Recently, I heard someone say that “fear would be a normal reaction” to a situation we were facing. It got me thinking. I believe the better way to state that is that fear would like to be our normal reaction. The truth is that neither you or I were given a spirit of fear. We were all created with a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).
Just over four months ago, we went in for a routine prenatal appointment for our son. While there, the doctors and ultrasound techs could not find a heartbeat. Fear (among many other things) showed up and invited us to partner with it. It was a moment of clarity that I knew I had a choice. I could choose to grabs hands with fear and run with it, or I could tell it no thank you, take a hike, and turn my attention to Love. Love has a name; it’s Jesus. He is a person, a tangible being that I can choose to connect with at any and all times. He tells me that there is no fear in love and that perfect love drives out all fear (1 John 4:18). If that is truth, than I actually cannot be connected to Him and fear simultaneously. While both may invite me to agree with, partner with, and connect to them- I have to choose One.
Two days ago, we took our daughter in for her 7 year well check. The appointment went great and as we left the doctor said her health and development is “perfect”. Naturally, we got a cupcake to celebrate and thanked the Lord for another great report. Hours later, my phone rang. It was the nurse from our pediatrician’s office. She said the urine sample they took “had traces of blood and protein and could be normal but could also be an indicator of serious things like diseases.” She asked me to get another sample at home first thing in the morning and bring it in to be retested sometime this week. Now I am no doctor and I have no idea if this is a common occurrence or not (nor do I care). I am a mother, and when someone calls and says a test they did on your child came back irregular and could mean disease, the only word you hear is DISEASE. Again, it was a moment to make a choice. It honestly felt like I could fix my eyes on Jesus, grab His hand and relax and breathe knowing this didn’t take Him by surprise and He loves our daughter far more than we do OR I could panic, partner with the fear that was begging for my attention and start making phone calls, tears, and google searches. Right there, in the middle of Costco, I stopped, closed my eyes, and quietly said, “I trust you Jesus. You are still on the throne, you are still the great Physician and I trust you.” All anxiety and fear left immediately.
I wish I could say the little buggers left for good. However, they love to try all the old tricks and keep knocking, keep inviting me to partner with their little counterfeit ways of coping. Thoughts of calling the nurse back and demanding more information came to my mind at one point (control). Thoughts of all the potential diseases that could be detected in urine tried to speak to me (fear). Even images of times the clerk at the grocery store asked if I’d like to give to the children’s hospital and I’d declined came to mind (guilt/condemnation). But over and over, as these things came to mind, I had a choice. To partner with anxiety, guilt, fear, control, condemnation- or to take the thoughts captive and surrender them to Jesus and allow His Light and Life come over me (2 Cor 10:5). For two days, I continued to choose Him and His Love. Brett and I prayed for our kids each night as they slept, blessing their bodies with health and life and partnered with God’s plans for them. We were trusting He has plans to prosper them, give them a hope and a future as He promises (Jer 29:11). Today, as we walked the sample back to the lab, I can honestly say I felt no fear. It doesn’t matter that I went through a traumatic loss just 4 months ago. I know my Savior is good and kind and full of compassion, love, and mercy. The lovely tech told us we could wait as she reran the test. Within 5 minutes, with a smile, she announced everything was clear and “perfect” and we could plan to not see them for another year!
That is the power of trusting in, and expecting, the goodness of God folks. We cannot define our life and expectations based on our painful experiences of the past (like losing my son). We must set our eyes on Jesus, trust His truths, and allow His perfect love to drive out fear that comes knocking.