That was the license plate of a car in my neighborhood this morning. I'd never seen it before so as Dane, the pups and I strolled by on our morning walk I made a mental note of the plate. Since the tornados/storms passed through our area last month our neighborhood has been full of construction workers repairing all of the damaged houses. All of these strange men with power tools has my fearful self on heightened alert.
If you've read this blog for any length of time you know fear is a daily battle for me. It's a stronghold I would like to say has been defeated, but I was reminded again today that the enemy has my number. Oh, man, does he ever.
I'm working my way through Beth Moore's Esther study. I've done the first few weeks before, but the scripture is jumping off the page to me in brand new ways. Like tonight, for example. I sat watching a video that I have seen before, my book opened to a page so full of notes there was hardly room to scratch down anything else. In that scribbled mess of notes, I hadn't written a single thing about fear. And yet tonight the word "fear" was spoken at full volume. I sat on my couch, curled up under a blanket, Bible in hand sobbing like a little boy who just found out his dog had died. It was pathetic y'all.
My man is out late tonight. Whew, there it is. A chill of fear falls all over me. What am I going to say, "No you can't go be a part of ministry to college students because I don't want you to be out late because that means I will be home alone which means I won't sleep!!!" No, I wasn't going to say that. So instead I facetimed with my sister until she practically had to hang up on me. Then I dead bolted all the doors, turned on every outside light (because, you know, bad guys don't like the light?! I'm not even rational, I know), checked my baby's room for creeps, and sat down to spend some time in the Word.
In this particular session, Beth is talking about the courage Esther showed in asking the Jews to fast for her before she goes to Xerxes to plead for their lives. You can read all of this in Esther 4. She shares very candidly her greatest fear-- losing her husband to another woman. She explains how the Lord talked her through it. She said He made her go through her worst case scenario in her mind. "Then what?", He'd ask. "Ok, then what?" When she walked through the whole thing in her mind, she realized she wouldn't die- though that was her fear. She would eventually get back to ministry and the Lord would carry her through it. So I sat there staring at two empty blanks on the page.
If _______________, then ______________.
I can't go there. I can't go there, Lord.
I can't walk through my worst fear... because it still owns me. The enemy has this nightmare on repeat in my brain and I can't turn it off.
I thought I was fearful before I became a mother. Heavens to Betsy, that was nothin'. As a momma, knowing that there is someone else on this earth who depends on me, who needs me, that's a feeling unlike any other. If something happened to me, a precious little boy would grow up not knowing his momma. Worse than that, if something happened to him... if I didn't have those luscious cheeks and big blue eyes to look into...
If I lose my baby, then...
I wept until my chest hurt and my eyes burned from all those salty tears. If someone takes my baby, then what? Then what? What do you do when the most precious thing you have on this whole entire earth is gone? This is a very real situation to people I love and because of that, please know I do not take this lightly. Maybe it's because I have seen this in such close proximity before that I fear it now for myself. This is a very real fear for me-- something I pray about DAILY. HOURLY. BY THE MINUTE somedays.
Most of things we fear will NEVER COME TO FRUITION. But do you know what the enemy tells me? But it can. "What about those babies you read about in the news? Snatched from their beds in the night. Who's to say that couldn't happen to Dane." I can't tell you how many times I have prayed protection over my sweet boy in Jesus' name. In His name I remind satan that he was DEFEATED. He has no power over me and I claim Christ's command to not be afraid. I claim that God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity but one of power, love and a sound mind (2Tim 1:7). Power, love, sound mind is my middle of the night mantra when I get spooked. Don't laugh, y'all. I'm being 100% honest with you.
And just when I think I've mastered it. When I have defeated fear... it creeps back.
725 HRS. He was tall and thin. The car was red... just in case the police ask.
I'll just check once more to make sure the windows are locked.
Did you hear that sound?
Why is that trucked stopped in front of the house?
Baby in one arm, groceries in the other, finger on the panic button on my car keys.
If _________, then __________.
If _________, then GOD.
If _________, then GOD.
If _________, then GOD.
When everything falls apart His arms hold me together. He commands me to trust Him-- to trust Him that the things I fear most will never happen AND to trust Him that IF THEY DO He is working all things for the good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).
There's no denying I have a loooong way to go on this. Thankfully, the Lord won't leave me this way. He will continue working in me. Jesus says many times (as I was reminded in the study tonight) that we are to TAKE courage. It's there-- it's our for the taking. We just have to reach out and grab it.
So tonight, I am. I kissed my baby good night. I turned out some lights (it's a start!). And I'm going to sleep...
...power, love, sound mind.