Fear

I wrote several weeks back about my amazing young friend who battled cancer. What I didn’t write about was the immediate aftermath in my own mind and heart when I first learned of her diagnosis. I had been following Brit Merrick’s blog about his daughter Daisy, and her fight with leukemia, one which she courageously fought and lost at the sweet young age of seven. That, co-mingled with Cristina’s illness, was a recipe for disaster… a subtle whisper began to haunt me day and night. Why could that not be your story? Those affected were amazing families – faithful prayer warriors, pillars in their communities, bringers of good news – the kind of families that we look up to and desire to be like. “What if that were your story?” came the whisper.

A dense fog of fear rolled in.

For days I was seized with “what if”… “What if my son had cancer?” “What if I lost my husband?” “What if I didn’t have the faith to fight?” “What if…”

Historically, I am not a worrier. I roll with life pretty well; I thrive in a bit of chaos; I am not overly dramatic.

But this time, I was taken.

For several days, the scenarios played out over and over in my head. The silence was deafening and the fear would not subside. I had not voiced this to anyone, and desperately needed to process, to give voice to the unrealized story unfolding within that was beginning to affect my actual life out there.

After getting my two little boys into bed one night, I sidled up to my husband on the couch, and through tears, spoke my greatest fears… the death of my children…the lack of control I have to protect and preserve lives I would give anything for. To even recall the moment now causes a my chest to tighten, but what ensued can only be explained with the knowledge of a loving and compassionate God.

I spoke, and cried, and my husband listened; my tears and words finally ran dry and in the silence that followed, deep in my spirit rose up this verse:

“Fix your eyes on ME the author and perfecter of your faith.”  Hebrews 12:2

I sat silently for several moments, and my words began to come again, but there was a shift. They departed from all the fear of the unknown and the worry about a story that is not mine, to the reality of a living God who is good and faithful in every circumstance, who gave HIS life for me. As I continued to speak of all that I knew of God’s character, of the ways he had won my heart and given me life and my family life, and changed lives and restored hope, it was as if the fog broke.

For days, I looked up scripture about the character of God. I read stories of Jesus healing and overcoming death, of his compassion and his patience and his kindness… of heaven.

A lesson that continues to work itself out in my life began in that moment on the couch that night. Love casts out fear. God is love.  A mind fixed on God, on the true and pure and praiseworthy will not be subject to the whispers of the enemy. There will be no room.

 {via}

I am convinced that one of the ways that Satan kills, steals and destroys, is getting us to live in an alternate universe. To live so much in the fear of the “what if” that we miss out on what is,  So often, when we hear a story of tragedy or hardship, we think, “I can’t imagine!” “How do you do it!” “I could never…!” Or we spend precious hours, mentally worrying through countless scenarios, none of which will likely resemble our actual story. The fact of the matter is, we can’t imagine, nor are we supposed to. God has promised He will not give us more than we can handle; and He will be sure to give us the measure of faith and courage we need. WHEN WE NEED IT and not a moment before.

Satan knows what God knows. Multi-tasking is a mental impossibility. We cannot very well fix our mind on two things. Fill our mind with one thing and the rest has got to go. It is a matter of submission and obedience, a choice of what we will ruminate on.

Romans 4 shares how Abraham grew in his faith as he gave glory to God. As we praise God, memorize the names he gives himself, worship him in prayer, dance and sing and as my friend says, “mobilize fear” {seriously, singing and dancing to LOUD praise music seriously does something in your soul!}, then we can live in the freedom that Jesus offers us. A freedom that is not bound by time or sin or death, but one that finds its source in trusting Jesus with whatever might come.

I still hate the thought of death, of the pain my loved ones will inevitably endure in this world. I still am momentarily seized by fear, like when my 2 year old wandered away while trick or treating earlier today, not to be found for a few terrifying minutes. And yet, I desperately want to be one of those people of Hebrews 12, one who casts off fear, casts off sin that so easily entangles, so I can run. I want to RUN.  With freedom. And with hope. And I want to win.


One thought on “Fear

  1. Thank you for sharing your hearts struggles, it was a beautiful story. Pain and suffering is our present day reality but Jesus gives us a hope in the restoration to come. All the pain we experience now will one day be reversed and cannot be compared to the glory that is to come.

    Like

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