Recently, I have felt overwhelmed, and almost drowning from fear. It feels like it’s gotten worse this past year…month by month. It has stolen my joy. This fear has made it hard to focus or even breathe at times. It has felt debilitating.
Let me explain the sources of my fear lately.
My youngest, who is four, has been through a lot, and has really kept me on my toes. Months ago, he started waking up every single night, crying for hours on end. He was saying his throat was hurting and burning. I couldn’t console him, and slept most nights with him laying on me. I would pray all night long for a miracle. I was pretty sure it was acid reflux…but days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months. Every night, I debated going to the ER with him. We went to countless doctor’s appointments, all diagnosing him with acid reflux. However, all his symptoms didn’t line-up, and they wanted to get him to a specialists in 6 months, due to the demand from other patients. They put him on a bunch of medications, and we would have to wait our turn.
Some may feel like I have good reason based on this. Fear overwhelmed me.
How long can I live like this? I couldn’t bare seeing him in so much pain. What if it wasn’t acid reflux and it’s some horrible condition the doctors aren’t catching? What if these medications have a negative long-term effect on him? What if he lives with this his whole life?
So much fear. So much anxiety. So much prayer for God to help me trust in Him.
A few weeks later, my same 4 year old, had a crazy accident, involving a hedge cutter, lots of blood, and an ER trip. He had multiple stitches on his forehead. Scariest day of my life. Read all about it HERE.
The fear of this situation was overwhelming. Why is all of this happening? Was he loosing too much blood? Was this going to cause serious damage? All I could focus on was the blood, and the worst thoughts any mom could have went through my mind. I prayed. I always grew up knowing there was power in the name of Jesus, and that is all I could say… “Jesus.”
I was told the same child, had hereditary problems with his teeth. He would have to get an IV and go-under at a surgical center. This would allow dentists to fix multiple cavities, and prevent them from becoming worse. Anesthia…oh the fear that comes with that! Again, fear was overwhelming me again. I was fighting to have faith, but felt like I was drowning in everything that could happen to him. The fact that I couldn’t be with him the entire time, hearing him crying with strangers, knowing he had to be under for a few hours…the fear of this was too much.
Why are so many things happening to this child? Why is it non-stop? Why can’t me and my family just move smoothly through this life? That’s what life with Christ should be right? Not quite…I have learned.
During this same period of time, my oldest son had a horrible dizzy spell at school. One day, the school office urgently called me to come get him. He could barely walk, was nauseous, his arms were going numb, and could barely open his eyes. The pain on one section of his forehead was overwhelming to him. Keep in mind, this is my child that under-exaggerates EVERYTHING. I knew this wasn’t good. I took him to the emergency room, where they seemed very concerned. This created more fear!
What is wrong with his brain? They want to rule out aneurysms? Will our entire lives going to change tonight? Please God, do a miracle!
Aside from these very real situations close to me, that were sooo hard on this mom heart, I felt fear increased for me in every way during this time.
At the same time, I watched countless news stories, and I experienced a variety of personal situations, that magnified the negative effects of racism in this country. My fear increased that no matter how great I raise these boys to be…they will deal with really mean people in their lives due to the color of their skin.
Will they struggle financially because their actual skills are overlooked, and they are blocked from opportunities for a great job? Will the comments and criticisms of racist people actually sink in their brains, and making them feel inferior? Will they be harmed, or even killed from encountering a racist cop or a racist group of people? Will they ever be seen for who they really are, not viewed as scary individuals or a threat? Will all of our training and encouragement as parents even matter? How can I protect them from all of this?
It is overwhelming and debilitating fear.
This season, every day I have been battling fear. When I say battling, I mean I have not just laid-down and accepted defeat. I haven’t allowed it swallow me up, as easy as that would be. It has been a fight!
As these things continued to happen, I realized their connection to my faith. I knew these were trials that could be overcome.
I have always known being a Christian doesn’t mean I’m exempt from bad things happening. It just means that God will walk with me through every single thing coming my way and He will turn every situation around for my good. He will use it. It won’t go to waste. The experience will make me better, it will work out for my good…but it doesn’t mean it is easy. (Romans 8:28)
I knew this. I have seen it time and time again in my life. God turned the worst and most painful situations into something I actually wouldn’t even want to take back.
All of these things were hard, but I wouldn’t take them back. They have created such a deeper relationship with the Lord. In church, I would pray or sing about wanting to be closer to the Lord, and wanting to know Him better. God knew I only wanted that to happen with “roses and lollipops”. All good things…nothing to challenge me, nothing difficult or overwhelming. Just life going along perfectly.
I am so grateful He had another plan! I would never experience Him as the miracle worker He is, the Comforter to bring me peace passing all understanding. I wouldn’t of seen the true power of prayer and calling on the name of Jesus. I wouldn’t have seen His faithfulness, over and over again in these negative situations. I wouldn’t have seen His favor, even during the storm. I wouldn’t have understood how He can still be good in the midst of so many negative situations.
I still struggle with fear. I have learned not to lay down and take it but fight with the faith. I confess on a daily basis…to believe when overwhelming questions are running through my brain. I have learned to hope, to trust, and to leave it ALL in God’s hands. He controls the present and the future, allowing me to rest in His promises.
If you are struggling, or in a stage of being overwhelmed by fear….whether for your kids, or a particular situation in your life; these are some verses that brought God’s peace when I memorized them and meditated on them.
“The Lord is my light and salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”-Philipians 4:6-7
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”- John 14:27
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”– Joshua 1:9
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”-Psalm 23:4
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”-1 Peter 5:7
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”– Isaiah 41:10
We all have fears and anxieties. We have to deal with them. We will have negative feelings, but we don’t have to live in our feelings. We can fill ourselves with God’s truth, and watch Him work. For me, God worked all out every single one of these situations, even though they didn’t look good for a period of time. He did miracles, some that don’t make sense. He brought me peace in the moments that mattered most. He heard every single prayer. He is a good God, and is for us. Give all your cares to Him, He truly cares for you!