So there’s those nights. You know the ones. The ones where worry and fear put you in a chokehold and keep you penned. Enjoying control the way I do, I fight. I fight back against fear and worry, but the more I fight the tighter fear grips me. It’s in those moments where God is so patient with me. He waits off to the side carefully watching my fight, asking me to give up, to give it over to him. In these moments God is teaching me how to tap out in the fight with fear.
Through the process of getting ready to move to Guatemala, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some wicked fights with fear. I have moments where I lay awake at night.
What if the passports don’t come in time? What if we don’t raise enough support to even go? What if when we get there we don’t have enough support each month? What if I get lonely in a country away from my friends? What if my kids cry and ask to come home? What will we do when we miss our family? What if I’m a hot mess all the time? (which won’t actually be a change for me)
The more I allow the “what if’s” to circle in my head, the tighter the chokehold fear has on me. But I love the way the Lord waits for me to come to Him. I love the words of Moses in Exodus 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Oooo how I hate to be still, God. Let ME win this battle!
Somehow I realize that fighting back only acknowledges fear’s power over me. I’m reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7 “for God does not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power and love and self-control” and I remember that fear has no power over a spirit-filled child of God.
I think of Philippians where Paul tells the church not to be anxious but give thanks in everything, making all of your needs made known to God. I’m overwhelmed with joy when I remember that our God is a loving father who wants the best for us. He brings to mind Romans 8:28, and promises me over and over again that he works all things for my good.
He promises me that he’s got a grip on my family, a hug of safety. Ever more gentle and loving than the chokehold I allowed fear to take. And when I remember His grip, I reach out my hand to God’s embrace that has been waiting for me ring-side. Fear slowly loosens, and I’m granted that peace. You know the peace I’m talking about. The peace you have when you’re not supposed to have peace. That peace when everything around screams for you to be afraid, yet all you can hear is the quiet reassurance of your Father. Even this, my child, I will work for your good. Yeah that peace.
I met a friend for coffee last week, and we talked about how good God is in our lives, and I asked her to support us in our journey to Guatemala. As we talked, she recalled a situation in which all the pieces fit together and we both agreed that it had to be the Lord at work. She told me “Becca, for a split second I thought maybe it was a coincidence, but it was just too much like God.” That phrase really stuck with me this week in my moments of doubt. I looked back all of my battles with fear, the times where I lost the fight, and the times when I set my pride aside and finally tapped out. There was one night in particular a couple of weeks ago that I woke up in fear at 3 am and was overcome. I asked God to remind me of His calling, and the next day FOUR more families joined our support team. That’s just too much like God.
We’ve had too many of these moments not to trust His faithfulness. We’ve had too many instances of seeing Him peek through and feeling Him wink to doubt his goodness. Are you fighting with fear today? I urge you to tap out. Together let’s step into that spirit of power we’re promised and strip fear of its chokehold by reaching for our Father’s gentle grip. Let’s stand on each other’s behalf to proclaim Gods truth and watch as fear runs in defeat!