A few months ago I was getting my hair did and catching up on world news (People) when I came across an article about a well-known man and the accusations against him of child pornography and abuse. (I hate, hate, hate even having that phrase on my blog). I was totally shocked to see it about this person, though really it shouldn’t shock us about anybody. Depravity extends to us all.
(I am also refusing to post this person’s name because I don’t want anyone Googling information about him and becoming scarred the way I was. Just because it’s been made public doesn’t mean we need to know the details. That’s called voyeurism and it’s anti-Biblical.)
Anyways. I know myself well enough to know I am tormented by details about things like this but I wanted to see if he had been convicted and if he would be going to prison. Every single news article included WAY too many details of what he had done and said (which, HOT BURNING RAGE, what is wrong with our culture that this is acceptable??).
Immediately my heart was seared with grief and terror and rage.
Deep, deep fear overcame me. I can’t explain it except to say it felt like a physical, crushing weight had been laid on me. (Another reason that we are not meant to know these things and have them in our minds.)
(Sorry for all the parenthetical statements.)
(I’ll try to rein it in.)
(But no promises.)
Anyways. It ruined the rest of my hair experience. All I could think about were my kids and somebody harming them. I could hardly contain my grief. When I finally got in the car a tidal wave of images and terror overtook me and I literally burst into tears and felt like I could hardly catch a break from wave after wave of oppressive fear.
It was absolutely an assault from the Enemy (Ephesians 6:16), capitalizing on the foolishness of my reading the details of something that I should never have allowed into my mind.
I began to pray out loud against the Enemy, for my children, against the evil of this age, anything and everything that I could think to smother it with prayer. But all day I felt buried underneath its weight. Finally that night I told Matt that I needed his undivided attention and I told him what had happened and that I felt under full demonic attack and I needed him to pray over me.
He did and for the first time all day I began to feel the darkness dissipate. The light and power of God’s truth broke through and I began to feel freedom again. Freedom from the fear and darkness.
I’m sharing this because I don’t want my last post to in any way communicate that freedom from walking in fear is easy. It ain’t easy. I don’t just lah-di-dah decide I’m not afraid and then I’m not afraid.
I have to be so intentional or fear creeps in and overtakes without even trying. I’ve found that in addition to having faith and living by faith, I need to just plain be wise about what I allow in.
Here are some things that foster fear:
– Excessive watching of the news, or looking up information online, particularly about those things we fear most.
– Creating worst-case scenarios in our mind and/or entertaining all the things that could go wrong. These sorts of thoughts will usually come unbidden to our mind anyways; we don’t have to invite them in for crumpets and let them tell us every last sordid, colorful potential what-if of our lives.
– Live in the secrecy of our own thoughts. I’m telling you, secrets have to be the most formidable opponent to walking in freedom and light as anything else in our lives. Nothing makes the darkness stronger in our hearts as much as keeping it a secret does.
Here are some intentional things I’ve learned I have to do or I fall to fear time after time:
– Get in the Bible every day. Lies and distorted truth (more lies) have a hard time standing up against the living, breathing Word of God.
– Tell someone. Someone that you know will pray for you right then and there. Ephesians 6 makes clear this is a spiritual battle so we have to fight it with spiritual weapons: the Holy Spirit and prayer. Incidentally, the Holy Spirit is called the spirit of truth. Truth sets us free. So tell someone the truth about what’s taking place in your life.
– Make the effort and put in the hard work to develop friendships with other people who love Jesus and his Word and prayer.
This summer I was leaving a friend’s house and another friend texted to say that she had been praying for Eden Hope and me while she was vacuuming. She reached down to pick up an object and it was a little card that said “Hope” on it. How cool is that? But the even cooler thing is that the night before I’d had a terrible nightmare that Eden had some cord issues and had passed away in my belly, and even though I had been praying all day against the fear squeezing my heart, I just couldn’t shake it. God worked through my discerning friend and used her to pray for me. I was immediately encouraged and was finally able to let it go. God reminded me in such an unmistakable way that he sees, he hears, he responds, he’s working on my behalf, and more than anything, he loves me.
There are many other things we can do but these are the ones I’ve found to be the most powerful and effective.
It grieves my heart so much when I see people enslaved to fear, constantly entertaining the what-if thoughts, robbed of the peace and life they could have. I don’t ever want to convey that living by faith and walking in freedom in Christ is easy. It just ain’t, dang it.
But you can still be free.
You can. But it takes being intentional, on guard, using wisdom, filling our minds with the Godly wisdom from above, not the earthly wisdom from below (James 3), inviting others into our battle, walking in the light (1st John 1:7), filling our minds with God’s Word, and quite frankly, sometimes just getting off the Internet and turning off the news.
How about you? What are ways you’ve found freedom from living in fear?
And just a few photos from recent days because I can’t not post pictures of my lovies. I just can’t. I can’t not. I can’t.
|Luke was SUCH a helper while I was taking Eden’s pictures. 😉|
|Aunt Stacy shocked us with a surprise visit! We love Aunt Stacy.|
|Smooshy-faced selfies with mom.|
|Micah lost his first tooth!|
|Getting dressed for outings with friends.|
Good day, my friends, love you lots!