I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.
In a rather tearful conversation with my father recently, he said something that struck through my heart and lodged there. After quoting the above scripture, he said, "fear also casts out love."
That is when it struck me. I have been living in fear for far too long. Fear has become my shroud, my protection against the world. Even my faith is motivated by fear, fear that all my efforts will not be enough to utilize the Atonement and return me Home. I am afraid people in my life will be turned against me by a good lie and a happy mask. I am afraid that I am unmodifiable, that I am like clay with too many inclusions, that the Lord will someday give up in disgust and move on to work with purer material. I am afraid that no matter what I do, my daughters will grow to hate me and I'll be alone. I'm afraid that I'm not learning fast enough, that I'll never be good enough.
All these fears mean that I'm aimed to fail in my quest for charity before I even begin. No wonder I'm floundering, feeling lost. No wonder I'm failing to let that pure love of Christ root in my heart. The fear-crows are plucking out the seeds as soon as they sprout.
The problem is that I have no idea how to get rid of fear. Theoretically, perfect love will cast it out for me. But that leaves me in somewhat of a quandary.