Spiraling fear or soaring faith?
Yesterday morning, Fear called my name, and the reason I’m writing this devotional is because I answered. It started before my feet even hit the ground. Thoughts that I had been warding off through prayer all week ganged up on me, wrapping themselves around my heart and mind so tightly that I woke up gasping for breath. Earlier in the week, I would have one negative, fearful thought and I’d use prayer and scripture to put it back in its place (taken captive by Christ 2, Corinthians 10:5). This army of negativity surrounded me, however, and as soon as my toes touched carpet, I felt like I needed to run for my life. There was only one problem: there was nowhere to run. Unfortunately, my mind ran in circles for me.
What was wrong with me? I was a trained Warrior in God’s Army for goodness sake! I could handle this, through Christ! (Philippians 4:13). I was dizzy, however, exhausted, emotional and tearful. In my chaos, I acted inappropriately with my husband, and my children. The fear that attacked me that morning had a blast running throughout our house, out of the windows and up the exterior walls, even dancing in our yard and sitting on our rooftop. At the end of the day, my eyes were swollen and my arms and legs were drained of any strength. As I collapsed in my bed (still in my clothes from the day as it was only 8:45 pm), I asked God what happened to me? He impressed upon me that I responded in fear, rather than faith.
God’s answer seemed to be a much too simple of a response to such a complicated problem. How could such a short answer really answer all the problems that I had experienced that day? After one second, I realized God was right; I had responded in fear. Suddenly, the magnitude of choosing to live by faith, rather than fear, hit me like a glorious wave of water, like a profound, bright light, like a song that vibrates from the front stage at church on Sunday morning. I understood. I felt better too. I forgave myself. I told my family I was sorry, I got ready for bed, and I slept for 10 hours. I usually only need between 6 and 7 hours of sleep a night; experiencing this recent war required that I sleep a few more hours. I would say that I “feel” better this morning, but I don’t want to focus on how I feel. The problems that I woke to yesterday still exist today. The difference is that the state of my FAITH is steadfast. As a result, my arms and legs feel solid. I know I will stand in my armor today.
Let me not forget to tell you that I called in some troops yesterday, asking them to prayer for me. I’m thankful that I remembered to not remain isolated when I’m attacked. One friend supported and encouraged me, reminding me to get rid of my Superwoman tights and rely on God. Another friend called me immediately, and she prayed for me. Later that night, she called again to check on me. She delivered a Warrior Mom cross that she made out of Styrofoam, wrapped with that brown crinkly paper that opens up into wide sheets. The cross looks wooden, even though it’s light as a feather.
"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30
There’s rope crisscrossed around the center of it, and it stands on a pink camouflage base. The best part is, she took pink nails (described in The Warrior Mom Handbook), and she nailed cares and concerns of this world, written on an index card, to the cross. The base reads, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6).
As I woke up this morning, I recognized Fear’s voice calling me, but I covered my heart, my mind, and my ears with the Strong Word of God, and an equally strong cup of coffee. I reminded Fear that I am a Warrior. Game Over! There’s strong and then there’s God-Strong.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.