"I sought the LORD and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." ~ Psalm 34:4
We've all felt it, and I am pretty sure we all hate it.
What is it?
I'm not talking about feeling scared while watching a scary movie (although I hate that too), I am talking about real, genuine fear. The type of fear that keeps us from stepping into the life God has for us.
Some fears are irrational, like my fear of wearing shorts (I know, ridiculous right?) and some fears are legitimate, like dying a horrible death.
Whatever scares you, I encourage you to dig deep and ask yourself, "Are my fears keeping me from living the life God has planned for me?"
Think about it.
Really think about it...
What scares you?
Is FEAR preventing you from picking up your cross and following Him?
The answer for me was a resounding YES.
Sis, can you relate?
Fear is my biggest hurdle. My husband calls me Chicken Little because one bonk on the head from an acorn and I'm convinced the sky is falling.
So what gives?
How are we supposed to walk by faith when we are plagued with FEAR?
After a lot of trial and error, I'd like to share a few things that have helped me walk forward in faith when I am drowning in fear.
I pray that the following stories encourage you to do the same and inspire you to step out of the boat and onto the water with Jesus.
Two years ago, I sat on my knees with my body draped over my couch and I asked God to search my heart. I wanted to know if there was some part of myself I hadn't fully surrendered to Him.
Much to my surprise, He responded immediately and said to me, "Your body."
"What? My body?" I thought. I opened my eyes, sat up, and took a deep breath. UGH. I knew He was right.
The Holy Spirit was referring to my fear of having more children.
At the time, we had two healthy kids but my pregnancies with them were complicated and they were both delivered via emergency c-section. As much as I love my two kids, the process of getting them here was stressful and dangerous to say the least!
When my son was born the doctors discovered a large window in my uterus that was as thin as a single piece of tissue paper.
The doctors warned us that any future pregnancies would be considered high risk and that I could lose my life and the baby's life should my uterus rupture. With that information, my husband and I decided we would count our blessings and call it quits at two kids.
But then THIS. The knocking, the tugging, the nudging of the Holy Spirit.
God was right, I hadn't surrendered my body to Him. In all honesty, I was too scared to trust Him with my physical life.
As the days passed, God's calling grew stronger and stronger. Eventually, I couldn't ignore the longing God was placing in my heart for another baby.
However, as my heart opened to the idea of another child, fear put up a fierce fight.
What if it kills me? I thought.
What if I die and I leave my two kids without a mom? What if my uterus ruptures and the baby dies but I live? SO many fears swirled around my head and plagued my heart. Could we even afford another baby? What would three kids do to our marriage?
These were all legitimate fears I reasoned.
It took me a solid year of prayer before I finally decided to trust Jesus and surrender my life to Him.
One afternoon, my husband and I knelt in prayer and released our fears of having another baby to God. As I prayed I said, "Father, I am scared, but I know you are good. Let your will be done in our lives. If you want to bring us more children, however they come, we will love them and we trust you."
That day I went off birth control but that evening as I crawled into bed, FEAR hit me like a ton of bricks when I realized that our car was way too small for three car seats! I hadn't even thought about that!
As I laid there, these thoughts plagued my mind, "Oh my gosh! We can't afford another car! What are we going to do? How are we going to fit more kids in our current car?"
I started to panic.
But then, I forced myself to stop.
If I was going to trust God with my life, I'd have to trust Him with my car too. So, before I ventured any further down the enemy's rabbit hole I prayed again and I said, "Jesus, I give you all of me, and I know that if you bring us more kids, you'll also provide the transportation we need for them."
I wasn't expecting a miracle.
I just chose to trust that He would be faithful and provide for our needs.
The next day, less than 24 hours after giving everything to God, I got a phone call.
"Hi Kristin, I wanted to call you because you've been on my heart a lot lately and I'd like to give you something if you could use it...I'd like to give you a Yukon XL, is that something you could use?"
I dropped the phone.
"WHAT? Are you kidding me? Are you serious? Is this for real? OH MY GOSH, how did you know!" I exclaimed.
"Know what?" she responded, "Is this something you want and need?"
"Use? Need?! YES! You have NO IDEA what this means to me!" I said.
Friends, less than 24 hours after surrendering my fear to God, Jesus OBLITERATED it! A few weeks later, the "Jesus mobile" pulled into our driveway!
A month after that...we were pregnant.
I was overwhelmed by God's goodness and His timing!
As grateful as I was for our new car, and as sure as I was that God was with us, fear eventually crepted back in again.
In all my previous pregnancies I had needed progesterone to support my pregnancy and the problem this time was that we didn't have insurance to pay for it.
At the time we were living on two weeks worth of work while doing ministry in my hometown and the progesterone which was $500 a week was simply NOT in our budget.
Regardless, my doctor called in the prescription and as I got in my car and held the prescription in my hands I asked God, "How are we going to afford this? I just don't see how this will work?"
I didn't expect an answer.
But I got one.
The Holy Spirit said, "Kristin, I will provide everything this child needs."
My jaw dropped. "What?" I asked myself. Did I just hear what I think I heard? What did God mean by that? Was He saying that I didn't need this prescription?
Immediately I called my doctor and asked if we could do a blood test to double-check my progesterone levels. He agreed and a week later we got the results.
The doctor called and said,"Kristin, I don't know how this happened but your progesterone levels are perfect this time and you don't need to take the progesterone."
I dropped the phone again...
