We sat at a table outside in the shade, coffees in hand. I was only a few weeks out from Dan’s death and I was overwhelmed. A dear friend listened as I talked and cried with me as I cried.
I remember telling her my fears and how I was scared for my kids. I worried how my children would cope without their dad and what it might mean long-term to raise young children and boys coming of age with no dad in the house.
This friend knew scared. Underneath her beautiful countenance and endless energy, she fought her own battle. Her countenance wasn’t a mask. It was the result of an exchange she made every single day. Maybe all throughout the day.
She exchanged the lies that caused fear for truth.
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Fear is a battle fought and won in the mind. God tells us that in this war, we are to take every single thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
This was life changing for me. I needed to intentionally call out the fear as a lie and then replace it with the truth of scripture.
Over the next few days, as my thoughts turned with decisions and emotion, I began to practice this. I looked up every single Bible verse that applied to my fears, wrote them in my journal and recited them when fear crept in.
Take my fear for my kids being raised in a single parent home without a dad. Even now, I can remember the grip that fear had on me. My fear wasn’t entirely unreasonable. I knew of situations where other kids had not dealt well with a parent’s death and I’d long heard the statistics on problems that children in single parent families experience. Now that distant statistical group was us.
But you know what? I don’t live by statistics. You probably don’t either. If I did, I’d never put my car on the interstate. And anecdotes about how other children responded in grief have little if any bearing on the dynamics and coping and relationships in our family.
So that fear? A big, fat lie.
And every single time I felt it welling up in me, I made it obedient to the truth of Christ.
God’s Word says over and over and over (He must know that our frail selves need to hear Him say it again, as if it could make it more true) that He is the Father to the fatherless.
~A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5
~But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief,
To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. Psalm 10:14
And statistics have not planned my children’s futures. God has.
~For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Those promises are as good as done. They are not pie-in-the-sky platitudes. God is so very practical. Every single thing that my kids would look to their earthly father for – protection, provision, guidance, love – God WILL provide for them. I know God will do this; I have seen Him be very personal and practical for me as I’ve navigated this unknown.
The truth of Christ is all there for us. If we’re going to take our fears captive to truth, we have to be in God’s Word. It doesn’t take me too many days away from God’s Word for my thoughts to cloud with despair and anxiety.
I have to regularly bathe my mind and heart in scripture so I can call out fear and call on truth. The weapon of the war on fear is the truth of Christ. A sheathed weapon will never bring down a stronghold.
Open the Word and let the truth of Christ conquer your fears.
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