“Am I dying,” I asked the doctor, “because my body is falling apart?”

He gently smiled and comforted me with a confident, “No.”

As my health worsened questions about the future raced in my head: Will I be like this the rest of my life? Will I ever walk again? Will Normal ever come? Will God answer my prayer?

Have you ever been overcome with fear?

It’s paralyzing at times, isn’t it? Despite our best efforts to generate happy-go-lucky thoughts, sometimes life is HARD, and sweet musings never materialize.

If we’re not careful, we grow comfortable with the What Ifs and worry becomes our best friend–how difficult it is to divorce ourselves from those rambling thoughts!

My anxiety didn’t disappear overnight. After months–no, years–of prayer, confiding my fears to my husband, and learning to live moment by moment in the Lord, the worry subsided. It wasn’t easy; it was a process God allowed me to endure for the sake of relying on Him, even for my thoughts.

How about you, friend?

Has fear trapped your thoughts in a cage? Are you bound to worry and stress as you wonder what might happen?

Hear the truth of God:

“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come.’” Isaiah 35:3-4.

Even though you may be alone with your thoughts, the Lord has not abandoned you!

Do you remember the timeless words of Jesus, spoken to the terrified disciples?

“You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Matthew 8:26

His calm reproval makes me feel silly for freaking out. Why are we not trusting Him? He is GOD. Our lives are in the Creator’s hands. Our hearts beat becaue He wills it! So, certainly our life’s problems are not impossible for Him.

My heart echoes the cry of the father who took his child to Jesus for healing,

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

With love and compassion,

Again, Lord?

A few weeks ago my health took a momentary downward turn—fatigue and pain reared their ugly heads again. Even though I know the disease will wax and wane, I was most surprised by the fear that accompanied it.

Didn’t I already deal with this, God? Haven’t I already faced my fears of living with a chronic illness?

I guess not, because panic and doubt wormed their way into my thoughts. What Ifs popped up repeatedly as I considered the possibility of the disease returning full force.

But, almost as suddenly as those anxious thoughts appeared, I remembered the work of Christ:
Through this illness, the very thing I fear, God has done an amazing work in my life. He stripped me of the things that distracted me from Christ—now trash in a landfill.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him. Philippians 2:7-9


Why am I afraid of this pruning process?

Ultimately it only serves to enhance my dependence on Jesus Christ. I must admit I struggle to join the Apostle Paul in prayer:

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 2:10-11

Does anyone want to share in Christ’s sufferings?

Of course not, because that involves pain. But, it’s that very discomfort that reveals our desperate state. Without Christ, our troubles broadcast our need for a Savior. With Christ, our struggles confirm we can’t go at it alone.

I need Him. You need Him, too.

I guess there’s still a lot of rubbish that needs to be thrown out.

Freedom From Control

We think we control our schedules and our days. But we’re wrong. God controls them. He’s in charge of everything. Our coming and our going. He’s in control when we’re sick, when we’re out doing errands and even when something shifts in our day that we are unable to avoid. He’s in control of it all.

And today God spoke to my heart while I was whining in my head about it all. He reminded me that I’m not in control even though I pretend to be.

I guess it’s good for me to have to relinquish control. It makes me have to rely on someone other than myself. It makes me have to adapt and change my thoughts, my plans, and my intentions. And if I didn’t have to do that I might become very rigid in MY set ways instead of consulting God about it all. I might forget to let Him direct my paths instead of directing them myself.

I know that God is teaching me something and ultimately, it will be for my benefit. He’s a much better director than I could ever be so I need to trust in the pages He’s written out for me. It might take some extra adjustments getting my pride to bend and mold, but I know He’ll work on me till it’s done. And only then will I truly find the freedom I crave.

~ Dionna Sanchez is Founder of the EmphasisOnMoms.com Ministry

Tired of Being Afraid

I’ve been learning that at the beginning of a new year, some people choose a word or a theme for themselves for that year. They might choose the word “believe” or something else that motivates them or gives them a positive attitude.

I found myself doing some “self-talking.” You know what that is, right? When you internally speak things to your own heart and soul? Well, I found myself repeating the same phrase the last month or so. So, I decided to make it the “theme” for my life this year. And the theme that I chose (or maybe it chose me) is, “I’m tired of being afraid.”

About a year ago someone was acting really mysterious around our house one evening. We concluded that they were contemplating breaking in. Yes, we were at home. And it really shook me up – more than I can explain. It was the second little experience I’d had in our home that had made me feel like my home wasn’t quite the safe haven I had expected it to be.

I have been afraid to fly. It wasn’t just 9/11 although that really exacerbated the situation. It was a bad experience on a thrill ride at Disney world and then feeling that same sense of falling on an airplane. Ever since then I’ve had a thing about flying and crashing.

I’m a mom of two young and beautiful little girls. All anyone has to do is watch the news to see how fears can permeate my heart on that note. And to be honest, just being a mom in general has brought so many more fears to a heart that was once adventuresome and courageous – leaving all to “chance” and the Lord’s Will for my life.

But it came to a point after reading a blog one day where someone said that they were tired of being afraid, that I realized I resonated with those thoughts. I was tired of letting Satan control every move I made. I was tired of letting fear hinder me from traveling or taking risks in life and really missing out on the joy of living! My girls have been exhibiting traits of being fearful young women and I just want to live differently.

So, I started looking myself in the mirror and saying, “I’m tired of being afraid.”

I have started living a little bit more again and I have found peace come back to my heart because of some steps I have taken to give my fear to the Lord and let Him truly rule my circumstances. I read Scripture verses and have them nearby when I feel fear enter my heart and I have a special set of Christian music set aside in a folder on my MP3 player. I am determined; you see to not let fear take away my life. I don’t want to go to heaven and hear God say, “My child – this is what you could have had, but this is all I was able to give to you because you let your fear hold you back.” No. I want to truly live and I want to put my faith to the test and see what God can do with it and be amazed at the protectiveness and love that He shows me.

I am learning that if I let fear rule, then I do not really trust the Lord very much. I’m showing Him that I don’t believe that He can do what He says He can do for me and in my life. That’s not what I want to be about.

I’m still on a road and on a journey. I in no way have mastered fear. Satan knows how to push our buttons and where our weaknesses lie. But with the Lord’s help, I have improved and I’m on a road to wholeness again.

I read a quote that said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the conquest in the face of it.” I want to be a courageous woman of God. I’m tired of being afraid. I’m tired of missing out on things because I was so afraid of what “could” or “might” happen. So I have chosen this to be the theme of my year. A year that I pray ushers in more joy, more compassion, and more faith…. All because I’m letting God show me just what He can do with me, for me, and in me.

I believe not only IN Him, but I BELIEVE HIM. And I want to show Him. Do you?

~ Dionna Sanchez is Founder of the Emphasis On Moms Ministry. Sign up for her encouraging free e-newsletter for moms at http://www.EmphasisOnMoms.com/newsletter.htm

Fear Not

Isaiah 41:10a, “Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee…”  

I listened to a sermon today about fear and anxiety.  The pastor, Ed Wright, noted that in the Bible, when God’s angels approached a human, they would first say, “Fear not!”  Humans are fearful creatures.   1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”  Obviously, no Christian is perfect in (their) love.  It is safe to assume we all deal with fear on occasion.  Some of us have chronic anxiety.  We worry about a myriad of life’s troubles, like our health, finances, children, or the salvation of a loved one. 

Remember, God’s love is perfect.  God is Love.  The only place we can rest our fear and anxiety is in Him, by trusting in Him.  To have faith that He loves us with His perfect love.  To  have faith that He cares so much for us, that even the hairs on our head are numbered.  To accept comfort from Him, as a child running to daddy to be told, “it’s okay, Honey.  I’m here.  Daddy will keep you.”  We can cast our fears before Him and trust in His Sovereignty, not depending on our own strength (or lack thereof) to pull through, but to be comforted in His strength, because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. He is “with you always.”  Remember this whenever fear or worry grips your heart.
Rachel Lower