Beside my bed, I fall to my knees and bury my face in my hands. Tears sting my eyes as I cry out to God to comfort my pounding heart. One after another, questions swirl through my mind that put me in a crazed state of desperation and anxiety. Fear overshadows me like a dark wave. I’m lost, tired, confused, and battle-worn. Everything inside me wants to give up and hide someplace where no one will ever find me.

Lord, I can’t do this anymore.

I’d been fighting this battle for months. In a long and complicated chain of events, I found myself under pressure to be in an inappropriate relationship with someone who thought that he needed me in order to be happy. I knew that to say No would be to hurt him deeply, but I also knew that to go along with it would be to cause even more harm. I was afraid of what would happen if I said No, though. How far would he push? How would he respond?

I’d already said No more than once, but so far, the situation wasn’t improving. Instead, I felt a sharp stab of pain every time I saw the tortured shadow behind his eyes. I saw him stumble time and time again, and I saw the energy slowly drain from his once-firm resolve. And now, his typed message lit up on my phone screen, pleading with my already torn and battered heart to give in, just this once.

I’d already been hurt. The scars were still fresh. I didn’t think I had strength to face this battle again. The thought of how much deeper these wounds could penetrate gripped me with an ice-cold fear. I desperately wished for an escape.

Maybe this situation sounds dark and dramatic and you don’t think you can relate. Or maybe sometimes, you do experience things that are painful and scary, but you don’t want to admit it. Christianity isn’t always easy, and in reality, we are in the midst of a serious controversy between good and evil. If you don’t think you’ve ever felt the blows of the enemy, or if you don’t think you’ve ever been wounded or hurt, then think again. But if you know that your heart holds scars, and if you’re afraid of what might happen if you go out into the battle again, then this is for you.

He was patient, and He waited until I laid my fear out in the open before Him. And then He gently whispered words of strength. He reminded me that He, too, stood on this battlefield. He showed me His scars, and I noticed that He had a lot more than I did. His were deeper, too, as if He had taken the brunt of the blows aimed at me. Even as tears filled His own eyes, He reached out His hand to wipe away my tears.

He didn’t tell me there would be no more battles. He didn’t lead me away from the battlefield. But He reminded me that I was not fighting alone. He showed me that as we fought each battle side by side, we could be united in a way that would otherwise not be possible. We would share the pain and the victories. The thicker the conflict, the more tightly I would cling to His side, and the more His strength would become mine.

And that was enough.

Now I knew I didn’t want to run away from the scars. I didn’t want to hide from the brokenness. I didn’t want to escape the battle. Because the pain of running away without Him is ultimately greater than the pain of being hurt again while at His side.

And when I stop to think about it, I realize He’s made this same decision about me. He knows that I will hurt Him repeatedly. He knows that I will push Him away and hurt myself in the process. He knows that I will trample on His heart. But that doesn’t stop Him. He still doesn’t hold back. He still sets His love upon me. He still engraves me on His palms. He still chooses to be close to me. Because He has decided that the pain of being without me forever is ultimately greater than the pain of being hurt again while at my side.

Now my fears seem irrelevant. I can see them as they really are, False Evidence Appearing Real. FEAR. I truly have nothing to fear while He is with me. And now my heart, although still scarred, holds peace. I’m thankful for this battle, and I know that victory is sure.