Some of you may know that I have struggled for years with really strong fears, especially when Jason is out of town. When Cooper was a baby I would move his pack-n-play in my bedroom when J was gone so I could lock my bedroom door and put a chair under the door. I realized I was raised that way, so I knew it was a generational sin that I needed to overcome. So I refused to make my kids sleep in different beds because of my fears. But then I would stay awake all night, or have to take sleeping pills to sleep. Its gotten much better since we moved, one because our neighborhood is safer, but two because I started sleeping with my Bible open to Prov. 3:24 "when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet", and God has brought me so far with that issue that its not an issue anymore.
So then I just struggled with the day to day fears, my kids dying in a car crash, or Jason getting sick or our house burning down, etc. I remember telling someone before I even had kids that I suspected that one day one of my kids would get sick, because I thought God would want to use us to give him glory through a struggle. Back then, I thought it was almost a privilege to struggle in that way, but now that I have kids, that thought terrifies me. Please God protect my kids!!! I would envision almost daily a horrible story in my head of something tragic happening. I hated following Jason home from church because I just knew I would see him getting killed in a car accident. I realized once that I could tell where I was spiritually by how many or how tragic the stories were I was having. The closer to God I was, the less fear I struggled with. Makes sense.
Recently (the last year or so) I would struggle with knowing that I wasn't close to the Lord, completely surrendered to Him, but I was afraid that if I did surrender, something horrible would happen to use us. Or, I was afraid if I told God that I wanted to get closer to Him, something horrible would happen to bring me back to Him, to bring me to my knees. Its not fun living that way!
So, two things in the past months have changed me! I just finished the Beth Moore study on Esther, overall not my favorite of hers but still good, of course. But one session she did on video was life changing for me. She was talking about how Esther had to face her fear to go before the King. I don't have my notes in front of me, but the main point she made that helped me was to imagine the worst possible things that could happen to you, easy for me. Then walk through them with God in the picture. If ____________ happens, then God. If my husband dies in an accident, then I will grieve and sell my house and God will give me strength. Yes, it would be bad, but I would survive. If my kids got sick and died, I would fall apart, but then I would get back up and God would give me strength. If the absolute worst thing happened, I died in a car accident, I would go to heaven, the ultimate victory. If _____________ happens, then God! She said courage wasn't facing your fear and pretending it wasn't there, but to face your fear knowing that God was in control. I think that was it. I will get my notes later and add more, but that was what I remember that freed me!
Then again, at the Right Now conference, I heard Kay Warren speak. I don't really remember her topic, but the one thing she said that stuck out to me was "God's not safe, but He's good." She said what I have thought, that some people are scared to surrender because He might send them to Africa or give them cancer. And its true that God is not safe. His journey will not be easy, but He is good! He wants what is best for us. He loves us more than we can ever imagine. That is so encouraging to me. And I promise since that Beth Moore lesson, I have not had one of those horrible stories play out in my head. Once or twice a story has started , but it doesn't finish because it doesn't have to. I know how it will end, with good!
In case you are interested, and have any fears at all, I really encourage you to listen to Beth's lesson 4 of Esther. You can download it off lifeway's website. So that's deep blog post #2. More tomorrow?