I know you are with me

I know you are with me.
You know me, and I hate you. 

I know you are with me.
You know me, but you love me.

Darkness, judgment, pain –
I do not want to know you anymore.

I want to know you so much more – 
Source of light, grace, and hope.

I do not know when 
You will mess with my mind,

You know when
I will break your heart,

Or when you will attack 
and tear me to pieces.

And when l will stumble 
and fall into pieces.

And you come chasing after me,
Threatening that I am not enough,
Telling me that I will always fail. 

But you come chasing after me,   
Declaring that you are enough,
Reminding me that your love never fails.

You destroy life
You detain peace
You degrade meaning

You restore life
You offer hope
You provide purpose.

I let you in
When you knock.
I let go,
Then you take control.
My heart, mind, and soul,
I submit to you.
And I tremble, 
For I know
You are with me.

We all fear something in this world. I fear failure and disappointing those around me; others fear spiders, heights, closed spaces, the unknown, death, or losing a loved one. Not all fears are necessarily bad, but when we submit to these fears, letting them invade our thoughts and take over our actions, they limit us. Trembling in the presence of these fears prohibits us from loving God, loving others, and spreading the good news of Jesus’ love. When I submit to my fears of failing and disappointing others, I mistakenly attribute my significance to the things I do to please people and please God, rather than center my worth on what He has done and will continue to do for me and this world. When I focus on living up to other people’s expectations, I get caught up in trying to reach a certain end goal and am too distracted to enjoy the process of growth along the way. I am unable to experience God, let alone share those experiences with others.

On the other hand, fearing God means to be in awe and wonder of His greatness and submit to Him. God is greater than everything – He is the omniscient Creator who has power over all things, from spiders to death. Therefore, submitting to Him is freeing and empowering, in contrast to submitting to the limiting fears of this world. Trembling in His presence enables us to experience His holiness, righteousness, and unending joy.

Sometimes I can be so focused on myself and my fears that I forget about the Almighty God who loves and saves. However, choosing to fear God instead of worldly things helps me to remember God’s goodness, power, and hope. When I take time to regularly reflect on my life through journaling, prayer, and sharing with others the ways I’ve been experiencing God, I can see how God is working in and around my life. I can trust in Him.

Fear is among us, but so is He – for whom are you trembling?

Originally published in The Williams Telos Issue 14, FEAR

Written by Christie Yang ’23