Founders Note: Britney & I were recently contacted by Cameron Von St. James who shared with us his family's experience with mesothelioma (a rare lung cancer that kills most people within two years of being diagnosed) and asked us if we would help raise awareness for "LungLeavin' Day". The purpose of LungLeavin' Day is to encourage others to face their fears. So today on the blog we're sharing their story and talking about fear.
Eight years ago, Cameron's wife Heather, was diagnosed with mesothelioma. She had just given birth to their daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, LungLeavin' Day was born. This is the eighth year that we celebrate on February 2nd!
Today we invite you to celebrate LungLeavin' Day with us.
Each year the Von St. James family sits around the fire pit in the backyard with friends and family, writes their biggest fears on plates and then smashes them into the fire. Celebrating for those who have passed and those still fighting, AND celebrating life. Visit the link below to discover more about their story and to participate in LungLeavin' Day!
Honestly, I used to have a lot of fears. Don't get me wrong, I didn't walk around hiding in shadows at every turn, but I was afraid of a lot of things. Mostly, I was afraid that something terrible would happen to the people I love, or myself. But most of all, I was afraid of death. It wasn't so much death itself though, I was afraid of the next part. Standing there in front of God, answering to him for the choices that I had made in my life. Fearing letting him down, fearing hellfire.
The real problem didn't really lie in my fears though. The real problem lied in my heart, in my sin. For a long time I struggled to do the right things and be the right thing, but the problem was that I was holding onto sin. I willfully was holding it over my own head. And for what? A single moment of gratification? Yes. I held onto sin for many single moments of indulgence in myself and what I wanted. But I didn't really get that at the time. I didn't understand that in order to be set free from my fear of death and hellfire, that I had to give up the sin that I bound myself with. It wasn't until I gave up my selfish indulgence in sin, that I no longer feared hellfire. God set me free from sin and free from fear! It's true what the Bible says you know, "Perfect love casts out fear". I am glad to say that my only real fear these days is God. But a healthy fear of God is a good thing, not that we need to fear him, but rather that we respect his power to either save us or to condemn us.
13 How can we be sure that He truly lives in us and that we truly live in Him? By one fact: He has given us His Spirit. 14 We have watched what God has done, and we stand ready to provide eyewitness testimonies to the reality that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone unites with our confession that Jesus is God’s own Son, then God truly lives in that person and that person lives in God. 16 We have experienced and we have entrusted our lives to the love of God in us.
God is love. Anyone who lives faithfully in love also lives faithfully in God, and God lives in him. 17 This love is fulfilled with us, so that on the day of judgment we have confidence based on our identification with Jesus in this world. 18 Love will never invoke fear. Perfect love expels fear, particularly the fear of punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been completed through love.
Fear. We have the power to conquer it, because we have God's perfect love.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.