Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?

I have to admit I have always struggled with fear

When I was a little girl I felt abandon by those that were supposed to love me and I became extremely insecure and fearful. Fearful of everything, as a child that played out by being afraid of the dark and of something bad happening.

I feared the people that loved me would die.

I feared that I would never have true friends that love me.

I feared I would always feel alone.

When I got married I was fearful of being unloved, left and cheated on.

When I had a baby I was afraid he would stop breathing or I would somehow lose him.

What almost kept me from the alter of salvation was the fear that God could not love me and forgive me.

But then Jesus did forgive me and I was gloriously saved! I would love to tell you I was set free in that instant from fear, but I was not. For a time I had a sort of honeymoon with Jesus where I felt invincible, with him I could do anything (I think a lot believers experience this on fire high at the beginning of salvation.) Maybe that is where we are intended to live? To remain there where grace and peace abounds...but most people don't- I was most people. Slowly my fears crept back in. Life has a way of doing that and the devil knew all along where the buttons where in my heart, the ones that would cause me to fall into fear or worse be crippled by fear and ineffective to preach the Gospel of the God I love.

So for 17 year (that is how long I have been saved) I have walked a line of faith and fear. Sometimes falling into the overwhelming fears and sometimes filled with faith to believe my Jesus for even the impossible!

but I see the pattern, the strategy of hell to keep me in fear...

Early on after salvation I feared the devil or evil. I wrestled with the question, is God able to overcome evil?

All of my pregnancy's have been riddled by fear from one thing or another.

I feared that I would not be able to win the hearts of my children to Jesus.

I feared that someone I loved would die and I would not be able to go on.

I feared that even in peaceful and prosperous times that it would not last.

When we started the church I feared that we would fail. Thankfully my husbands was the voice of reason telling me there is no such thing as failure.

Somewhere along the way I got better at disguising fear in my life and found better ways to word it like, I am feeling anxious today or I struggle with this or that or I'm worried about so and so... but really it comes back to fear. Fear that needs to be given over to my God that loves me. Hind sight is 20/20 and I can see clearly after the breakthrough. But that's not good enough I want to take the hand of Jesus in the dark and blindly trust him.

Yet even now these fears will slip into my heart...

I fear that my hearts desire will not come true and I will live in disappointment.

I fear that I will be to busy with the mundane chores of life and miss the important task God has called me to.

I fear that I will cause one of my children or my husband to stumble because of my fearfulness or lack of faith.

I fear that I will fail at homeschooling or training my children.

I fear that this life with my amazing family that I love, will somehow be stolen or slip through my hands.

Last night as I laid in bed I though about my fears of the last 9 months...the fear of cancer and death from a mysterious spot on my lung.

After all this waiting for the wait to be over, the wait goes on. Because I got the results and they basically say wait another 6 months to a year and check again. But you know what I am not afraid not at this moment, yes a little sad that I just wanted it to be over and behind me but I can clearly see that God has used this time of waiting in my life to break the bondage of fear.

At first I was paralyzed and could not imagine waiting six months, it seemed inhumane to me to make someone wait to find out if they are living with a death sentence but then somehow  I just accepted that we are all living with a death sentence and enjoying today is what I should do because truly none of us are promised tomorrow. I have to admit even typing these words I know I have failed at this and I have to push back the fear that I will continue to fail. But this is the truth... I do not know what the future holds and I do not have the promise of comfort, earthy securities or a pain free life. But and this is a big BUT

BUT I have a Savior that holds me in his hands, that walks with me, that comforts me, that never leaves or forsakes me, that is my best friend, that fills all the lonely, empty spots in my heart.  He is my rock and my fortress, a strong tower! I run to him and I am safe.

Fear is deceiving it seems overwhelming in the dark but shed the truth of God's light on it and suddenly there is peace. Here is the truth...

