“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
Yesterday ended up being kind of a big day for me.
I changed my Facebook relationship status to “widowed.”
I know it sounds stupid, that something that trivial would be any kind of huge milestone, but for me it was. It was as if as long as I left it on “married,” I could pretend that somewhere out there, the smiling girl in my profile picture was still married to the happy boy in his. That in some corner of my little universe, my husband was still there, with his arms around me. That if I just left things alone, he would come home and tell me everything was going to be okay, that this has all just been a bad dream. For some reason, putting the word out there for all to see was one more step toward everything becoming real.
After doing this, I cried a flood of fresh, hot tears and, in that moment, felt the cold creep of fear take hold. I’m afraid of all kinds of things in this season of my life. I’m afraid that I’ll always have to face my battles alone. I worry about who will clean out my shower drain, because I really hate that and at the rate my hair is falling out post-pregnancy I’m going to look like Daddy Warbucks soon. I fear that I won’t be a good enough parent on my own. I’m scared that one day God is going to realize that I really can’t handle everything He’s put in front of me and then we’ll all be in a pickle.
And suddenly, my mind was filled with a memory of little voices singing a song. At the camp I worked at years ago, one week was just for elementary boys. It was a week of perpetually dirty children, adventures in the woods, scary campfire stories, tales of Biblical battles. And one of the songs the little guys loved to sing was based on today’s verse from Joshua, commanding them to, “Be Bold! Be Strong! For the Lord Your God is with you!” I can still hear their energetic voices shouting the song to the heavens, firmly believing that God would help them to be strong and courageous, knowing without a doubt that He is with us wherever we go.
So in spite of all my fears, I’m going to remember that God has promised to be with me wherever I go. He’s with me in the dark of the night, when I’m afraid of everything rational and everything crazy. He’s with me during the day, when I’m feeling confident and able to see how He’s blessed me. He’s with me in all the in-between moments as well. And when I remember all of that, my fears just fade away, leaving nothing but assurance in my God behind.