faith over fear

Friday, November 9, 2012



It has been a challenging season of ups and downs in our family.  It really has.  And some days I do not handle it well AT ALL and other days I manage to do better.  But there are two things that have helped me chug along a tad more gracefully than I would have otherwise and I want to share them with you.

First, I am consciously trying to choose faith instead of fear every single day.  See, I have lived a lot of my life in fear.  Not every single day kind of fear.  I am a confident and outgoing person and generally I am very happy and secure.  But I have been afraid of dying, afraid at night when Dave has had to travel, afraid of flying, afraid of losing my kids to illness or violence and even afraid of change.  Sometimes the fears have guided me in life in ways I wish they have not.

Recently a blog reader e-mailed me this Bible passage...

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

1 John 4:18

She also e-mailed me some encouragement and explanation of the verse.  I pray everyday for God to give me a spirit of FAITH and not one of FEAR and I know it is working.  Slowly, my fears are being replaced with my faith in God. I have been a faithful person my whole life. I grew up in religious school and church and I have always believed. I always thought I had great faith but that was probably just my pride.  Real faith takes a lot more work and I am doing the work.  I am trying to grow my mustard seed day by day.

One example of how I can see this working in my everyday life is driving.  I was hit 3 times in a 2 year period in my car.  None of these accidents were my fault.  Twice I was rear ended while stuck completely still in traffic. And once Kate and I were t-boned as someone ran a stop sign.  I was hurt a little each time and I was shaken up badly each time.  My car had lots of damage.

 I developed a fear of driving.  I drive everyday but I would literally flinch every time a car was at a perpendicular stop sign. I was terrified they would not stop.  It was not conscious of this at all.  I never thought about it but my whole body would just flinch. Similarly, I flinch on the freeway every time I see brake lights as my body recalls being rear ended.

In the last few months as I pray for faith over fear, I notice my body is not flinching.  It is like my mind and soul have told my body that "God has this."  I am still not 100% comfortable in the car but it is getting SO much better.

So the second thing that has helped me is helping others.  As things have gotten hard here, I am trying to help others more.  I currently have a new friend waiting for a heart transplant that I want to help.  I also have a long time friend battling an aggressive cancer and another friend who was just admitted to the hospital yesterday.  Gathering friends to pray the rosary, driving a friend to appointments, trying to get meals for them, or just listening, etc. has made me realize that my problems aren't that bad.  Helping others is helping me take the focus off myself and that is always a good thing, no?

So, if you are in a difficult season, try to remind yourself to choose faith over fear.  And reach out to someone else who might need your help.  It makes all the difference in the world.  And this is God's greatest commandment for us.


A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. 

John 13: 34-35


Don't forget to enter the Minted contest below.  It ends Sunday!  Spread the word to all your friends!!!

24 comments:

  1. Thank you, Kim!
    You have NO idea how much I needed to hear that this morning.

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  2. Both sound like excellent strategies. I recently read a book entitled What Women Fear (Angie Smith), and I am reminded of it after reading your post.

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    1. I am pretty sure I have that book Heather. I need to dig it out:)

      K

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  3. Let me tell you, Kim. I needed that passage more than you can imagine at this moment.
    God bless you!

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  4. We just discussed I John 4:18 in our Bible study last week! I have always known that God's love is a perfect, unconditional type of love but I didn't think about the fear and punishment together. I too have been working on letting go and letting God in areas that I have had fear in my life, one of those also includes driving as I have also had accidents that were not my fault and I'm beginning to see a BIG difference! I will be praying that you are encouraged with each day of letting God replace your fear with faith:)

    Teresa

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  5. I love this post:) I lived in fear the entire time we lived in Mexico City...the ENTIRE time. Other Christians would tell me that it's because I didn't have enough faith and trust in the Lord. I was so hurt by their words and eventually I quit blogging, I didn't feel like I could be honest with my feelings anymore and you KNOW I am a very transparent person;) And I certainly didn't want to be a stumbling block for anyone else. When we returned to Texas, I had so much fear that I would hyperventilate if I had to drive anywhere by myself...I cried in the bread aisle at Kroger over which rolls to buy...for real...I was a mess. I say all of this because I obviously trusted the Lord and had faith enough to sell all of my possessions and move to another country and uproot my already uprooted babies....but I agree...it requires a certain consciousness and an awareness that we really do need to renew our thinking about this often. We are now 49 years old....because of my fear of Mexico and the things that happened to us, we are not returning....my husband is jobless...we are living with our son but I tell ya....I do not "fear". I have a complete peace that I have not had in a very long time. Thank you for reminding all of to choose faith over fear. (sorry for the book! lol)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your heart. I had a very similar experience about someone calling me out on my faith because of my fear of flying. It is not that simple. It is all a process. it is all a journey. For me, I had faith in a lot of ways and areas but I am not sure I gave 100% of my trust...I am not sure. I am working on it all.

      I am praying for you!!

      Kim

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    2. I hope you know and believe that your fear of flying doesn't not mean you don't have faith.

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  6. This is exactly what I needed to hear today. My brother is in surgery this afternoon to remove cancer; it is not life threatening at this point but still so scared. My husband is having hard to diagnose health issues and as positive as I have been trying to be, this week fear has crept in and my prayer life has been lacking. I will read the Bible verse over and over during the next few days. Faith over Fear.

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  7. Hi Kim,
    Thanks so much for this post. I am also the mother of 3 and struggle with the same fears you mention above daily. My fears are of things I cannot control (flying, travel, violence, etc.)

