I’m afraid! I’m afraid that in all my planning for the trip I might have forgotten some little item or some minuscule detail. Did I really remember to pack my passport or my toothbrush? And how about my house? Will it be okay? Will the house sitter remember to water my plants or feed my cats? Did I pay all the bills, charge all the electronics, wash all the dishes so they won’t have hard-to-remove grime on them when I return? Does my suitcase really weigh 48.7 lbs or are my scales broken and I will be scrambling to find homes for things at the airport? Am I crazy to give up my routine life for a few weeks to have my world totally turned upside down and my heart softened by the team members I come to know better, the Slovakian people I go to serve, and a God, who will do anything to get my attention? Perhaps this is my greatest fear – that I will not return to my plain, ordinary life in quite the same way. I will return a different person than when I left. And then, I remember. What is the antidote for fear? It’s love. First John 4:18 tells me that “perfect love casts out fear.” Isaiah 43:1b reminds me, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, YOU are MINE” (emphasis mine). God has called me to follow Him to Slovakia to teach me new things not because He is mean or cruel, but because He is love and wants me to know and display His love better. He understands fear and has provided the answer to it. He calls me to be open to His love, filled with the trust that no matter what happens, He is in control. Today, tomorrow, and over the course of the next few weeks, when I’m tempted to fear, I pray I can remember how much I am loved. And all the little fears as well as big ones seem not quite to matter so much….