Staying in the Game When Fear Presses In
This morning I inched myself down the hall to my daughter’s room. With each step, my muscles tightened in my neck and my hesitancy grew. I felt the falter in my spirit.
Fear was pressing in.
Since adopting our daughter five years ago, our family has navigated the world of mental, emotional, and physical special needs. Unaware of the extent of our daughter’s afflictions, we were unprepared for what was to come. Unprepared for the story God was writing.
You see, there are days, even weeks, where I have a little girl who looks into my eyes and sees me. A little girl who giggles, plays, loves, and by all appearances is almost typical.
But, some nights I can give kisses to the little one who sees me, only to awake to a child chained by relentless opposition, control, anger and lies. Those seasons are grueling and it’s when fear begins to press in.
It’s when waking, dressing, brushing teeth, eating, taking medications, doing hair, and getting out the door is a grueling spiritual battle. It’s when I must be at the top of my game in order to outsmart a child who, out of her own pain, refuses to trust me no matter what I do. Hyper-vigilance is necessary every single moment. Not just over my daughter’s actions, but over my own emotions.
So, as I inch down the hall in the morning, the fear that tries to creep in is for the unknown that lies behind the door. Because fear makes me want to hide, I feel the intense urge to run. I want to click my heels and wake up in another reality.
But I know hiding is not the answer nor is it an option. So I remind myself.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
I know that fear is one of the enemy’s favorite tools. With fear, he can wipe us out and take us out of the game.
With fear, he can make me give up on our daughter and on my dreams. He can make me believe that I was never meant to be her mama and that I am a fool to believe I can do it justice.
Our fears all look different. We are each dealing with challenges in life that are unique to each of our stories. But from the smallest to the largest of fears, they all have the same power. The power to make us want to hide.
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.
Proverbs 29:25 NLT
Being taken out of the game doesn’t need to happen, though.
Maybe it’s only a short time out to regroup and refocus on our true source of power – the power available to us through Christ. Then, with that power, we confront the fear.
We walk through the fear.
We defeat the fear.
Keeping our eyes locked firmly on Christ rather than on the distraction of fear. Now we are back in the game, claiming victory over defeat.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Psalm 16:8 (NIV)
This actually reminds me of the Parable of the Bags of Gold found in Matthew 25: 14-30. The story is about a wealthy man who went away on a journey. It says he entrusted his wealth to three of his servants. I’m imagining that he wanted them to invest the funds wisely and get a good return on the investment. Kind of a modern-day investment portfolio scenario, I guess.
He determined the ability level of each servant and entrusted them accordingly. One servant received five bags, another two, and the third just one. The servant with five bags invested wisely managing to double the returns. The second did the same. However, the third returned only with the original bag.
His excuse for the lousy return?
He was afraid.
“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.
He hid the gold because he was afraid! His fear took him out of the game. It took him off the path to success. That is exactly what fear does to us, too.
God has given us each gifts.
Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
Are we afraid to invest wisely? Are we afraid to put it out there and trust God to put it to good use? Are we hiding the gold we were given? I challenge you, as I am challenging myself to not hide in our fears. Let’s stay in the game, not forfeit in defeat.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 ESV
Yes, fear makes me want to hide. But my God fills me with His light to shine.
A light to share. A light to invest.
So friends, if you are living with fear that makes you want to hide. Let God fill you with His light, His power, and His courage. And then, together, let’s do this!
And be reminded that …
My defeat is found in my fear. But my victory is found in Christ. #fightfear #stayinthegame Click To Tweet
Lord, I boldly pray for Your power to replace our fears. We come to you with open hands, surrending our fear, believing fully in Your promise to always be with us and to fill us with Your strength and courage. Thank You for Your unfailing love and relentless pursuit. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen
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Thank you for the reminder that we need not fear and hide. Those are words I needed to hear tonight. Thank you for adding this to DifferentDream.com’s Tuesday special needs link up.
I am so thankful God used those words to touch your heart tongiht. Your heart for special needs children and their families is so great big. You are an inspiration. Thank YOU for all you do!
This was beautiful and I can very much relate to you. Thank you.
Thank you, Abby. I pray it encourages you!
Blessings and smiles,
Lori, thank you for sharing this powerful testimony. Mental illness has impacted our family, and we know well how fear is a tool of the enemy of our souls. Much love and prayers headed your way this afternoon.
Hi Lyli, Thank you so much for the love and prayers! You, too, are added to mine. Thank you so much for stopping by! I’d love to connect more in the future!
A beautiful post of hope when facing fear, disappointments and life when it is not going so well. Thank you for your honesty. Linda
Thank you so much, Linda, for stopping by and for your kind words. I am so thankful God used these words for good!
Thanks for this. Being a mom of a kiddo with special needs is a HUGE challenge. Something I like to think about is that the Bible mentions “fear not” 366 times. Why would God tell us something so many times? Because we NEED to remember it. Enough for us to be reminded every day of the year. So much easier to say than do, but having this reminder has helped me. Maybe it will help you.
I didn’t know that fact! I will definitely keep 366 in the forefront of my mind! Bless you!