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Tackling fears . . .

March 11, 2014

This past week has been one where I have really felt God molding and shaping me.  None of what that first sentence entailed was easy.  A week ago, I travelled and spoke to a M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Preschoolers) group.  During the talk, I shared that sometimes I call my friends whom I know utilize the same devotional books as me to ask them what the words were on their pages.  I just need reassurance that God had the same words written for everyone because they seem to be uniquely tailored to my needs.   Just one place where I have heard God’s whisper this week. . .

Next came the book I was reading.  Beyond Tuesday Morning written by Karen Kingsbury was one that I desired to read but have had sitting at my house for seven years.  I am a little ashamed to admit that because it just shows how easily my day is shifted away from doing something I enjoy like reading.  In the story, the main character comes face-to-face with dealing with her life and her reliance on fear in every decision she has made since a tragic loss in her life.  The ensuing words were as if the floor of my bedroom opened up and I began to fall, tumbling into the abyss.  I sat and cried for what seemed like hours.  God whispered again . . .

Even though God whispered, I did a lot of talking . . . to him.  I realized that since the bus crash I had fallen into patterns of fear that were, at times, keeping me from living.  My fears are real (to me), and they have kept me catching my breath for years.  I am the mother of seven children, but only three of them live with me.  I have survived the deaths of four of my children, but I do not wish to endure that agonizing pain again.  While I don’t want to smother life out of my kids, their every move in the world sometimes paralyzes me.  I shared with God my deeply rooted fear of failure.  I am not sure where that comes from, but I do have a strong desire to succeed in God’s plans, (and I am my worst obstacle).  There are other fears that God (and others) knows about that have kept me from fully engaging in life.

During our quiet time together, I realized what my fears really said about my faith.  My fears said I didn’t quite believe that God was who he said he was and is.  That was a sobering fact to face. Thankfully as I shed tears and handed over control, I felt like a rock was lifted from my soul. I literally felt lighter – almost buoyant.  God collected my tears in his bottle and lifted me up. . .

My "Reed's" graduation gift last year.  A bottle symbolizing my beloved Bible verse Psalm 56:8 and that God will replace my tears with stars in the skies.

My “Reed’s” graduation gift last year. A bottle symbolizing my beloved Bible verse Psalm 56:8 and that God will replace my tears with stars in the skies.

Apparently, I have the most the routine behaviors, because that cathartic afternoon was a topic of unexpected conversations with two of my friends.

Daily I get a text message from one in the inner circle asking for my prayer requests for the day.  Usually I respond with the one intercession most pressing on my heart, but that day I listed “a prayer of thanks for a lesson about fear”.   Although her phone call was not immediate, it did come ringing the alarm bells that afternoon.

“What in the mayonnaise is going on?  Are you okay? What has happened? I am worried.”

I assured her I was just fine. Giddy, actually! I simply wanted to relish in praise and thanksgiving for God completely changing my thinking.  I shared how I felt like a new person, and that I was finally ready to ‘fess up my fears to God, letting him take control of those things holding me back.

A few days later I ran into another circle friend whose words caught me by surprise.  Right there in the cracker aisle at Mecca of the South, she exclaimed, “What has happened to you?  Something’s different! Even the color has come back to your face!”

Wow!  That was a glowing review!  I am choosing to focus on the positive (And NO! I don’t want to know what I looked like before.)  In just a few words I summed up what she clearly saw, “I’m letting go of fear”.

Today as I was completing my devotions which I was woefully behind, again I was humbled by the message reverberating for my soul.

[The next step is to introduce them to Me (insert: Jesus), enabling me to embrace them in My loving Presence.] (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

Although I didn’t weep this time, I was much lighter in spirit when I said, “Hello fear.  Let me introduce you to my Jesus.”

I don’t think that I will be fear free ever in my life, but I am choosing this day to live mindful that I can turn my fears, doubts, worries, and insecurities over to God and his Son.  I think this is the beginning of something amazing in my life, and it is my heart’s desire that is for you as well.  Here’s hoping God is whispering into your world today!

Author’s note:  I have heard this song a few times on Christian radio.  Music often stirs my soul.  If you watch the video, it gives a good visual of what control I have allowed fear in my life.  Even better yet, you will see how God has plans to restore or in the case of the video reverse that pattern.  I may always be a wistful optimist, but I truly believe that our heart’s songs rise straight to God’s ears!

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