I couldn't believe it! God was opening doors where there were no doors!
Between our new car and this miraculous healing, Jesus was deepening my faith exponentially. In fact, I had never felt more confident of Gods presence and support as I did for this pregnancy.
However, as my due date approached I still had questions and anxiety. Was there another window in my uterus? Were the doctors at this small hospital good enough to handle an emergency situation? Would the baby and I survive this?
One day, after panicking and totally exhausting myself trying to figure out if we could fly back to CA and deliver the baby with my previous doctor whom I trusted, the Holy Spirit chimed in and asked me, "Kristin, is your life in my hands or in the doctors hands?"
His question stopped me in my tracks.
The Lord was right. My life was in His hands. He had brought me this far, how could I not trust Him with the outcome? Even if the outcome meant death.
When the day of my surgery arrived I put on a stoic face but getting prepped for surgery unraveled me.
During my two previous c-sections they gave me narcotics to keep my anxiety levels down but doing so came at a price. The drugs helped me during the surgery but they made me really drowsy and inattentive for about 8 hours afterward.
I didn't want that this time so I decided I had to fight the fear the only way I knew how.
Yep, that's right. I decided that Jesus had gotten me this far and I was going to praise my way through the rest of it.
As I was being wheeled into the operating room, panic washed over my husband when he realized that he had grabbed the wrong headphones which meant I couldn't listen to my music!
AHHH! I started to panic too! WHAT?!? That was my ONLY plan for dealing with the fear! Now what? I knew I couldn't make it through the surgery calmly without music!
As Jeff sprinted to the car to get the right headphones the doctors gave me my spinal and prepped me for surgery.
As I waited for him to returned the doctors said that we needed to start without him because we had to get through surgery before the spinal lost it's potency.
This is when I decided I had no choice but to let my Jesus freak flag fly.
I was hoping to listen to music quietly by myself via my headphones but I God had other plans. I took a deep breath and decided to ask everyone, "Would you guys mind if I played music via my speaker phone?"
"Uhh, that's never been done before but...I don't see why not. Sure! Go for it!" They said.
Once everyone gave me the thumbs up, I set my iPhone on my favorite worship playlist, pressed speaker, and turned up the volume as loud as it could go.
Bethel worship music filled the O.R.
Moments into the music something supernatural happened.
The atmosphere shifted and God's presence filled the room.
As I laid there on the cold, narrow, medical table, fear dissipated as I watched the Holy Spirit wash stillness and PEACE over everyone there.
It was a beauty I've never seen wash over a room before and I could tell that everyone present, even the non-believers, sensed God's presence.
As the music continued, we were about 30 minutes into the surgery when the doctor called to my husband, "Jeff, I think you need to see this."
"Uhhh, what is it doc?" he asked hesitantly. "I don't think I can handle looking behind that curtain...could you just tell me what it is?"
The doctor's voice changed from focused to concerned.
Tension rippled through the room as he said, "Kristin you don't just have a window in your uterus, it's much worse. The entire bottom of your uterus is about to rupture. In fact, I don't know how it didn't rupture. You're lucky to be alive."
As those words pierced my soul I knew that Jesus had carried us through this pregnancy victoriously and I knew in that moment we were both going to be OK.
Baby Emmie was born on April 2nd, 2018 to the sound of worship and praise for her creator!
I can wholeheartedly say that in spite of ALL of my fears, her birth was the most wonderful experience of my life, and it was all because of Jesus.
Emmie is now a year old and when I look at her, I can't imagine my life without her. I often think, what if I hadn't trusted God? What if I had chosen to let my fear outweigh my faith?
I would have missed out on the greatest JOY of my life.
Sister, if fear has you crippled in the corner, I want you to know that you don't have to stay there.
If you are drowning in fear like I was, I want to remind you that the same Father that carried me through all of my fears is your Father too. These stories aren't about me, they are about Him. I am just an ordinary woman, with an extraordinary Father and He loves YOU just as much as He loves me.
If you let Him, He will obliterate all of your fears too!
As you walk with Him, there are THREE things that helped me step forward in faith when I was tripping over fear.
First, remember who He is. When I felt scared, I chose to believe and remember that God is GOOD. That doesn't mean that He does everything the way we want Him to or the way we think He should. Good means that He always does what's best. When I chose to let go and trust Him, I reconciled in my own heart that things may not end the way I want them to end. In other words, I came to peace with the fact that I could die and I chose to believe that if He did call me home early, He was STILL GOOD and He would still bring good out of that situation.
Second, take it one day at a time with Him. Be present with Him TODAY. It took me over a year of praying and really pressing in before I could confidently say, "Yes, God is calling me to trust Him with this." My fear didn't disappear overnight, but each day, when I brought my fears to God and surrendered them at His feet, He would carry me through the day and reassure me that He was bigger than my fears and worries. It was one step at a time, one day at a time. Don't let the enemy get you worked up and afraid of tomorrow or the next day. Just stay focused on Jesus TODAY.
Finally, remember that He LOVES YOU and is FOR YOU. In my walk with Jesus, I've learned that everything He asks me to do scares me because it always stretches me beyond my comfort zone. However, remembering that Jesus loves me and that He always has my best interest in mind helps me to be courageous and to say YES to Him even when my flesh says no.
Friends, today I encourage you to address your fear, cast it to Him, and jump out of the boat! I promise that when you do, He will lead you to victory and you'll stand in awe as you watch the miraculous become reality.