but perfect Love drives out fear

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Driving home is rarely something that I enjoy. Yes, I love my car. Yes, it’s absolutely wonderful that I get to go home before rush hour, but Long Island is not a friendly place to drive. Feelings of anxiety often creep in. I don’t have a fear of driving. I drive every day. Nothing, except a massive amount of snow, has kept me from driving every day since I was eighteen. Yet, there is that small, meager attempt to frighten me. Being rear ended by a fast moving car does not happen every day. In fact, it only happened once to me, almost two years ago. But, the evil one insists on using it, each and every day. He wants to make me feel fear.

Fear. It’s a silly thing really. I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s first reading a lot. You know the one. Its from 1 John, and speaks to God being Love. Ah, yes, that one. It’s one of my favorites, and I was pleased to read it in the Blessed Is She email devotional yesterday. As I read, I felt drawn to verse eighteen.

 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.
1 John 4: 18

I can recall the first time I prayed with this verse. I was eighteen, on a Newman Club retreat my first semester of college. I was still terrified to be there, and I was fearful for the future that God had planned for me. My vocation. That is what I was afraid of. For the first time in my life I was considering something other than Married life. Jesus loved me, and I knew that. I wanted to please him, but I felt so afraid. Religious life was so appealing, so beautiful. And so, I was given this verse to pray with.

Now a senior in college, I have those same feelings of fear. A future of uncertainty is ahead. It’s not as scary as it used to be. Learning how to trust has a lot to do with that. And yet, fear comes.

What if you don’t get an internship, or into graduate school?
What if you can’t find a job that you like? You’re going to be miserable.

I was having one of those moments yesterday. Where the evil one tells me toxic lies, and I begin to believe it. I took out my phone and frantically started to look at graduate schools, again. When I opened my emails, and saw the daily devotional with those daily readings. And I was pleased to read it. Then he held me within His Word, and whispered these words “but perfect love drives out fear.” And he continued to whisper it the next day.

As I was driving home, before rush hour in my beautiful little blue car that runs, I heard that whisper again. I was hit by spiritual 2×4 when sitting at a stoplight about five minutes from home. What could I possibly have to fear when there is a God who loves me beyond measure? This same God who loves me infinitely, died for me. And he has a plan for me that is more wonderful than I could imagine. Whom shall I fear? Perfect Love drives out fear, and the one who loves me is perfect Love.

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