I’ve been afraid ever since I can remember. Afraid of failing. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of being rejected. Afraid of not being enough.
Afraid, plain and simple.
As I’ve watched my sister care for her new baby, I’ve been flooded with memories of the heavy load of fear that has weighed down my life, especially when I was in her shoes almost sixteen years ago.
I was such a fearful momma.
Did my little girl eat enough? Was she gaining enough weight? Would she pass those milestone tests?
While I was busy worrying about the future of number 1, number 2 took us by surprise. Then I found myself fretting over their relationship, afraid about the sibling rivalry everyone talks about. Afraid they would one day rebel against our rules. Afraid I might mess them up.
Have you succumbed to these fears, too?
As God would have it, just as I started to emerge from the toddler years, number 3 and 4 arrived together. I remember being overwhelmed by the fear of not having enough of me to go around for my four darlings and husband. I feared life would always be filled with mundane tasks. That I’d never be able to work again in a business setting . . . and I love to work. As diaper days disappeared and tween years arrived, I feared about their grades and friendships and what boundaries to set on dating.
The common thread of my life over the past decade has been fear, even though my heart’s desire has been to walk in courageous faith.
Has your mothering journey been marred by the common thread of fear, too?
If so, I'm glad I'm not alone in this experience, and even more thankful that God has shown me how to snip that thread in order to find joy in the journey.
That's what I want for you . . . to overcome the joy-stealing, paralyzing stronghold of fear!
For some of us, snipping the thread of fear is more than just increasing faith. It may require getting help, seeking a counselor, and working through some real issues that once gave life to that fear in the first place. I'm sure the deep healing time I had in counseling years ago laid the foundation for me being able to finally move forward less afraid. However, the pinnacle moment in which fear stopped controlling me happened in the most surprising and simplest of ways.
It started with facing a fear that was really not that big deal at all. Trembling, I approached the head of the line for the “big swing” at family camp one summer, and before I could run in the other direction, I found myself stepping into the harness and climbing the ladder to be hoisted up to the top of a telephone pole. I know, crazy! When I reached as high as I could go, I had to pull the cord so that I could swing back and forth like a trapeze artist. Oh how I hooted and hollered, against the breeze whipping across my face, and in that moment I realized how much fun I was missing out on in life because fear was keeping me bound up and tied down.
My focus on safety, security, and risk-prevention was holding me back from exploring, experiencing, and engaging in life-giving and life-changing opportunities.
I wasn’t the only one missing out — my children were feeling the impact as their momma was too busy being afraid to actually enjoy life with them. That's when I realized I was done with fear once and for all. No more missing out for me!
Fear steals the joy of the journey.
Fear drives us to worry about every decision. It torments us with doubt and regret. It makes us anxious and over-protective and risk-resistant. Should we be surprised that fear is the enemy’s tactic, which he uses to stop us from experiencing the fullness of life God offers?
John 10:10 (NIV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Oh, my friend, God doesn’t want us to live in fear. He want us to enjoy this life and bask in His love, which He promises will drive out fear.
1 John 4:18 (NIV)
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear . . .
Snipping the thread of fear happens when we walk in faith in small ways, putting fuller and fuller trust in God one step at a time.
Oh yes, this faith walk requires taking those fear thoughts captive and putting them up against the Truth -- like the fact that God loves us unconditionally and intends for our good in light of His glory (Romans 8:28). Now His good and our definition of good might be different, yet even so, His faithfulness is unwavering and we can depend on His provisions from now until eternity.
So, my friend, will you lay down your fear before our Father in Heaven and pick up some brave faith?
Let’s battle this fear thing together!
Come join me here next month as I share with you
a crazy cool story about walking in brave faith.