Fear and Love

If you've seen Donnie Darko (which if you haven't, what the hell! Go get the Director's cut like, right now!), you're familiar with the theory that fear is the opposite of love:

And if you've read Luther's Small Catechism (which if you haven't... well, I understand. You still should, but I understand), you're familiar with the theory that they are very related. In it, Luther breaks down the Ten Commandments as ways we simultaneously both demonstrate our fear of and love for God.

Lately, I've listened a bit to Father Mike Schmitz, and while I don't find everything he says to be particularly enlightening or relevant to me or true, there's one video that has stood out:

Trusting God's plan for me has been difficult, because I've always harbored a fear that submitting to God's will, that fully loving God and fully accepting that I am loved by God, will lead me to become a different person. The kind of person I don't like. A judgmental person, a person who injects Jesus into every conversation, a person who doesn't approve of queer love, a person who can't have any fun.

I've held tightly to my identity as a freak (as evidenced by the name of this very blog!) and feared that giving in to God will make me one of Them. A normie, a mundy, a muggle.

The message from this video has been a comfort to me as I struggle more than ever to submit to God to do things I don't want to do, to surround myself with and to love that very type of person I fear being like. Only when I was completely devastated was I able to authentically, with no reservations, say to God, "make me whoever you want me to be." And after being able to finally say that, for probably the first time in my life, God revealed a plan for me that filled me with peace although it meant changing a lot of things. And it was a plan that didn't require me to give up the things I value, to change the vision of God that has been revealed to me, or to diminish in any way the love I can spread to others.

I had been fearing love, and loving fear. Fear had allowed me to resist change, resist discomfort. Learning to trust that God knows us and created us for a purpose and that living into that purpose fills us with peace and satisfaction has been hard for me. It continues to be hard. I am finding myself feeling again the same fears, that being loved will ruin me.

I pray that myself and each of you are able to overcome such fears and truly believe that God's love is healing, not damaging, and that the people we are created to be will take genuine joy as they emerge from within us.


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  2. "I've held tightly to my identity as a freak (as evidenced by the name of this very blog!) and feared that giving in to God will make me one of Them. A normie, a mundy, a muggle."

    I can assure you that to truly follow the Gospel will make you a freak. To be sanctified is to be made holy and separate from what is normal to this world. I struggle to accept God's love, not because of fear of submission, but fear that I am unworthy. Fear is a crippling force. That is probably why it is a continual theme in the Bible. Fear no evil (Psalm 23:4). Do not fear, for I have redeemed you (Isaiah 43:1). Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27). Perhaps there is comfort in knowing that fear has been a force that all of God's people have felt for all of time.

    1. Amen! Learning not to fear is probably the hardest discipline, especially in a society that markets fear 24x7. But it's also the most liberating!


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