Jesus has NEVER once let me down in any of my fears, not one of His promises will ever fail me Joshua 23:14

When my marriage almost fell apart he was there and gave me beauty for ashes Isaiah 61:3

When my past accused me he reminded me I am new, he has given me a new heart and put His own Spirit in me Ezekiel 36:26-27

When gripping fear kept me from sleep his word comforted me He delivered me from darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son Colossians 1:12-13

When the fear of failure creeps in he reminds me, Commit all that you do to Me and your plans will be successful Proverbs 16:3

When friends betrayed me and walked away I found a friend that sticks closer than a brother Proverbs 18:24

When trouble has pressed in on every side Jesus said, I am your shelter and a place of safety from your enemies Psalm 91:15

When failure made me want to run away, I hid and found protection in the shadows of his wings. Psalm 36:7

When our church spilt and we lost so many people we loved to division, Jesus reminded me that he will build his church Psalm 127:1, Matthew 16:18

When I have felt worried about our future he comforted me, I will never abandon you. Hebrews 13:5  I am your Shepherd and I will meet all your needs Psalm 23:1

When I had to face the deaths of fathers I loved He whispered, I will be a Father to you. 2 Corinthians 6:18  I will heal your broken heart and mend all your wounds Psalm 147:3

When I have felt utterly lonely and alone Jesus has been with me and helped me, I am with you and I will help you because I am your God Isaiah 41:10

When I held my baby boy that was already with Jesus in Heaven, Jesus was holding me. He blessed me in times of mourning with His comfort Matthew 5:4

When I feel like my weakness will keep me from all he has for me, he assures me, I have chosen the weak things of this world to confound the strong 1 Corinthians 1:27

When I fear that my desires will not come true, I know He is at work in my life through the desires of my heart Philippians 2:13

When I mess up again and again with my kids his grace is always sufficient and his power is made perfect in my weakness's 2 Corinthians 12:9

When I worry about my children's future he reminds me, His promises of life is for me and family Isaiah 41:10

When the fear of death creeps in, I know the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to me Romans 8:11

When tears fall in the silence of the night I know He sees all my hardships and He cares about my suffering. Psalm 31:7 and catches every tear Psalm 56:8

When the chains and bondage of fear tease me I trust I will find freedom wherever His Spirit dwells 2 Corinthians 3:17

Jesus has ALWAYS seen me, loved me, helped me, guided me and sustained me! He has never once let me down. My God has a perfect track record, surely His goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. I will trust in Him and His Holy Word and let His perfect love cast out my fear.

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4) 


Christine said...

So beautiful, Tesha. It is so wonderful that when we have the most to bear, such as a huge medical fear, he uses it to grow us like never before. He has used circumstances a lot in your life and I am so sorry for the pain and suffering (especially over losing Jonathan), but I praise Jesus for the beautiful person he created you to be, both inside and outside. Praying continued comfort for you these next waiting months. Love you, sister in Christ!

Lisa said...

I'm so sorry you still don't have conclusive results and your lung. (But maybe that is good - meaning it's not going to turn out bad?) This post is beautiful - so encouraging (I struggle with fear too). It reminded me of a psalm in its structure - concerns/worries/confession first, then the conclusion of praising God and being in awe of His mighty works. I will continue to pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you look for a second medical opinion?

Tesha Papik said...

Thank you Christine and Lisa, you are dear friends! Anonymous Thank you, I did receive a second opinion. Waiting and watching is a very common practice with lung nodules.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

This is an excellent post on fear. I appreciate all the links to the Bible verses. I live in fear most days. It takes control of my mind. Especially when it comes to losing my loved ones.

I was at my Pulmonary Specialist last Friday to talk about my CT Scan and I have a very small nodule on my right lung. He assured me several times that I have nothing to worry about. Since I have had lung disease for 40 years now this tiny nodule could be from a past lung infection. It is too small to ever be seen on a chest x-ray so it is possible that it has been there for many years now.

They watch a spot like this for two years. A 3 month CT Scan, a six month CT Scan then a year later CT Scan. If it doesn't change they consider it benign and leave it alone. For now I am feeling a sense of peace and praying it doesn't grow. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

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