FREEDOM FROM FEAR
God has done a tremendous work in my life. He’s always been so good to me, but lately His grace and goodness have been completely overwhelming.
The biggest thing that has happened, is that fear has completely lost its grip on my life. This is a really big deal! Let me give you a little backstory to my life to show you how badly fear has ruled over me.
One of the biggest fears that I struggled with during my adult life, is the fear of bad storms.
I have no idea when this fear took root, because I wasn’t always afraid of storms. I’m guessing that it probably started in the late 90’s, when a horrible tornado outbreak hit my hometown. Several of my friends completely lost their homes. I’ll never forget watching the video that one of my friends shared after the fact. You couldn’t see anything, because they were hiding in a dark basement closet. But you could hear them praying, crying, and panicking. And then, very quickly, it was all over, and their home was completely decimated.
That same storm sent a tornado over my aunts trailer who lived just a couple streets from me. She and my cousin were in a bathroom at one end of the house, and my uncle was at the other end of the house. It happened too quick for them to get together. The roof was completely taken off from over their heads, and their barn was pretty much destroyed too.
The fear gradually become more and more suffocating to me. What started as some general fears, became one of the biggest strongholds on my life. If there was the mention of possible tornadic weather, even if it were several days in advance, I completely shut down, couldn’t eat, felt sick, and could barely sleep. I couldn’t carry on with life as normal, even days before the bad weather was to hit. It was crippling!
My wonderful God has been leading me down a path of healing.
When we bought our 3rd home, it had a basement. Having the basement was a part of my healing, and I believe God’s way of making me feel safer. The home we have now also has a basement, and an even better safe spot.
I realize though, that no matter how safe of a spot that I have, when it’s my time to go, I’ll be meeting Jesus face to face. I think it’s this thought that finally sunk in with me, that has brought me to a place of even more peace. I’ve always believed that our days are already numbered, and there’s nothing I can do to change that, yet I still spent so many years, living in complete fear.
I’ve spent so many years crying out for God to take away my fears. Not just the fear of storms, but other deeply rooted things that caused me to not live the abundant life that He created for me.
I would always pray and confess my favorite Bible verse over my life. 2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Freedom didn’t come overnight. But one thing I’ve learned about God is that He moves suddenly.
Keep reading to see how I finally found victory over fear and anxiety.
My husband earned a completely free trip to Mexico for the two of us. When he told me about the trip, several months ago, he didn’t get the reaction he was expecting. Instead of being overwhelmed with joy, I was completely overtaken with fear and anxiety. The what ifs played over and over in my mind. Day and night, I was tormented by my own thoughts.
What if we both die on the plane and leave our children parentless? Who would take care of them if we died? What if our kids get sick or hurt while we’re gone, or their caregiver gets in an accident with them? What if the roads are bad on the way to the airport? On and on and on my thoughts would go. One night I broke down and told my husband that I just couldn’t go because every time I thought about it, I felt panic trying to take over.
Thankfully, I have a really wonderful husband, and we came to an agreement that he would go and I would stay. I really thought that I was happy with my choice because anxiety no longer had the chance to try to seep into my mind.
When time finally came for the trip however, I was immediately regretful of my decision to stay home. I became emotionally unstable as my thoughts turned to resentment and anger. I had trouble sleeping, and I came down with a cold, so that amplified all of the negative emotions I was dealing with. Thankfully, before his trip was even over, I was able to talk myself out of those horrible feelings. I cried and prayed for God to forgive me, and to help me. I wanted another chance!
That Sunday, I tithed an extra percent to our church because our pastor preached about generosity starting at 11%. He also said that generosity will never let you stay where you are. I stood on that word AND THE VERY NEXT DAY, GOD PROVIDED ME WITH THAT SECOND CHANCE THAT I ASKED HIM FOR!
To make a long story short, the owner of my husband’s company is flying us to New Orleans later this month. We’re going to eat dinner and then go see my husband’s favorite band, at their concert. The favor and blessings from God are just so overwhelming.
Once I realized that God gave me another chance, it was literally like a veil had been torn from my eyes. I got mad at the devil! I finally saw that I really did make the wrong choice. My priorities were all out of whack. It’s not supposed to be kids first, everyone else second, and me dead last! I failed to put the Lord first, and my husband second, while taking care of myself.
You see, something else has been happening. This year I turn 40. One day recently, I realized that I have lived 20 years of my life trying to please my dad, and the other 20 years putting my children above everyone else, including myself. Ouch! FORTY YEARS of living life for other people. Yes, we’re supposed to be God’s servants, but He never meant for us mommas to NEVER put ourselves first!
This past Sunday in church (a week after the last Sunday I mentioned), everything that I’ve been experiencing came together for me. There was no preaching whatsoever, because once the worship had ended, my pastor felt led by the Holy Spirit to pray over each person there. He was praying for a release, and that is exactly what I got! I went in with a band-aide of fear just dangling from my eyebrow. As he prayed over me, that final piece was ripped away from my life.
Now I feel amazing, light, and carefree! I feel that peace that I’ve always read about in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It makes no sense in the natural.
I’m looking forward to my little getaway with my husband later this month. I know that all of the blessings I’ve experienced are nothing but God’s goodness towards me. I cried out to Him and He heard me!
How my heart is saddened by all of the opportunities I’ve missed, but greater is the joy that I’m experiencing as I move forward with my arms open and ready to receive all that He has for me!
There’s so much more to my story. The fear runs so much deeper than I can explain here. Perhaps I’ll go in depth about it more later. I just want you to know that I was in serious bondage, but God made a way for me. I want you to know that He will do the same for you! Stand strong on His promises. Keep confessing His Word over your life. Praise Him, even when you feel like you have no reason to praise. If you can get to that point, I promise you, there will be breakthrough for you. I don’t know how long it will take, I only know that it is possible!
Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”
Be blessed my friends!