Navigating Fear

How do we navigate fear? Growing up, I was the child afraid of everything.

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Roller coasters? Nope!
Climbing up high? Not doing it.
Vacuum? Nope! I traded chores with my YOUNGER sister to avoid it.
Thunder Storms? Forget it. Sleeping in Mom and Dad’s room!
Tornado watch? The world is ending!
Tornado warning? WE’RE DOOOOOOOOOMED!!!!!!

I have outgrown every single one of these fears. (Though, I do live in tornado alley now, so we’ll put that last one to the test.) Childhood fears are common. But, what about when you are an adult? When your dad calls you up on Skype to tell you he has cancer. When you fear the worst when it comes to your child’s health. When someone you love is in the hospital. When you don’t know how you will be able to pay the bills. Facing the unknown..

How do we deal with these things?

They are legitimate fears. My word of the year is “trust”. In January, we had no idea what was happening with our lives, and I handed my fears over to God. It was all in His control, and still is. Worrying about it was not going to do any good for anyone. In fact, it is sinful for me to hang on to these fears. I have learned a lot over the past few months about handing fear over to God. I still get tempted to hang onto it, I am human. But, I know the freedom that comes from giving it up.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 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? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:25-34

God cares. He cares about the grass and the birds. How much more does he care for us? He takes care of us, even when it may not make sense to us. Our Pastor is starting a series called “When God Doesn’t Make Sense” and I truly cannot wait. What God is doing in your life may not make sense to you right now. It may never make sense this side of Heaven. We may never know why things happen, but He does. We need to rest in that.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”    2 Timothy 1:7
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

I used to hold in what was causing me fear. No matter how small or big, I felt like sharing my fears and worries would just make me sound like a cynic. “Oh, there goes Ashley whinging again.” Maybe people do feel that way. If I share my fears and give them a voice, I feel stronger. I know that my friends will begin praying along with me about these fears and concerns. Having a prayer warrior friend is one of the greatest gifts. Having a friend who cries with you when you are hurting.. that kind of friend cannot be topped.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

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There is strength in numbers. We don’t have to do this life alone. If you have something that you need prayed for, please leave it in a comment or send me an e-mail. You don’t have to face it alone. Give it over to the Lord in prayer and He will take care of you.

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