Freedom Series Tender Topics

Freedom from Fear

If you would have asked me, I would have told you “no way.” There is absolutely no way that you can actually be free from fear.

How can you?

It’s too gripping, too all-consuming, too logical. All the fear things make sense. After all, the Bible never promises us that our worst fears won’t happen.

Babies die.

Car accidents happen.

People get cancer.

Jobs are lost.

Marriages end.

Every day. It’s all over the news, Facebook, the radio. Fear is all around us, so no. It can’t be possible.

The new me can tell the old me, “You are wrong. You are way wrong.”

I was 18 weeks pregnant with my fourth child when I learned he had a fatal condition. I stared at the doctor with tears welling up in my eyes, “No kidneys? He doesn’t have any kidneys? Can’t we just give him some?”

“Maria, I am so sorry,” he said, “your baby did not develop kidneys. Without kidneys, he will not have any amniotic fluid. Without amniotic fluid, his lungs will not develop. He will survive your whole pregnancy, but without lungs at birth, he will not live.”

And there it was, my worst fear unfolding before my eyes. I firmly had told God, “No lost children. You can take anything from me God, but not this.” 

What of my faith now? What do I do when the world comes crashing down, yet somewhere down deep in my Spirit I still trust Him, I still know He is good, and I still believe that He loves me? How is that even possible?

I was sad (so immensely sad), and somehow I still had hope—A mustard sized amount of faith in me that God would still make good on His promises.

That hope was the first little hint, the first little inclination, “Is this why we don’t have to fear?”

Make no mistake, the Bible is clear, we do not have to be afraid.

Over and over again God’s angels, His people, Jesus Christ himself utter these hope-giving words, “Do not be afraid” (John 14:27 as one example).

But how, God? How can you ask this of us when the potential for pain is so real?

This how is what I set out to find.

We named our baby boy Gideon Matthew, Matthew after my younger brother that my mother lost at 24 weeks pregnant. Matthew means “Gift of God.” And Gideon after one of our favorite Bible stories of a small but mighty warrior who slew whole armies with a mere 300 men. Gideon. It means “warrior.”

So, Gideon and I set out. Every day, his kicks reminding me of hope and dread all at the same time. It was the joy amidst the sorrow that kept me coming back to the throne of God, every day, on my hands and knees with sobs coming from places I did not even know I had.

I’d cry out, “Lord I cannot do this! It hurts too much, these days are too long and I feel as though they might kill me from heartache. But God I am here, and I am asking you to save me from the fear that grips me so deeply! Help me not to be afraid!”

I was terrified of watching Gideon die.

I was terrified of watching my three older children hurt.

I was terrified of my growing belly attracting the unknowing happy comments from people in public.

I was terrified of baby weight with no baby.

I was terrified of my milk coming in with no child to nurse.

I was terrified that I would be crippling sad for the rest of my life.

Friends, I cannot tell you it was an easy fight. It was a wrestling match that caused many bruises and injuries, but God did free me. He freed me fully. Fear lost its grip on me in the power of those months.

So, I can sit here with you today, with confidence and tell you that yes. Yes, freedom from fear is possible.

Bring to God your mustard-seed-sized faith that freedom is possible. He wants to free you, He really really does. But you have got to ask Him to and you have got to believe that He can.

Be willing to fight for your freedom. When I walk with people through this process, oftentimes they are taken aback by how much fear arises by even the thought of conquering their fear. Freedom always comes at a price, yes? Christ paid the price for our ultimate freedom for us. But God talks about in his word that our discipleship does have a cost. Luke 14:27-30 says this:

“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’”

Yes, we must count our cost, but I assure you it’s worth the price. 

C.S. Lewis perfectly describes this aspect of our faith in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when he states about Aslan (the Christ figure), “He isn’t safe. But he’s good.”

This freeing journey from fear to faith is not safe at all. But I pinkie promise you, it will be good.

Then, take only one day at a time. You don’t need to fight this battle all at once, nor do you need to worry about the outcome. Simply one step at a time, one minute at a time, one prayer at a time, stay firmly fixated on whatever God has for you today. Not a minute after.

Finally, don’t give up until God has won. Over and over again through my wrestling with God I thought of Jacob who said to God, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26).

So it may be with us, we will not let go until He frees us.

I’ve been praying for you.

God is good, and you’ve got this.

**Catch an interview with Maria on Episode 52 of the Kindred Mom Podcast, about Freedom from Fear & Anxiety!

 Maria Furlough is a proud Momma of 4 kiddos on earth and one living in the arms of Jesus. Her greatest joy includes loving on women with the comfort and the power that God has given to her. Maria has been writing Bible studies for over ten years and now enjoys shepherding women at her home church in Huntersville, North Carolina.

In her book, Breaking the Fear Cycle, Maria shares that there is a way to live free from fear. Using her own story as a catalyst she shows readers how to overcome fear for good. She shows readers how step out in bravery and name their fears out loud, choose to bring them to God first before acting on them, and to trust God to be the only planner of our future.  She shows what it looks like to finally give God full control over our lives and choose His sovereignty over our own ability.  We can break the cycle of feargrow through our suffering, and finally learn how to fully rely on God’s promises of protection and peace.  

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