My adult children and I communicate almost daily—via Facebook, Messenger, Snapchat, or text. It’s a daily practice that we’ve developed to keep tabs on each other and to know that everyone is alive and well. With my business travel, my daughter’s various travel nurse assignments, and my son’s work throughout the valley and state, it works for us. If more than two days pass without any communication, I will often text, “Are you still alive?” This is usually followed by a quick “Yes, Mom…Just busy with work,” and I breathe a silent sigh of relief.
However, nothing can strike fear in my heart as when my phone rings at midnight or later and caller ID shows one of them calling. Good news isn’t usually delivered at that hour. I’m immediately wide awake and ready to rush to wherever they may be. One memorable moment: “Mom, the tornado sirens are going off and we’re taking cover in the basement of our apartment building. I don’t know what’s going on but I’m scared.” It was my daughter, who was more than three hours away from me. I tried calming her as I followed the tornado’s path online and on the Weather Channel. Texting became the best option to stay connected. My heart was racing. And I felt intensely helpless.
Fear has a way of bringing out the part of us that we don’t want seen—helplessness, hurt, rejection, not being in control. Fear will lie about the truth and tell a different truth that isn’t truth at all:
I’m not good enough.
I’m not equipped to do that.
She’s so much better than I; more blessed than I.
But God can.
And He will, if we let Him work in us and through us. It’s not about us, anyway. Not our glory. All for His glory. Always and only His glory. With this promise and knowledge, do I still get fearful? Yes! However, I’m reminded of how God told Joshua, not once but three times, to be courageous (Josh.1:6-7, 9) and this gives me comfort. God knows we will become fearful and yet it doesn’t have to be a negative thing or a place we stay. In fact, fear may just be the “new brave” because no brave person has not known fear. In our fear, we find strength we never knew we had. Strength from the One whose strength alone is all we need. In our weakness, He is strong (2 Cor.12:9-11).
Today, my daughter lives about 20 hours away from me, as she works in another country for the next three months. I’m learning and sharing with her that fear can be healthy when we give it to the One who can do something about it. Every time we give our fear to Him, He puts it to rest so we can move forward in His grace and for His glory. Every brave soul has faced fear. The brave just choose to give their fear to Christ, and then rest in His promise to “fear not (Is.35:4).