“I can’t make it, I can’t make it,” I hollered at Ken. He lurched our car onto the shoulder of I-80, somewhere in the middle of Iowa. Thank God, there’s lots of pigs and corn in Iowa cause I sure needed a cornfield that day. Use your imagination.
I’ve previously shared my struggles with almost becoming an agoraphobic, afraid to leave my home unless I could totally control my travel and destination circumstances. In my case, that became a co-conspirator with a challenged digestive tract, which reacted quickly every time I experienced a panic attack. Not only did I experience heart attack-like symptoms, I needed to be certain that restrooms could be ready at a moments notice. Yup, that made traveling worlds of fun for a few years. Ken became very adept at delivering me to the nearest rest stop, cornfield, restaurant, store and even the homes of strangers a couple times.
In my case, 95% of all my panic attack symptoms were rooted in my biology, not my mind, but they sure did mess with my head and heart for several years. Fear can do that. When it overtakes you, shakes you hard and leaves you breathless in a cornfield, it’s hard not to feel like a failure. Everyone will experience moments like that during their journey on this side of the veil.
I don’t know what kinds of fears you might be tempted by today. That shaken, breathless feeling can relate to something as ferocious as cancer or as niggling as a friend ignoring your texts. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what prompts a fear response in you, but if you aren’t armed and ready for it, it’s amazing how fast it can take you down to the mat.
Here’s a few truths about standing up to fear I gathered along the way which I’ll share in this post and the next:
God is always in control in your circumstance.
Although the Father will allow us to pass through some wild storms, he is still The Master. It’s in those moments when I feel unnerved that I’ve recognized I must hunker down in my spirit. Stating truth from the Word, starts to calm and center me. Pretty sure life seemed crazy for Job amid losing everything, but heaven’s perspective looked completely different. The same is true for you and me. When small winds or large gales of fear start to blow over your soul, it’s time to bring out your Spirit Sword so you can get up in your enemy’s grill and flick his trash talk aside. Here’s two of my favorites: Psalm 46:1-2, Isaiah 41:10
Share your battle with trusted friends and family.
Fear thrives in darkness, so it can be beneficial to drag it out into the light. Part of my healing journey included sharing my battles with key individuals and asking them to pray for me. When you are being whipped around like a chew toy in a dog’s mouth, it’s hard to think straight. What a wonderful thing it is to hear family members and friends praying Scripture over you when your mind is too rattled to recall a single verse. Even when I’ve entered tough situations alone, I am strengthened and comforted by the intercession I know is rising on my behalf. I feel more courageous and less intimidated.
One of the most wonderful benefits of our coming heavenly lives is that we will never be afraid again. How do I know this? I John 4:18 tells us there is no fear with perfect love. We will be living in the presence of Perfect Love throughout eternity, therefore fear cannot exist. God wants us to experience a taste of that part of heaven on earth, here and now. His all-consuming, fiery love for us wants to burn up the paper walls our enemy is continually trying to construct all around us.
Please do not misunderstand me. I’m not saying your fears aren’t real or valid, I’m saying God’s love is greater and stronger. Press into him today and let him talk to you about your anxieties and worries. He is not only perfect in his love but in wisdom, knowledge and power. All of it is always available to any child of God, no matter what may come against you today.