The High Place of Fear

The first indication that something was wrong was the day I saw her referral photo.

I had waited nearly three years for this day, and I reckon you couldn’t measure the amount of anticipation I had stored up, the longing, the love, the prayers.

I knew that I would love her like the others. I knew that once I saw her, I would know, like only a momma does. I had no doubts that she was mine and we were going to be just fine.

Except that when the phone rang at 2am in our temporary Hong Kong flat, and I knew it was finally the day, and when I stealthily turned on computer to open email without waking children and finally…finally….clicked “open” to the photo and saw her…


Sad, somber eyes looked back at me. I felt no connection, no bonding, no knowing.

That is when it started. The fear. The destroyer of hope and life and love.

What if I couldn’t love her? Fear.

What if I never bonded with her? Fear.

She came home and her neediness began to show itself. Obnoxious, unbecoming behaviors, impossible demands, self-victimization and rejection, isolation and withdrawal, hyper-vigilance, strong willed defiance.

Fear uncurled in me and wisps of it came in daily doses. “How do I parent her?” “What if I’m not smart enough, wise enough for this?”

“Mommy, why doesn’t she play with me?”

Tears from little ones who didn’t understand background, only felt rejection. That’s when fear drove me to what fear always drives to…control. Or maybe I should say our best hard fought attempts at it.

__I Kings 12:26-27 “Jeroboam said in his heart, Now the kingdom will return to the house of David…and they will kill me.”

Un-beknownst to me at that point, fear…wretched, unwelcome thing that it was… had become an idol.

__I Kings 12:28 “So Jeroboam the King consulted, and made two golden calves…Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before it.

By allowing fear place and voice, by believing its big show at power, I had erected a high place and daily I carried out fear’s bidding through control.

__I Kings 12:31 “And he made houses on high places.”

The effects on my children were devastating. High places get passed down from generation to generation, don’t we all know that?

__I Kings 15:14 “But the high places were not taken away.”

I have proof of these things.

If I fear rejection, I communicate value for such, giving it “high place” status and my children will be crippled under it and will learn same and will never place themselves in situations to experience it.

If I fear being overwhelmed, asked too much of emotionally, my children will find no grounding, no security, no confidence in God as Rock, come what may. I visualize the high places I erect with my hands, my responses, my retreat. Hands over face.

Altar after altar erected to fear. Is this what I want to leave to my children?

There has to be a better way. But what? How?

“Perfect love drives out fear…” I John 4:17-18

Love drives out fear and love is perfected by abiding in Him and loving one another. Didn’t Jeroboam fail to abide in Love when he didn’t root himself in Love promises concerning him?

__I Kings 11:37-38  { God to Jeroboam }  “I will take you and you will reign over whatever you desire, and you will be King over Israel. I will be with you and will build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.”

Didn’t Jeroboam reject Precious Promises and turn to fear instead?

Why do we do this? Why can’t I get it through thick skull that cowering and retreating in fear is rebellion?

Num 14:9 “Only do not rebel against the Lord, and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”

Fear speaks lies and when I allow it, my being recoils against the Life-Commands of God. 

Adoption upturned all my parenting abilities and left my training toolbox up-ended, broken, shattered, worthless.

Left me wondering if and what I had left. No point in putting the shattered pieces together. Learn new ones. The rope of love.

~~The Love Rope is anchored in a Person, so it will always get you back home to safety.

~~The Love Rope is always as long as needed. There is no distance too far from its reach.

~~ The Love Rope is reliable. Thick. Strong. It won’t snap or break. It never fails.

~~ The Love Rope endures forever.  No deadlines or time constraints. As long as there is breath, there is Love-Hope.

There is only one prerequisite: Love-Rope has to be grasped, like a hand grabs a rope. Love has to be apprehended. It is there. It is ever present. It is foul proof.

I can only grasp it for myself. I must grasp the Love Rope!

And pray my example serves as invitation for children.

This morning I tell self,  Don’t be like Jeroboam, who failed to grasp Love and listened to fear. Even if she rejects your love, Love has not rejected you. Follow it home.

Love, be the breath in my lungs, the blood in my veins, the strength in my bones.

Adoption’s Love Promises:

“God is Able.”  {Romans 11:23 }

“This is good.” {Jeremiah 29:11}

“I am not appointed for stumbling.”  {I Peter 2:8-9}

“The desert will become the garden of God.”  (Isaiah 35}

“Love will not fail.”  {I Corinthians 13:8}

“I can do this.”  {Isaiah 41:10}


One Comment on “The High Place of Fear”

  1. MDiskin says:

    This really spoke to me today. I hadn’t thought of (literally) idolizing my fears before.

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