For most of my childhood and a good way into my adult life I struggled with fear. When I was little I had the run of the mill stuff like being scared of the dark and of strangers. As I grew older, I was still pretty easily shaken. I overthought scenarios and locked doors sometimes unable to relax and enjoy a situation for fear of something bad happening.
While Trey and I were living in Nashville, I shared this struggle with a dear friend of ours and he immediately prayed for me to truely rest in the One who promises, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." There is great power in prayer and in learning to lean into a mighty Father who cares about each hair upon our heads.
Recently we've seen this same kind of fear manifesting itself in Olivia. She gets scared in large stores and unfamiliar places. She hasn't always been this way. She was our fearless one; willing to take risks even her older brother wouldn't dare. It saddens us to see her being paralyzed by fear and to watch her miss out on some of the joys of childhood because she's simply afraid.
We're very careful with the kids to not overwhelm them with warnings and scary stories of tragedies. I really have tried not to pass this struggle on. Indeed, the Lord has done a mighty work in my life as evidenced by my ability to live in our neighborhood without fear.
In spite of the freedom I've felt, she has begun to feel swallowed up by her fear and it kills me to think of her going through her life anxious over dark corners.
Sunday in our worship service, we stood together as the body and made this profession of our church's faith. We do it every Sunday but this time, I was incredibly moved and so thankful Olivia was sitting next to me, holding my hand.
Our prayer is that this summation of God's word will indeed set her free to live in the delight and the glory of her Father in Heaven.
Christian, what is your only comfort, in life and in death?
That I belong - body and soul, in life and in death - not to myself, but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of His own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that He protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that everything must fit His purpose for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for Him.