Fear, by definition, is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. It is a very normal human response to different things life throws at us… especially the unknown.
I want to share with you a very recent, personal story about fear. Almost six weeks ago I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. She is our second daughter, but my first pregnancy. The pregnancy went as flawless as you could possibly imagine. I loved being pregnant right up to the birth. I knew God was with me every step of those 9 months and I worried very little because I could feel his covering. I just knew labor and delivery were going to go just as well as the pregnancy; I had no reason to believe otherwise. I had my plan (yep, you read that right MY plan.)
That’s where I went wrong. I thought my plan was God’s plan and that we were in sync. I prayed diligently about my plan and shared with God exactly how I thought it should go. My plan was to go into labor naturally, have a natural childbirth, and come out on the other side with my baby in my arms, doing the normal after birth pictures, skin to skin and nursing. She would be in our hospital room and we would have visitors come to love on our precious new arrival. Our little angel chose not to come by her due date and at 41 weeks my husband and I decided I would be induced. This is where the fear began to come in to play. My entire pregnancy I was certain I did not want to be induced because my “fear” was that it would lead to a Cesarean section and I did not want that to happen. For the days leading up to our appointment I worried, and any time I shared my worry with my sweet husband he would assure me that God is Sovereign and He will be with us. I would feel better for a little while and then the thoughts would start flooding my mind again about all the things that could go wrong.
Skip to the date of our induction. We get to the hospital and begin the process. Everything is going okay, not the way I pictured it, but okay. I knew with the medicine they were giving me I would need an epidural (not the end of the world, but not how I originally wanted to do things), and after the doctor broke my water I was ready for the epidural. The first epidural only worked on half of my body, which was worse than not having an epidural at all, so they had to re-do the epidural. The second one worked like a charm. I was actually progressing fairly well and then after about 12 hours of labor I hit a wall and would not progress any further. I started to run a fever, my blood pressure was going up and my baby’s heart rate was increasing showing that she was in distress. The nurse came in and said the dreaded words, “your doctor called and we are going to get you ready for a C-section”. I started balling my eyes out and I know the look in my eyes was sheer terror. Up until this point I was positive and confident. I knew God was with us and that I was going to deliver this baby with no problems. But the thing is, God did not stop being with me even when the nurse came to tell me the news. God was not surprised by what was happening even though I was, and God is still good even though my fear was coming to fruition.
Since my delivery, I have wondered why God allowed things to happen the way they did. I heard a pastor recently say, “Everything is either ordained by God or allowed by God. There is nothing that surprises Him.” Here is what I believe God wanted me to realize: Maybe God was showing me that even if my fears come true, there is nothing to fear because He is right there with me the whole time. Even though my labor and delivery was not as beautiful and perfect as I wanted it to be; in fact, it was the complete opposite of what I wanted, but the end result is a beautiful, healthy baby girl. We are safe, healthy, and home together. I think God is once again telling me that I need to trust in Him and not my plans. There is no room for fear when I have faith in the God who controls everything. Faith by definition is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Faith is the opposite of fear.
In the book of Romans, chapter 4, Abraham’s faith in God is highlighted. Verse 3 states “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”. Verse 13 then states, “For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith”.
I realize my fear of a Cesarean does not compare to some of the things you may be fearing/facing: Fear of what the results are going to be from the biopsy, fear of whether or not your loved one is going to make it, fear that you may not be able to provide for your family because you lost your job. All of these fears are real, but we can replace our fears with faith in God and God’s promises.
“Do not worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart.” Philippians 4:6
“For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead. His Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. Your God, the Lord Himself, will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
These three are some of my favorite verses about fear. This last one speaks right to the heart of who God is. He will never fail you or abandon you. Your fears may come to fruition, but you do not have to go through it alone. I have many things that worry me, but daily I hand those things over to God and trust through faith that He will be with me as He promises. He promises to be my strength when I am weak, to carry my burdens, and to be my peace.
“In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered )the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” Romans 4:18-25
Heavenly Father, I pray you give each of us faith like Abraham, no matter what circumstances come our way that we will replace our fears with faith. Thank you, God, for being our refuge and for your promises of never leaving us or forsaking us. Lord, we praise you for you are sovereign, you are good, and you are faithful.
Mandy Edwards is a Christian, wife and mother. At the age of 17, Mandy felt the Lord leading her into ministry, and followed that calling into marriage and family counseling. She has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a great passion to see marriages and families become all God created them to be. After several years of working as a counselor with adolescents, adults and families, Mandy and her husband were obedient to God’s calling for Mandy to stay home with their daughter – a beautiful gift from above! Mandy continues to seek and follow God’s plan as he takes her down new avenues to minister to others. Craving God Ministries is an outlet that enables Mandy to utilize her education and experience to reach women and families to reach their full potential towards the Kingdom of God.