On September 17th, my husband and I left for a long awaited trip to Italy. We planned and saved for two years, and at the time of this blog, a month will have already passed. I could gush for hours about how breathtaking the landscape was, how spectacular the architecture was, how incredibly delicious the food was, and that would all be so very true. However, I’m going to share something with you that I’d bet you’d never expect me to share: My deepest fear.
I ONCE WAS LOST…
First, let me give you a little glimpse into my past. Since the age of 20, I’ve battled seasons of anxiety, depression and panic attacks. This may come as a big surprise to some of you, but I wanted to be real. How’s that for some reality? My name is Jenny Krukar and I suffer from anxiety. If my vulnerability here somehow helps someone going through this debilitating fear, then it’s worth me sharing. I believe wholeheartedly that our struggles can be used to help others, for His glory and renown! Because without God, His blessings of an incredible family and an amazing friend who literally held my hand during my scariest times, I’d be an utterly lost, big fat ball of fear!
“ARRIVEDERCI LOUISVILLE, BUONGIORNO ITALIA”
Fast forward to days leading up to “Arrivederci Louisville, Buongiorno Italia.” I am such a homebody, not the least bit adventurous (much to the dismay of my husband at times). I love my cozy little familiar home with my cozy sweet puppies! Born and raised in Louisville, KY and proud of it! So although the thought of going “across the pond” to another country sounded romantic, amazing and magical, it literally scared me to my itty bitty hometown core! From the moment we boarded the plane to Rome, via Atlanta, on September 17th, to the evening we landed at Standiford Field on September 28th, I was continually talking, praying, and pleading to God.
Please don’t misunderstand. This opportunity was a dream of a lifetime and I felt extremely blessed to have experienced it. However, in addition to my daily appreciation to my Father, came my daily cry to Him to give me peace, to help me not miss His joy for me, and to not let anxiety rule my heart while I was 4,886 miles from the comforts of Peggy Drive.
WHEN IN ROME
One particular afternoon we were walking in Rome and discovered we had gotten turned around. I felt the fear rise from my solar plexus. Instantly, I felt like I was 6 years old, and it took everything in me not to burst into tears. Here I was with my rock-solid, capable husband who loves and adores me in the middle of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I was dealing with this crap! I realized in that instance that it tapped into a deep-seeded fear of being lost. It was a light bulb moment that I shared with Chris. But then as I breathed a prayer and spoke the name “Jesus,” I was also reminded of a God who has my name carved on the palm of His hand, who knows the number of hairs on my head, who knows when I sit and when I rise. My overwhelming fear was brought into the light of His Presence as I continued breathing and praying. And then it hit me: I am never lost for I am His and He is my God! David said it best in the passages from Psalm 139: 1-8:
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
… AND NOW I’M FOUND
How can I ever feel lost after reading this? “You hem me in behind and before…” I love that! He has me tucked safely in, protected and shielded from harm.
So I’ll end by declaring David’s words in verse 13 of this same Psalm…
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (personal stronger emphasis on the ‘fearfully’ part). Thank You precious Father for keeping me safe, for allowing me a glimpse of the beauty of Your creation in another part of Your world! Thank You that You love me so much never to leave me stuck in my fear and complacency, but You move me to a deeper love and understanding of You, if I just let go and trust!
May His peace guard Your hearts and move you to a better understanding of His great and unfathomable love for you!