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She looks at me, sweet.  Shy.

She asks me softly.  “Mommy, do you think everyone will look at me?”

And I give her the reassurance that I need to hear myself.  Words about how much He loves her, how she can trust Him and then seek out others, instead of thinking only about how she feels.  She walks away from me, into the room with a nervous smile.

And later I talk to other girls, the grown up kind who still feel like my little one.

We still get scared to walk in a room.

Even more scared to share our hearts and lives with each other.

And so we are tempted to shut ourselves in.  Stay home.  Or stay quiet.  Safe.

But this safety we create is really no safety at all.  Our safety is in Him.  Only in Him.

When we keep ourselves closed off to each other, we are left to bear our own burdens.

Left to our own imaginations (I don’t think she likes me… her home/marriage/life is perfect…. she does everything better than I do).

Left alone in our pride (I can handle life on my own, I’m just fine over here in my corner).

Left alone in our fear (what will she think if she really knew me?)

His Word is sure and deep, and He bids us to come and lay ourselves bare in order that we may bear each other’s burdens, encourage each other, and a whole host of other ‘one anothers’ (just for fun, go to esvbible.org and search ‘one another’…wow!).

All the way back in the Garden, He made man and saw that he needed relationship. To be connected to someone else.

And so it is with us.

We can’t obey one single of those ‘one anothers’ if we are too busy, too scared, or too full of ourselves (fear and insecurity force us to focus only on our own needs, instead of the precious sisters around us) to actually connect with each other.

So like I encouraged my little girl, let’s ask Him for grace to turn away from our fears and self consciousness. To put our hope in Him.  Let’s put away our pride and our comfort.  Let’s hope in Him, so that we are free to truly love one another.

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From the time the first pregnancy test showed positive, great joy entered my new mother heart.  And then! Great fear came closely after, nipping at my joy like an untrained puppy, threatening to eat away at the joy until there was no more.

But right behind the fear, and far more powerful, comes the Spirit, quietly but firmly speaking Truth to my anxious heart.

Will this baby be healthy?  I’m searching the face of one giving the ultrasound, trying to read her expression.  Spina Bifida?  Cleft lip?  Heart problem?

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13-14

What if something happens to this little one whom I have not yet met but whom I love so much?  I have seen my friends go through the agony of losing a baby.  I don’t know if I can take that kind of pain.

You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book? Psalm 56:8

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18

The battle does not end when my baby is born.

I watch a news story about a boy who drowned, and now pool dates become a battle ground in my heart.  The temptation to control my children’s every move is strong.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  Philippians 4:6

I hear about a little boy earnestly fighting leukemia, and feel my heart seize up when our own boy says he is tired or gets a bruise.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16

Going to bed one night, listening to the wind blow, and photos of tornadoes flash through my mind.  What if this is more than a windy spring night… do we need to get the kids to a safe place?  Sleep alludes me.

And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4:14

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2

My friend’s child rebels, throwing their family into deep pain and heartache.  What can I do to keep this happening to my family?  What books can I read, what pitfalls can I avoid, to make sure my children love Jesus and never turn away?

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 1 Tim. 1:7

My son outgrows his new jeans, before the clothing budget is replenished.  And it looks like most of them need braces.  And new shoes.  And summer clothes.

And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:28-30

How sufficient is His Word!  If only I would believe.  Oh yes, Lord.  You are familiar with small faith.

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”  Mark 9:24

That father?  That is me.  Help my unbelief, too, Lord!  Calm my anxious thoughts.  Reassure me of your promises.

O my God, in you I trust. Psalm 25:2

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