply and I start hearing voices in my head saying ‘You will die now for saying that!” It’s just the enemy fighting back, but so intimidating.
Lord, open our lips, that our mouths might declare your praise!
This is a great question, and the answer is: yes. I felt extremely vulnerable writing this out. Because the subject of “fear” is something that rises in my thoughts a lot–but I don’t want to speak about it. And yet it’s always there. When I write the true things in my heart, it feels like I can breathe. I needed to write and publish this post last night–Because it was so fresh in my spirit. There have been many times I save a post to work on later–and never come back to it. Or if I do come back to it, I keep editing it and editing it—until it is either so full of disclaimers or so far from the original–it’s lost everything the original message was meant to be. As a writer, I feel there are some posts I start–that I realize part way through…aren’t meant to be published. Maybe it revealed to much, or was too sensitive, or maybe it was too heavy, or burdening to the readers instead of uplifting and hope-giving. I try to pray that the Spirit will help me discern–and give me the wisdom when I’m writing. But friend, I know how hard it can be, too! Honestly, when I wrote this last night, I felt it so strong, and it was like God just calling me to Himself through it. As a blogger, there is always a fear of being perceived the wrong way. (I have experienced some nasty comments myself.) But sometimes, I’m learning, you just need to say that thing God has burning on your heart. The thing that sets you free. xo
Annie B says
I saw your new post on FB a few days back and thought “I have to read that when I have more time.” I finally got around to it tonight. Right after taking the time to sit down and read my devotional (which I have NOT been good about doing.) And what was today’s reading? Deuteronomy 30! And what song has been going through my head? TobyMac’s Speak Life. I was going through a bit of a funk in the late fall feeling down and a little stressed. Thanks for sharing, Rebekah. Great message!
Wow, that gives me chills Annie! That your devotional was Deuteronomy 30!! Thank you God for speaking this message so clearly! 🙂 Thanks for reading–I hope you (and I) can spend our days living and not dying. And daily and hourly choosing the LIFE He has graciously laid out for us to live. Much love Annie!! <3