Wednesday, April 9, 2014

In Which I Discover the Gospel in Frozen

It's the first of the month and the usual bills are looming, the laundry is exploding out of its basket(s), the house cannot seem to go more than a minute and a half without copious amounts of Legos being spilled out onto the floor and I am constantly being reminded that seven-month-old babies require significantly more attention than newborns ever thought about needing.

She's shocked that I just hinted that she might be a teensy, tiny reason for me to be a little anxious on occasion.
I feel my chest tighten and the weight of all the things that are required to keep a family clean, fed, diapered, happy, safe, loved, etc. sits on me a little heavier than usual. And, the anxiety that seems always to be just underneath the surface threatens to pull me under. 

So, I sit down for a moment to read a few verses in the Book I neglect so often for the television or my iPhone or my pillow.

And He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. - Colossians 1:17*

All things hold together. Funny, how I'm reading those words even as I feel like I could so easily fall apart at any moment. Sometimes it just takes that sharp jab of a plastic robot in my foot as I step across a toy minefield to nearly put me over the edge and make me feel like I literally cannot handle it anymore. Whatever "it" is. (I realize how dramatic this all sounds. Maybe you can relate in a teensy way? If not, just chalk this crazy talk up to me having a a baby year.)

While we're talking about my tendency to let misplaced robots destroy my seemingly fragile sense of well-being, let's talk about other issues I have. It'll be fun.

So, anxiety with a capital "A" gets passed down in my family like wide hips and a penchant for reading twelve books at a time. The women on my side all worry like our lives depend on it. It's the worst. Toss in a little OCD in there and you've got a Malatov cocktail of a person just waiting to have an aneurism (cue husband rolling his eyes at this statement). I've spent my whole life being somewhat tied up in a knot and unfortunately, the introduction of sweet-cheeked babies into my life ramped up the worry meter. Suddenly, it matters a hundred and fifty bajillion times more than I don't get cancer or get hit by a bus. And additionally, there are little people whose total lack of reason and common sense make it necessary for me to keep a watchful (i.e. neurotic) eye on them at all times so that they don't eat Cascade pods or walk out into traffic. It's a recipe for crazy. At least in my corner of the universe.

I realize you're probably considering un-friending me on Facebook at this juncture. Hold that thought.

In seemingly unrelated news, we've watched Frozen a few, (ok, four) times in the past few weeks. And after the fourth viewing, I found myself mulling over the connection between Elsa's fear and that fear being overcome by true love. At first, I thought that Disney was just throwing out a couple random emotions and then determining that one magically happens to be the antidote for the other. I couldn't quite make the leap between Elsa being afraid to loving someone (and being loved) enough that her fear was alleviated.

But, then it hit me. Prepare yourself for the most obvious revelation of all time that you and your small, "Let It Go"-obsessed children have probably already had without a whole lot of mental energy exerted.

Perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18)

Disney kind of nailed it. Obviously, the movie's talking about an imperfect human love, but the idea there of real love essentially being the antidote to crippling fear is true. This reminds me of that quote "Every true story borrows its power from the gospel." Don't ask me who said that because I'll have to tell you Abraham Lincoln.

I think God knew He needed to use a Disney movie to speak gospel truth to me because He's aware of the fact that that's a good place to reach me these days. Either there or Curious George.

I desperately need to hear that love drives out fear. More specifically, that God's love for me drives out my fear. In the midst of my trying to hold all kinds of things together and failing miserably at even holding myself together, I need to hear that God's got things under control and that He loves me in a powerful, fear-expulsing way.

If He can keep that whole universe deal held together, I think I can feel good about His ability to keep me together.

All this fear and anxiety that keeps pushing me into a corner and giving me the occasional black eye, it's no match for God's love for me. All the fear and anxiety that motherhood or barrenness, marriage or singleness, bills, sickness, politics, or Walmart on a Saturday can conjure up in our hearts doesn't hold a candle to the love He feels for His daughters (and sons, of course).

Basically, His love for us kicks fear to the curb. And that's all kinds of reason to have hope.

And now, because why the heck not, I leave you with a few lyrics from "Let It Go."*
Enjoy having this on a loop in your subconscious for the rest of the day.

Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway.

*Obvious reference to "Frozen" and it's song "Let it Go."
*Thanks to She Reads Truth for the devo a few days ago on Col. 1:17.



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