Fear is a powerful thing. It has a way of squeezing our chest and restricting our throat until we are sure the only way to breathe again is to run far away from it’s icy grip. Think about what people do out of fear; or maybe just to prove that their biggest fears about themselves aren’t true: Lie. Steal. Cheat. Nothing. (I’ll come back to that one, it’s the most dangerous)
People lie all the time because they are scared; scared to be wrong, scared to be caught doing something wrong, scared to hurt someone’s feelings. People who cheat on tests are scared they will be inadequate. People who cheat during sports are scared they will be “the loser”. People sometimes even cheat on their spouses because their biggest fears are feeling unwanted, not needed, or undesirable; and they have to prove that this fear has no foundation because they are so scared that it’s true.
Fear can drive us to some ugly choices, but the worst thing fear can cause us to do is nothing. It can cripple us. Make us stagnant. Render us ineffective in every area. Fear really can paralyze you; your fight, flight, or freeze response is triggered and that’s what leads most people to run. Every once in a while however, the fear is so overwhelming it freezes you in your tracks. This can do the most damage to a person’s life, but it’s sneaky, because they may never even know it happened. They will never know what could have been , what life could have held for them, had they just pushed through the fear.
People often ask me, when referring to our decision to do foster care, “aren’t you scared?”. Yes. Yes I am. I am scared today, I was scared when we decided to do it, and I will probably be scared every minute of every day until there is a definitive direction that this case is headed. I want to share pieces of a conversation I had with a wonderful friend about this very thing:
hey! yeah, it’s crazy, it all happened so fast! we are very scared in this waiting process, but it’s in God’s hands. When we first got the phone call about him, tyler and I were scared. he had obviously been put into foster care for a reason, he was not up for adoption yet, and he has visits with his family often. We considered waiting; seeing what else God brought along; waiting for an easier road. but then we realized: this is everything we have been praying for for the last 3 years. what is it that would hold us back and make us pass up this opportunity? fear. that’s the only thing we could come up with; it was fear that would hold us back. fear of the unknown, fear that we would grow to love him and then have to give him back, fear that we would not be equipped to handle the challenges we might face with his unique circumstances. it all came back to fear. Fear doesn’t come from God. Fear is nothing but faith in the enemy. and if we had let that fear win, we would have missed out on this sweet little blessing that I cannot imagine life without!
so we jumped. and we will love this little guy for every second we are with him, whether it’s 6 weeks, or 6 years! Thank you for your prayers, I feel like we have never needed them more. it’s hard; some days I’m just so scared that he will disappear and we will get “that phone call”. God knows what He is doing though, and I pray that He would not let that happen.
[ she replied, expounding on the role of fear in her life]
I know, you wouldn’t think it could be so powerful, but fear is one of the greatest tools of the enemy, in my opinion. At least on me anyway!
I understand what you mean; I fear having to see this baby leave our home. I fear raising a child with a difficult background, I fear telling him he is adopted one day, if we get that chance, and having him wish he could have stayed with his biological family. I fear what it would do to me to love him with all my heart and then lose him. I’m scared! but I’m taking it one day at a time, with God. I knew this is what He was asking me to do, and doing it doesn’t mean the fear is not there, it just means the fear is not winning.
If he gets to stay with us forever, I will praise God, because He is on the throne!
If he has a difficult life because of the circumstances he was born into, I will pray to God to equip us to handle that, because He is on the throne.
If he has to leave our home, it will likely break my heart, and just maybe my spirit, but I will fall into the arms of God, because He is still on the throne.
Whatever happens; whichever path God has us walk down, we will walk down it hand in hand with our savior, and somehow; I know that it will be ok. There may be parts of it that are terrible, or it could be the most abundant blessing we’ve ever experienced, but either way, at the end of the day He is on the throne and that is the only detail I need to know.
Fear could have made us do nothing; it could have crippled us. It could have tightened its grip on us to the point that we just did nothing, because nothing was safe. Nothing was familiar. Nothing didn’t have the potential to be awful. But nothing didn’t have the potential to be great either.
God tells us in His word that perfect love casts out all fear. If you rest in the creator, if you run TO Him instead of away from your fears, He will give you the strength you need to face anything, because He will face it with you.
So dear reader, what is fear holding YOU back from today? Tyler and I decided that very day that fear would not be a factor in our decisions from that moment on. We have not regretted that choice for a second! Fear has no place on a pro/cons list. You can’t stop fear from coming; but you can stop it from winning.