Fear. I find myself thinking about this word daily; feeling its effects. When my husband and I were young and newly married, I was courageous…or ignorant. I’m not sure which. I didn’t fear anything. Whatever Jesus called us to, I was ready. Zealous even. Going to another country that was hostile to the Gospel when I had never even flown before—No problem! Moving across the country without jobs—Let’s do it! I trusted Christ so completely.
Fast forward nearly nine years to the birth of our first child. Ah. There it is. Fear. I am not saying that people who do not have children do not know fear, or that their experiences are not valid. I can only speak to the life I have lived, and being a mother has caused me to know fear.
My husband and I have been married 13 years and have three children, and I worry multiple times a day about their safety, health, and futures. It can consume me. I pray against everything terrible that I can name. Recently, a treasured friend of mine lost her precious baby. I have never known grief so closely in that way. As a minister, you see death, hurt and grief in abundance. But this has been a darkness that I haven’t encountered. I have been broken for this dear brother and sister in the faith and their family. And selfishly, it has heightened my fear. She is living her worst nightmare. My worst fear. Every parent’s fear. And I cannot imagine it.
I have struggled to find some balance. I know that fear is not from the Lord. 2 Timothy 1:7 declares, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind.” I struggled with anxiety as a teenager. Having panic attacks and worrying constantly. In recent months, these have returned. I can feel out of control; overwhelmed. I have been loading the dish washer and had to stop because I was having trouble breathing. The enemy is so aware of our weaknesses. He hits us where we are vulnerable.
I am human. I can’t avoid that. But I do not need to let Satan steal my peace and joy (John 10:10). If I am allowing him to be Lord, Christ is not. I cannot remain in fear. I have to trust God completely, and let go. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) This is what I am continually learning and striving to submit to. I lift my heart, my fears, my joys (everything) to Christ. I am grateful. I trust Him and rest in the peace that only comes through Him. I have to submit my thoughts and feelings to Him. He will guard my heart and mind. I rebuke Satan, and He must flee (James 4:7). Even if I have to do it continually.
I have found that if I am not reading His Word and praying, the attacks are much more severe, and I am much more tempted to give into my fears. I have to constantly put on my spiritual armor, submit, and pray (Ephesians 6:10-18). Sometimes, it is on a moment to moment basis. But it is improving because I am remembering to run to Jesus and let Him fight my battles for me (Exodus 14:14).
Everyone is afraid of something. Everyone falters. Do you struggle with anxiety, worry, and fear? Satan is battling for our hearts and minds. Remind him that God is in control of you and your life. He can’t have you if you are a child of the King. Speak the truth out loud. Remember to run to Jesus in everything. Remember to give all you are to Him, and allow Him to be the Lord of your life, your heart, your mind. “I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)