    Last year on our way to Hilton Head, I was driving, the traffic came to a stop on the interstate. As I was stopping I looked in the rear view mirror, and witnessed a horrific accident. There was an explosion, fire, etc. We were just 10 cars in front of it, but couldn't move because we were actually stopping because of another accident ahead. Very long story short, my body reacted in ways I cannot even explain. I actually did not hear any of it, but I saw all of it in the mirror. I went completely numb and literally could not breathe. It was absolutely terrible. We had to sit and watch fire trucks and ambulances and helicopters land and could go nowhere. I still grab the door handle every single time I see brake lights. This impacted my so greatly that I had to end up seeing a counselor. I only went to one session and she did help me. She gave me some coping mechanisms for when I begin to go down those paths in my mind and explained what the brain does in these situations. But, ultimately I know God is the only one who can help me through this. I do feel God working in me and I believe your post is part of it.

    The part that I still struggle with the most is why these types of things happen. I absolutely cannot believe that "it's God's plan" for someone to die in a horrific car accident. Things that are out of my control, really mess with my faith. Having REAL faith is such hard work, but I am trying EVERYDAY!

    My best friend's aunt shared this with me and it has really made me calm in times of worry. She told me when I am worried about a loved one to say The Lord's Prayer, but instead of saying Our Father... name the person you are worrying about. For example, Dave's Father...


    Amanda

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  8. Hi Kim,
    Thanks so much for this post. I am also the mother of 3 and struggle with the same fears you mention above daily. My fears are of things I cannot control (flying, travel, violence, etc.)

    Last year on our way to Hilton Head, I was driving, the traffic came to a stop on the interstate. As I was stopping I looked in the rear view mirror, and witnessed a horrific accident. There was an explosion, fire, etc. We were just 10 cars in front of it, but couldn't move because we were actually stopping because of another accident ahead. Very long story short, my body reacted in ways I cannot even explain. I actually did not hear any of it, but I saw all of it in the mirror. I went completely numb and literally could not breathe. It was absolutely terrible. We had to sit and watch fire trucks and ambulances and helicopters land and could go nowhere. I still grab the door handle every single time I see brake lights. This impacted my so greatly that I had to end up seeing a counselor. I only went to one session and she did help me. She gave me some coping mechanisms for when I begin to go down those paths in my mind and explained what the brain does in these situations. But, ultimately I know God is the only one who can help me through this. I do feel God working in me and I believe your post is part of it.

    The part that I still struggle with the most is why these types of things happen. I absolutely cannot believe that "it's God's plan" for someone to die in a horrific car accident. Things that are out of my control, really mess with my faith. Having REAL faith is such hard work, but I am trying EVERYDAY!

    My best friend's aunt shared this with me and it has really made me calm in times of worry. She told me when I am worried about a loved one to say The Lord's Prayer, but instead of saying Our Father... name the person you are worrying about. For example, Dave's Father...


    Amanda

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    1. Amanda, I can relate to every word of your post...I really can.. All I can say is we never really understand. That is why it is faith and that is why it is so hard. Hugs.
      Kim

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  9. Kim,
    I think you hit on something that so many of us struggle with daily. Fear has such a stronghold on us and causes us to question our beliefs at time. I KNOW that God will protect me and yet I struggle with trusting Him at times. Thankful for the assurance that He will never leave us or forsake us. Bless you!

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  10. Hi Kim, have you tried EFT/tapping? I've recently discovered this and I love it! Based on the body's meridians and connected to ancient Chinese medicine. Powerful stuff!!
    Best,
    Snick :)

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  11. I know this fear. I was sideswiped a few years ago and had a hard time driving downtown because of the narrow streets. God is with you and fear is not of him. Praying for you1

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  12. I agree wholeheartedly, Kim! SO many of us live in fear... it manifests itself in so many ways- consciously and subconsciously. Praying and studying the bible gives me so much peace. I love this post- you are coping with your fears so admirably... a lesson for us all :)

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  13. I love your heart Kim. Thankful for the beautiful way you share what you are struggling with and how God is moving in your life. I have FOREVER grappled with fear...fear of illness, fear of insufficiency, fear of disappointing...you name it, so this post really hits a nerve. Thankful for your courage and growing, to God be the glory! You are an encouragement to me!

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  14. Great post. Finding meaning to your suffering (no matter how small the suffering) makes you feel less crazy. Just knowing you are helping someone else makes it feel worth it. I am here for you blog sister!

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  15. you don't know me, but I'm a friend of DiJo's. I stop by to read your blog because I think you have a beautiful family and your are insightful and kind with your posts. You will never know how much I needed to read faith over fear today. I feel like God got his message to me through you....and it was exactly what I needed to hear. My mom is having surgery this Wednesday and I have been in fear mode for days when I need to be in faith mode. I just wanted you to know how you changed one stranger's life today. Thank you.

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  16. Hello, you don't know me but I'm a friend of DiJo's. Ocassionally, I click over to your blog to see your beautiful family and read your thoughtful and kind postings. You will never know how much I needed to read your post on faith over fear. It as though God sent that message to me through you. My mom is having surgery on Wednesday and I have been focusing on fear when I should be focusing on faith....I just wanted you to know you changed a stranger's life. You will never know how much I needed this message today...Thank you Jane

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  17. Beautifully written...and shared. Thank you.

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  18. Wonderful post Kim .. I know many of us struggle with these type fears. Prayers to you .. and wishing you a very happy birthday. Continued blessing to you!!!

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  19. I've learned that fear limits us in so many ways and living without limits (reasonable, not unlawful)shows us what is possible with God

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Thank you for your kindness.