I've always been personally active with my Word each year, and this month have been focusing on Freedom for victims of Sex Trafficking in support of Human Trafficking Awareness Month (see my posts here and here), but I felt called to start sharing each month something specific that the Lord is trying to teach me to walk in freedom from. Without question, I can say that this month I've been struggling to walk in Freedom from Fear.
I don't know when I've had more deeply personal things that scare me at once before in my life. I've had times of deep fear, but they've usually centered around a specific event or occurrence, and caused fear in one area. Pregnancy and a new year with the blog have brought forth so many fears at once that I spent a few days last week literally emotionally paralyzed because I was afraid to move in any direction for fear of it being wrong, or fear that I would fail.
When it comes to the blog, I'm afraid that my new YouTube channel will be a dismal failure. That I won't get sponsorships and the blog won't progress in reach, quality of content, or collaboration opportunities. I'm afraid my voice won't be unique enough to stand out or relatable enough to be relevant. I'm afraid that I will fail, and be left holding a stack of expenses for a dream that never really grew wings and learned to fly.
So much for the professional fear (which is plenty of fear, I can assure you!). But then there's the personal fear. Many days, I don't feel pretty. I feel fat and crazy and tired and ugly. I'm afraid G will reach a breaking point and be too tired and fed up with this crazy pregnant version of me to stay invested (which is me giving him WAY too little credit. The man is an ever-present rock of acceptance and love. He blows my mind). I'm afraid that I'll do something or not do something that will hurt me or Evie. I'm afraid that, even now, I'll lose her. I'm afraid because I know that even if she's born safely, that doesn't mean she'll sleep in her nursery ever, or more than one night, or more than one month! I'm afraid that I won't ever get my body back to someplace I truly love, because I did love my pre-pregnancy body, but feel like a tiny foreigner in this pregnant one that is all about caring for someone besides me. I'm afraid that I won't read enough pregnancy books to make educated choices and that I'll read so many that I'll go crazy with all the horrible things that can/might/probably will happen.
Reader, I'm just AFRAID.
The horrible thing about fear is it's paralyzing. No matter what choice I make, it's dangerous. It might be wrong. It might not be safe. It might not even matter, because some things are outside of my control (okay, with pregnancy, most things are outside my control!). A few days this past week, I dissolved into an opinion-less pile of silent tears huddled in a blanket, because at least that meant I didn't have to actively make a choice that could be wrong.
But this place of immobility isn't where Christ calls us. We're called to walk free of fear. And this calling isn't because our fears are baseless or small. On the contrary, those fears are real and can be terrifyingly huge. No, we're called to Freedom from Fear not because of what our Fear is or isn't but because of who He is.
We're called to walk in Freedom from Fear because He is with us (Isaiah 41:10, Joshua 1:9, Deut. 31:6), He will help us (Isaiah 41:13), He has claimed us (Isaiah 43:1), He will come to us and save us (Isaiah 35:4), He will comfort us (Psalm 23:4), He answers our cries for help (Psalm 34:4), He is our light in dark places (Psalm 23, Psalm 27:1), He cares for us (1 Peter 5:6-7), He equips us with a spirit that is stronger than fear (2 Tim 1:7), and finally, we are perfectly and completely loved (1 John 4:8).
It is because of Him, who He is, what He has done, and what He promises to do, that we can live in Freedom from Fear. Fear is real. The things you fear are real. But He is greater, and He loves you, and He will protect, shield, hold, love, restore, and repair it all.
I invite you to spend the next month actively using these verses when Fear threatens to paralyze you. Let's instead remember that what matters isn't the thing to be Feared, but the One who has called us His and set us to walk in Freedom.