Letting Go of Fear
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:6-7
When my husband and I were new parents to twins, we read all the parenting books, listened to all the speakers, and asked all the questions! We bought all the newest baby “equipment” and happily performed all the tasks that we felt would keep our babies safe. We sanitized dropped pacifiers, we ran bottles through a microwave process sure to kill germs, we used a “floppy seat” when using shopping carts and high chairs so our kids wouldn’t come into contact with germs and dirt. We were afraid that if we let our guards down, our babies would get sick and it’d be our fault. We tried so hard to do everything in our power to keep our kids well. And that’s not a bad thing. But we often worked out of fear. Fear that if we didn’t do enough, we’d fail.
One day when we were loading the kids into the car after an outing, both kids were in their double stroller as we opened the car and put our bags and such in. We’d pulled the stroller up beside the driver’s side of the vehicle and when we turned around, my husband and I looked in horror as our tiny son was licking the car tire. Yep! That same tire that surely had run over oil, roadkill, and who knows what else! We just stared in disbelief as he looked at us and grinned. At first, we were stunned, but then we just started laughing! My husband said, “Well, I guess we don’t need the floppy seat if he’s going to lick car tires!”
We look back on that day as the day we let go of some of our parenting fear. We realized, at that moment, that we can’t control every situation. We can plan and prepare and be as diligent as possible and yet we still can’t control the outcome of our days. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t plan and prepare, but it does mean that we can’t let worry and anxiety rule our lives. We have to take a step back and realize that God’s got us. Things might not always go the way we expect or the way we want, but we know who has us in His hands and who is looking out for us.
If this season brings you to fear or if a role you have in life (parenting, caregiving, managing, working, being a student, etc.) brings you anxiety or concern, do all that you feel comfortable doing to plan and prepare. Then give yourself a huge dose of grace knowing that you don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to have all of the answers. You know the One who is and does. And He doesn’t want you to have a spirit of fear.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” ~ Psalm 56:3
Pray: Lord, we want to control everything because it gives us a false sense of security. Help us to instead give our fears and anxiety over to you so that you can bring peace to our hearts.
First Baptist Broken Arrow