You know, the Proverbs 31 lady is pretty perfect at a lot of things, but this one really gets me. How in the world can she laugh at the future?
How can she relax when she doesn’t know what lies around the corner? How can she embrace the future when she doesn’t know what it holds?
Doesn’t she know that something could happen to her children? Or to her? Is there never any worry about vaccinations or developmental milestones or too much screen time or the influence of peers? What about her finances? Perhaps she’s never had to worry about making the income stretch to cover that broken A/C unit? Or robbing Peter to pay Paul and hoping Peter can hold off for another month?
And then there’s the economy. Maybe she’s never looked at a national debt clock and watched the numbers increase by thousands per second. She must never worry about retirement and how to save enough for it and must have never felt the gnawing anxiety from a less-than-secure job.
Does she even watch the news? Can you laugh at a future with ISIS on the march and releasing new video footage weekly? What kind of world will our kids inherit? Do the school shootings and the crime rate not cause her any fear at all? How do we even shepherd and protect our children in these times and in this shifting culture?
For many years, I shook my head in bewilderment that the Proverbs 31 lady could laugh at a future of complete unknowns or, worse, a future filled with looming issues.
This was clearly a woman who had tackled fear.
After Dan died, I found my thoughts racing with a whole new set of fears. And they didn’t seem that far-fetched. Far-fetched had become actuality when something that wasn’t even within the periphery of possibility had happened and Dan, with no signs or symptoms, was gone.
I found myself facing very real fears. One of the hardest was a great vulnerability I felt for my kids as their only parent left. I didn’t want to leave them; I wanted all of us together, fearful that something might happen that would leave them without any parent. I was worried about finances, about our future, about business issues that had been Dan’s domain and were now mine.
I feared how our kids would grow up. I’d known kids who did not deal well with the death of a parent and whose lives had become very painful. I knew the statistics for kids raised in a home without their dad. Man, we’d been on a good trajectory, but now? I was scared of how each of my kids would handle their grief, whether there would be long-term effects and whether they would be okay.
I quickly realized that these fears were going to completely shut me down. I needed to parent and I needed to process the grief and LIVE LIFE and I couldn’t do it under the constant burden of fear.
Fear is pervasive. All of us deal with anxiety or fear multiple times throughout the day and it affects nearly every area of our lives.
In my case, I realized that I had to very intentionally combat my fears. Over the next few posts, I’ll share what God taught me about getting rid of my fears. On Friday, I’ll share the one weapon that has made the biggest impact for me. But today I want to leave you with this:
We know fear is not of God. Fear God? Yes. Fear anything else? No. God promises us in His Word that He can deliver us from all of our fear. That promise is squarely in his will and He will do it.
I sought the Lord and He heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears.