Is fear greater than love, or is love greater than fear? Looking around me, I see that there has been so much love and sacrifice.
At the age of sixteen, I had to make a tough decision. My breathing had slowed, and I was not sure how long I would be able to live. The thought kept nagging at me: ‘should I get a trach or not?’ If I did, my life would change. Of course, the ‘how’ is complicated. Honestly, a part of me did not what happened, but the other part could not stop worrying and analyzing every little thing.
What would my life be like? How would others view me and treat me? Would continuing to live be worth it?
When I ended up deciding to get a trach, I really didn’t do it for me. Mostly, I made this sacrificial choice to stick around because of my love for my family and friends. I knew how much they loved me and that it would be a great loss for them if I were gone.
However, I also saw the other side of the coin; sticking around would mean more work for everyone. Struggling with both options, yet looking back to when I was nine and had lost my brother, I remembered how much pain my family and I had experienced and continued to experience; I did not want to inflict greater pain.
Additionally, I was scared of the change in my appearance. What would I look like? Would it be startling to others? Would people find my appearance intimidating and draw back from me?
The love that I have for my family and friends motivated me to make the most complicated, stressful decision of my life. After my surgery, I was shocked when my nurse for that day told me, “You are still beautiful.” That day I was in so much agony, physically, mentally and emotionally. How could I be beautiful? This made no sense to me at the time. Whenever someone laid their eyes on me after I got my trach, I had to fight to not be overcome by uncertainty and shame.
Many things have happened since then. My trach has enabled me to breathe much easier than before. Yet, that did not have the greatest impact on my life.
Due to my anxieties and fears, my love wavered. As a finite human, my love will never be perfect, but one thing I know is true: God’s love for me is perfect, and without it, I would not be able to love others.
Through my hardships, my love for others has expanded. God has taught me to care for others more and to be humble instead of selfish. He has taught me not to judge, and He has cast out my fears. God has inspired me to share my story with others that they, too, can overcome their fears through His perfect love.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19 ESV
In honor of this blog about overcoming fear, I want to give away a magnet of my painting, Firestorm, which depicts a young girl charging head-first to overcome her fear. This painting is shown at the top of the blog post.
For each one of these you do, your name will be entered one time. Let me know when you have shared the post, commented, etc. Winner will be announced on April 27th, so make sure to check back and see if you have won!