Sunday, October 16, 2011

This is what I fear, this is what I dread...

Fear can hold us in bondage and keep us captive.

There are extreme cases of people living with crazy amounts of fear.

And there are also many of us with fears we haven't whispered to anyone. Particularly, the dark, deep fears about ourselves. Our loved ones. Our futures. Our hopes, dreams, lives.

During my journey to parenthood, I heard Beth Moore say that in order to really address our fears, we must list them before the Lord. Verbally. Written. Whatever.

But we need to get them out there before our God. That's the only way to truly find freedom from the fears that are holding us captive.

Through my season of waiting I had many fears about the future of my family and the timing of it all coming to fruition. I took Beth's advice and on April 10, 2008, my 32nd birthday, the following is part of an entry recorded in my journal:

"Beth Moore says to write out "Lord this is what I dread, this is what I fear..."

So here goes:
I fear that one year from today I will not be pregnant (or have a baby).
That one year from today I will question why we moved to Northeast.
That one year from today if we do have a baby that I will have forgotten.
That one year from today I will not have a stronger, deeper love, trust and faith in the Lord. That I will not be as reliant.

Those are my fears. I lay them at your feet. Thank you for the gift of life. I love you."

(Looking back, I know my list could have been much much longer. I had journaled for three pages prior to this list so it's quite possible it was late and I was tired. Today I can think of many more things that were on my heart in April of 2008).

I can truthfully say, there is power in declaring our fears, worries, concerns and anxieties to the Lord.

Because at the end of our list...even if the list goes on for three pages....I think the Lord responds with, "So what?"

'"So what Stacy? So what if all those fears come true? What if every single thing you wrote down and all the things you are thinking, but didn't take the time to write....what if they all come true? Every. Single. One. Are you going to stop loving me Stacy? Are you going to stop serving me? Are you going to stop believing in my faithfulness and goodness?"

"No Lord. I will still love you. I will still serve you. I will still follow hard after you. But it will hurt so much. And I am so afraid."

That's it. That's how it works. We put it all out there and in doing so, our gracious Heavenly Father helps us realize that even if it all comes true, we will still survive. We might be more battered and bruised and broken, but we know the Healer intimately.

I found an article by Beth that describes the day God challenged her to tell Him her fears. You can read about it here.

So now it's your turn. Do you need to make a list of fears and worries that are holding you bondage? Secrets from the past or fears about the future?

Or maybe it's just one thing.

Beth Moore would tell you to write it out:

What if ______________________________    then ______________________.

The if statement is what you fear. The then statement is how you will respond. Maybe it won't be your initial response, but eventually.

"If one year from today I am not pregnant, then I will still trust that you are in control God and that your timing and plans for my family are perfect."

What if...
I get a fatal illness?
A loved one is diagnosed with a fatal illness?
A loved one suddenly dies?
I fail as mom?
I never get married?
I never get pregnant?
I struggle with identity/self-image issues all my life?
My marriage fails?
He has an affair?
I don't succeed in my career?
I am always this lonely?
We lose all our money?
I am never truly happy?
Everyone around me gets the one thing I want most?

In the process of writing this post, God has spoken to me about a fear I have in regards to my children. I am not sure if I have ever told anyone about it, but it is terrifying to me. It turns my stomach into knots and makes me want to vomit. It is my greatest nightmare and the Lord is telling me it's time to give it over to Him.

I haven't talked to the Lord about it...or to anyone else...because I think I fear that if I say it out loud (or write it) somehow that will make it come true.

I know that's not how life works, but it's how my brain works.

My worst fear is not that my children would die or get sick or get hurt. My greatest fear is that they get taken. And I don't know who has them or where they are or if they are OK.

Writing these words is highly emotional for me because it's a fear so deep that I can hardly swallow. In a heartbeat I would ask the Lord to take them home before He would allow someone else to take them from me.

For those of you who live locally, Jacob Wetterling is my worst nightmare.

Three and a half years ago my greatest fear was never having children. Now I have them and a whole other set of fears is facing me.

And so I have to make a choice. Just as I did in 2008. To give my greatest fear to the Lord and not let that fear define me, guide me, fill me or hold me captive.

It seems I've got an if/then statement of my own I need to talk with the Lord about. I'm dreading doing it. But the alternative is to live in fear of it coming true and that is NOT the abundant life Christ came to give me.

This post has ended much differently than I had planned to write it. God knew my heart and what I needed freedom from even more than I did.

What about you? If you don't already know, ask God to reveal your fears to you so you can give them to Him.

It's with great confidence I say, the Heavens REJOICE as we name our fears one by one.


Rachel said...

This is statistically proven to be every mother's worst fear. It's not unique, not unusual, every city, every state has a Jacob W. This is one fear where you are truly, truly, not alone, most of the mother's you know have this fear. Probably all of them if they are honest.

WoRds/WoNDer said...

Thank you for this post. It verbalizes exactly what I need to deal with at this time & place. I had no idea how to begin dealing with these fears or as I like to call them when I am attempting to rationalized them "legitimate concerns". Thank you.