I never would have thought of myself as a fearful person. Well of course I am scared of normal things like heights, small spaces, the dark.... But I wouldn't say that I "live in fear." When I think of being fearful, the picture that comes to mind is someone who is shaky, nervous....you know - those people in horror movies.
This morning I attended Bible Study at church. We are studying the book of Esther. Beth Moore is the author of the study and every other week, we watch her teach us on dvd. I always look forward to these days. Today when she shared that the topic was "fear," I thought, "Well, I am just going to tune out a bit since this doesn't really relate to me." If you have ever seen Beth Moore teach, you will know that she is very animated and very intense.....which makes it almost impossible to tune her out.
She shared with us a struggle that God had helped her through over the last year and a half. She said that around the time of her birthday that year, she started to fear that her husband wouldn't find her attractive anymore. She began to fear that he would be attracted to someone else and even worse.....fall in love with that person. She shared with us how painful just thinking about this was and how God worked in her life to bring her through this. (Mind you, her husband gave her no indication that any of this would occur.....but nonetheless, Beth was paralyzed with fear.)
As she shared this story, I immediately recognized my own fear. I realized that I DO live in fear.....on a daily basis.
I am absolutely terrified that some harm will come to my children. Those words don't even come close to describing my feelings. I don't even want to write the words but I will: I live in fear every day that one (or more) of my children WILL DIE.
It is not that I think about this all day long but little thoughts pop into my head a lot!
For instance, I asked my kids to take a dish back to a neighbor who lives across the street. As I stood in the garage and watched the three of them hold hands and cross the street, I thought: What if a car comes speeding down the street and hits them and then THEY DIE?!
Last week I watched a tv show where a young boy died and I thought: What would I do if one of my children had a terminal illness and DIED?!
Often, I pray a quick prayer: God, protect my children. When I pray this, it is for no other reason than the fact that I am feeling afraid.
What would I do if harm did come to my children......if they got sick.....if they were in an accident.....if they died?
That's the point I would stop the thoughts. I would move on to something else. I would push down the fear.
Beth Moore really made me think about my biggest fear.....and how it was affecting me.....in my everyday life.
Here are some of her points that really stuck with me:
*The most frequent command in the Bible: "Do not be afraid....Fear not."
*Nobody is born brave but we can become courageous.
*I am my biggest obstacle.
*God has no intention of leaving me this way.
*Conditional faith: "God is good if He does what I say."
*It's tough being a woman in the tight fist of fear.
*We will not know abundant life if we live in this fear.
Instead of cutting the thoughts off as they enter my head, Beth encouraged me to imagine the worst case scenario:
What if my children died?
I would be beyond sad....full of pain and sorrow. I would scream and cry and feel like the hurt would never stop. I would feel lost and lonely and weak. I would get in bed and want to stay there. I would cry out to God. I would search His Word for comfort. I would recognize that God knows my pain....has experienced it. I would remember that God is faithful and good and loving. And then I would get up. Because my God will take care of me.
I don't mean to make this sound simple. It is so not simple. But with the courage of God's presence, I will choose to be brave.
I will choose faith over fear.
I will choose to live.
to be continued......
excerpts from: Esther: It's Tough Being a Woman by Beth Moore
3 days ago