Five years ago, I helped put together a devotional, specifically for fostering/adopting moms. Never would I have imagined that five years later, I’d be re-reading the book as part of its target audience. This week I’m sharing the thoughts of my friend Tonja. She and her family lived with us during a portion of their fostering process in Nicaragua. Tonja is a talented artist, a devoted mom and wife, and a faithful Christ-follower. In talking about fear, she tackles a serious issue so many parents struggle with, both in the adoption process and while raising kids.
Fear (Day 2)
Being afraid is something God actually commands us not to do. The problem is we all have circumstances that thrust fear before our face, and inject it into the very fabric of our lives. We have fooled ourselves into thinking it’s ok to live with fear while still believing God. Fear is sly like that. Fear can disguise itself as worry, anxiety, or simply being unable to think about anything other than the problem at hand.
That’s what happened to me.
I found myself in Nicaragua, with everything around me unsure and nothing that made any sense. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t eat, as the physical effects of fear took over my body. I was preoccupied with worry about how long I would be in country, and anxiety about my husband and children that were living without me back home. Was I damaging my family? Would this foreign country be safe?
When each of these circumstances began to overwhelm me, I had to purposefully go to God every time, with each of the steps to combat fear.
Step 1: Rejoice in the Lord.
Step 2: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
Prayer involves talking and listening, connecting and responding. In order to facilitate this process of eliminating fear, we need to work it all out in a daily communion with God. First John 4:18 (NKJV) tells us, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Did you catch that? There is no fear in love! Perfect love (which can only be found in God) actually casts out fear!
Drawing close to God, and reminding ourselves how much he loves us, eliminates fear and gives us answers. We must fight to spend the time with him. When we’re in the midst of it, we won’t feel like praying, because we have too much to worry about! David spent time singing to God while watching sheep in the pasture lands. He found a way to incorporate communion with God into even the mundane aspects of his day. And that relationship resulted in a believer who ran at Goliath, unafraid and fully convinced God would defeat his enemy with a stone.
Father God, I don’t want to live in fear! I love you, and trust you to walk one step ahead of me to cast out all fear before it ensnares me.