This week, I am going to share my heart regarding my own journey towards conquering, what I believe, is one of the biggest “giants” that I have ever faced. This is the ugly, dreadful “giant” of FEAR! So many of us don’t realize the paralyzing affect and stronghold that fear can have and how it controls big areas of our lives. If you are like me and desire to walk in a greater level of freedom, I think you will find what God has shown me to be helpful in this area.
Many of us can quote this verse in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” However, in reality, most of us have no idea what this verse means and how to apply it in our own lives. Although I have been set free from some of the damaging influences of this “giant,” I believe that I have only hit the “tip of the iceberg” in the numerous ways it threatens to control me. I have also experienced significant blessings that occur when I have chosen not to give in to this “giant,” but rather walk in FAITH.
A perfect example of this is the blessing of our two little girls. I often get asked to share more about this part of my testimony, so I guess now is the time to do it! Fear was such a big part of my personal journey. Let me say, first, that this is my story and how God spoke to me and brought conviction. This was only one area of my life, and God is continually taking me to deeper levels with Him. God may speak to you in a different way or in another area, however, I encourage you to be open to how God may want to take you to a deeper level of trust in Him. The “bottom line” is for us to be open and to obey GOD’S voice , instead of making our decisions while listening to the logical, controlling “voice” of fear.
As many of you know, my husband and I have faced multiple, significant health issues with our children. After they experienced
two heart transplants, severe life threatening allergies, and two very aggressive and potentially deadly cancers, I found myself consumed by this joy-sucking, menacing monster of fear. I was terrified of losing one of my children and, of course, I was very afraid of having any more children. The last thing I wanted to do was watch another sweet baby of mine suffering through a painful procedure and possibly a difficult life.
God showed me that my fear of the future was robbing me of the joy and blessings of today, and I made the commitment to trust Him to a greater extent. I never realized that He wanted to take it as far as He did! God began to ask me this question, “You say you want to completely trust ME, yet, you are unwilling to give me EVERY area of your life! What if your husband gives you his heart, however, he reserves a little area of his heart for someone else? He isn’t quite able to fully love and trust you! Isn’t this what you are doing to me when you aren’t willing to love and trust Me in EVERY area?” After years of wrestling with it, God finally brought me to the place of being willing to also surrender my family (present and future!) to the Lord. Although my husband wasn’t at the same place, after I shared with him how God was speaking to me, he agreed to being open and seeking God’s heart in this area.
We found that the root issue for us in not trusting God in this area was FEAR! Fear of not having enough finances to take care of more children, fear of what people will think, (That’s a big one!) and fear of loving and then losing a baby. Have you ever recognized what the typical response to fear is? CONTROL! How many of you women can relate to this? What happens to us when we become fearful of something? We try to manipulate or control. What happens when we don’t want to trust God? We try to control!
Isn’t trusting God better than fearing that God won’t come through for us and provide for our needs? The PERFECT love that God wants us to focus on is believing that HE WILL provide. His love is also able to free us from the fear of other people’s judgment and criticism of us. I think it is accurate to say, God’s perfect love can cast out all our fears. Since we are human and can’t love perfectly, I believe that 1 John 4:18 isn’t talking about US loving perfectly, but it’s about God loving us perfectly. Once we begin to fathom God’s love for us and are keeping our focus on HIS perfect love, we can then freely base our decisions on what God is asking of us, instead of on what others think of us. Fear will lose it’s grip in trying to control our decisions. I think we would be amazed if we could see all the choices we make, or have made, in our lives because of Satan’s spirit of fear.
After I was diagnosed with endometriosis and was hemorrhaging profusely, I struggled with many “Why, God?” questions. I had already found an extent of peace, unlike I had ever experienced before, after I gave up my right to control and committed my womb to the Lord. It definitely didn’t make sense that I was now struggling with this issue. After years of searching for answers and going to three different doctors, I finally came to the place where they were all saying that there is no other option except a hysterectomy. I struggled with this answer, but I told God, “God, I have given my womb to you and if this is what You want to do with it, then I will trust You with this decision.” We went ahead and scheduled the hysterectomy. I still experienced a sense of dread because I was told that, due to my age, I would also likely need to receive hormonal therapy. I again was reminded to trust God with this decision.
Three weeks before the surgery, God clearly gave me this word of faith, “Cancel the hysterectomy and continue to trust Me. I have something greater that I want to do.” Now I really began to struggle! I said, “God, I don’t understand! We have reached the end of the road of a dead-end street! I can’t continue to go on like this! The doctor said I will need blood transfusions soon. I can’t continue to have two weeks every month where I can hardly function! I have a family who needs me!” After I finally decided to trust and obey God, even when it didn’t seem to make sense, my husband and I both came to the decision that we needed to continue our journey of faith and cancel the hysterectomy.
Three weeks later, I found out that I was pregnant! This was after the doctor said that I would never be able to conceive again. In fact, when I told him that I was pregnant, he exclaimed, “That’s impossible!” Well, medically speaking, it may have been impossible but ANYTHING is possible with God! This was still only the beginning of this journey of faith. Whenever I would step into the gynecologist’s office for an ultrasound, I was bombarded with the realization that I was a “high risk” patient and I continually had to pray against the spirit of fear that threatened to destroy my faith. I was told, “You have to realize that you have an extremely high risk of having another baby with this genetic heart condition! You are likely to have a miscarriage…Because of your age and history, there are great risks…You may hemorrhage dangerously during the birth.”
Of course, we also heard comments about the unwise decisions we were making. In spite of it all, I had a greater peace than I ever experienced before, because I knew that I was no longer trying to control, but God was now totally in control. Even though I know we didn’t take the easiest or most comfortable route, we took the route that God clearly wanted US to take. When I look into the sweet faces of our beautiful, healthy, little girls, I rejoice in the fact that fear lost this battle. I wouldn’t be blessed with their chubby arms hugging my neck or their sweet kisses soothing the aches within my soul. We realize the immense blessing we are experiencing with their gifts of perfect health. However, we are also convinced that God’s PERFECT LOVE will never leave us lacking, like the spirit of fear wants to make us believe. When we focus on God’s love and truly grasp its vastness, it expels our fears of God not being enough and His grace not being sufficient. God is BIG ENOUGH to carry us through any situation that He allows us to face. The fear of losing the comfortable world that we now know and enjoy may threaten to control, but the peace and blessings as we surrender to God are not only immense but they are also eternal.
God bless you as you seek to focus on the love of God that expels the control of fear.
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)