The night highway was crowded.  I-35 was closed around Salado.  We were on our way home from my parents house; a last visit before my weeks and weekends are spoken for in a way that won't allow much travel.  Doug hates traffic.  He had me look on my phone to see how much further the backup extended.  I told him not far; he detoured anyway.  Instead of traveling on artificially lit highway we were suddenly in the twists and turns of dark hill country backroads.

My front passenger window was open about 4 inches allowing the cool night air to rush over my face.  The girls and the dog were silent in the backseat.  Our family typically drives in silence.    I noticed my low internal simmer but disregarded it to concentrate on the demands of my upcoming week.  Probably the 200th time that day I had chosen to sit/entertain anxious thoughts.

I watched stars and thought of how children look up at a night sky.  I remembered my own childhood and how only then could I watch clouds pass, or starry nights, from the view of a moving vehicle with a simple peace.  I thought of how it seems that in my adulthood the times I watched such have always been times of burden.  201.

Keitha, Keitha you are anxious and troubled about many things.

I am troubled about many things.  I know better, and yet I choose to remain in this state.  Without courage in so many regards.  Thinking about myself and my challenges (read:  selfishness) so much of every day.

An hour later we made the final turn on the Farm to Market road that leads to Camp.  Doug reached over to hold my hand.  Lately Ive noticed how I sit on the edge of alarm when he unexpectedly reaches for me.  So lost in my own thoughts, its as if he reaches into my private world and alerts me of my isolation, pulling me out of a dark hole.  I held his hand, wondering why he had chosen to reach out in that moment.  I can be very slow sometimes.  I noticed the stars again.  The Big Dipper in particular.   I thought of how at our house in Colorado I could always walk outside and see it directly above the back pines.  I pondered how odd that at the moment it looked exactly the same as it did in Colorado -same placement, same brightness, seeming the same distance away though I am much closer to sea level here.  Miles and miles away, yet the same.  And deep inside I became aware that Doug was holding my hand to escort me through the gates of Camp.  To let me know he was with me as we made that final descent.  This moment I am suddenly aware that those stars were to remind me that my God too is exactly the same as He was in my past as well - ever watching, ever aware, ever with me.  I am to Remember His Faithfulness, to line my fearful thoughts against the backbone of His holy character.

Doug turned right, off the pavement and onto the gravel road.  The Camp Peniel sign was lit, as always.  At night, its the only light for miles on that road.  I read it with a numbness.  A Christian youth camp, it states.  This place that has always held so much for me has somehow become a place that terrifies me.

I wrote my post yesterday to share how I am counseling my heart.  How I am taking certain thoughts captive.  But there is a flip side as well.  One filled with a lack of courage thus anxiety, a deep pride thus hiding.  I can not fully say what I am scared of - failure, people seeing that I indeed I can't do the job, my family suffering in the new stresses, not knowing how to feed??  So many of my thoughts have been filled with fear filled messages that sometimes its very hard to get to the bottom of them.  Like long and tangled roots, they must be pruned.

If you are a gardener you know the issue of root bound plants.  This is when the pot is mostly full of roots and very little soil (nourishment) is left.  This happens as the plant matures.  Eventually the roots grow to the shape of the pot and you end up with a pot shaped clump of roots.  The nourishment becomes scarce and the plant begins to die.    This happens in people too.

I do not practice taking every thought captive.  I know the verse but I don't practice it.  I regularly call myself an idiot, feel I am not appreciated (and feed that thought), not wanted, not needed, am incapable etc.  Or that I am superior, the only person who can accomplish making such and such happen, am the only one who "gets" it, etc.  I spend time speculating about what others think instead of acting upon only what I know to be true.  Its like a (not) fun-house inside my head.  Mirrors one way, mirrors another.  And yet, a clear, humble path if I choose to Follow.

We arrived at Camp and Savannah intentionally walked over to hug me, tell me all was going to be ok and that she knew I could do this, how I was the perfect fit.  I honestly wondered why she chose that moment to tell me such one more time. I could not see I was headed toward a meltdown.  Doug knew as well, thus the holding of my hand as we drove in.  This week I step into the shallow end of my new role, in another week will be treading water (or floating by Gods Grace) in the deep end.

Moments later, I overreacted to Peyton, disrespected my husband, took off on a trail only to feel sorry for myself and proclaim my wanting to leave, get away from all of it.   Pitty party in a kimono and blown out flip flops.   They knew my fear was mounting and that being back would solidify whatever was flowing through my mind, constructive or destructive.

Leaving is not what I want.  What I want is Peace.  Peace within myself.

I am so scared.

If the Lord had asked me to write books and speak to crowds I would have done it with excitement.  Instead what He has asked of me is to feed the masses.  He knows that in doing this I will be humbled and will also find freedom.  I know that too, yet am scared of what that means.  Yet I know that He is leading me to Life, so why be scared?  My hands are shaking as I type.  No tears, but shaking hands.

I have allowed so much fearful self talk for so many years, the roots supporting my growth are choked for nourishment.  Like that root bound houseplant I was describing, I am in need of pruning for this new life transplant I am facing.  I am in need of roots that nourish with Truth instead of fill with fear.   As CS Lewis said, just because I have a thought doesn't mean I need to invite it to lunch!  I have the ability to choose, to take my thoughts captive and make them obedient.  I have the ability, through His Grace, to line the curving thoughts that the enemy sends my way up against the straight backbone of scripture.  My prayer this morning is that I will begin anew with the battle of fighting the destructive self talk that is choking my growth.  It is not hidden from my surface - its evidence is apparent.

Who am I in Christ?  What has He promised me?  Where is my value?  Who is my Sustainer, Guide and Provider?    These Truths must surround my roots, must feed me.  This is the straight stick my thoughts must be measured against.  Only when I have made the thoughts match scripture have they become obedient.

Choices.  Grace.  Opportunity.  Another chance to die.

I am being Led to Life.