I lived the early years of my life wearing afraid like a worn out sweatshirt hanging off my shoulder. Afraid to come home after school, dreading the descent of the long gravel driveway to the front door of the house hidden in the woods for what I might find inside.

I slept with my head underneath the covers at night sweating off the fear of being alone. Grasped the frayed ends of afraid with one hand cupped to my pajama chest and let my fingers open on brave when I told the stranger that followed my mother home to leave my house.

I walked the hallways afraid I wouldn’t measure up, make the grade, be found out or realize my dreams.

Then I left that sweatshirt lying in a heap on the back side of the dilapidated barn door of my youth. Choosing courage over staying stuck.

I pushed out my chest and held up truth to pages of lies the generations before me believed. And followed my dreams.

Because Jesus didn’t come so we could be afraid. He came so we would have life.

I woke up this morning beside the man who loves me. Kissed the kids I bore. I sat in the stillness, closed my eyes and couldn’t remember the last time I uttered the word afraid.

I’ve been blindsided by redemption.

Joining Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday (because it seems like that’s all the time I have right now) for the one word prompt: Afraid.