When I am Afraid…Hope in the Face of Fear
*We’d like to thank guest blogger Mara Lennander for this encouraging post giving us hope in the face of fear.
You can find Mara at Making Ready.
When I am Afraid…
Fear. Such a small word for something that can encompass so much. Our thoughts, actions, dreams, decisions. Every area of our lives if we allow it to.
As far back as my memory goes, I can remember being a fearful girl. Afraid of the dark and waking up with nightmares, I would end up in my parents’ room many times to find comfort.
As I grew and went through school my fears changed a bit, but were still there. I would never watch scary movies by choice and even to hear someone describe one would have me awake at night in fear, tortured by my own imagination.
Even as an adult, fear has continued to reach into parts of my life. Fear of failure, fear of what others think, fear of harm and evil, fear at times for my kids growing up in this crazy world, fear of the unknown.
If we’re honest, we all have things in our lives that we don’t want to face. Maybe if we pretend they’re not there, they will just go away?
The Truth About Fear
When I was 22, I came back to the Lord. I came back to his truth and his forgiveness and his hope and his plan. I decided I want to live my life with him and for him.
And in my late 20s and early 30s do you know what happened to my fear? It got worse. I know, I couldn’t believe it either. But you see, because it was so much harder that’s where my focus was. I had to face it.
Let me tell you some things I’ve learned about fear. It wants to knock us off our feet, make us feel weak, suffocate the truth, and steal our peace. It wants us to believe there is no hope for us to conquer it. And when we’re focused on that, we begin to believe it.
But, let me tell you some things I’ve learned about my God. He doesn’t want me to have to cower from fear. To pretend something isn’t there in hopes that I might not have to face it. Jesus wants to take me by the hand so that I can stand in the face of fear and call it what it is.
I had to acknowledge my fear and acknowledge my God, and remember which one is stronger. To remember that in the face of my Lord, fear is the one that flees.
What God Says About My Fear
When fear tries to knock me off my feet, this is what the Lord says:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
When fear tries to make me feel weak, this is what the Lord says:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
When fear tries to suffocate the truth, this is what the Lord says:
“I am the way and the truth and the life.”
And in John 8:32
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
When fear tries to steal my peace, this is what the Lord says:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
When fear says there is no hope for us to conquer it, this is what the Lord says:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
A Daughter’s Hope
A couple of weeks ago, my daughter who’s 3 began waking up to nightmares, terrified and shaking. Fear tried to make its way into my mind and heart. I don’t want my daughter to live in fear like I have. I would instantly take it from her and endure it for her if I could. But I can’t.
All I can do is pray. Ask the Lord to protect her mind and show her his peace. Turn to him to find my own peace and comfort as we move forward. And that’s what we’ve done.
So this morning as I was helping my sweet girl get ready, I told her how tall she looked today.”Yep. And hopeful.” she said.
“Hopeful?” I asked her. I was surprised because I don’t remember her ever using that word before.
“Yes I’m hopeful,” she said again, “and I’m brave.”
“Did someone tell you that?” I asked her, wondering if my husband had.
“Mmm hmm, God told me.” she said it with such contentment and confidence.
I cannot even write those words without tears of overwhelm and joy. The Lord has shown me his truth and his faithfulness again. This time through his tender words to my 3 year old.
Fear would want me to believe that there’s no hope. “She will be fearful too.” But God in his truth and love has spoken to her precious heart. “You are hopeful. You are brave.”
Just like he has spoken to mine. Just like he speaks to yours. We need only be still and listen, and put our hope in him.
When You’re Feeling Afraid…
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.”
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”
As I write this, the song “Chain Breaker” by Zach Williams keeps running through my mind. Such truth and a beautiful song about who God is. Here’s how it starts out, and I’ll leave the link below for you to listen to it too:
If you’ve been walking the same old road for miles and miles
If you’ve been hearing the same old voice tell the same old lies
If you’re trying to fill the same old holes inside
There’s a better life, there’s a better life
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