When Mary Mac was about 18 months old she would scream and complain that her back hurt when she was in her car seat. At first I thought there was something terribly wrong with her back. My mind immediately went to the worst possible scenario. But she was fine; there was nothing wrong with her back. She just didn’t like riding in her car seat! For some reason she was not happy, maybe even scared of something. One day, I remembered how when I was little my momma had told me that when I was scared to put my hand out and hold Jesus’ hand. It was a wonderful gift she gave me. So I told my sweet Mary Mac the same thing. For the next weeks or maybe even months whenever she started crying about her back, I would just say, “Hold Jesus’ hand.” She would immediately put her little bitty hand out as if she were holding it, with her palm facing up. And she would immediately settle down. She somehow understood that whatever was upsetting her to hold Jesus’ hand brought her peace.
In the past I have struggled severely with fear, both rational and irrational fears. The fear would take over me, control me and even paralyze me. Thank you Lord I am not walking that road any more. Yes, I still struggle with fear sometimes, but nothing like I did! A few things I did that really impacted and changed my life during that time were:
· I prayed. A lot! I prayed over every room, door and window in our home. I began to be in constant communication with God.
· I poured over the word of God.
· I sought wise counsel. I had friends and family that I trusted speak truth to me about my fears.
· I had these same people pray with and for me.
· I became very intentional about what I watched on TV or even what books I read. Because I know I have a predisposition to be afraid I can no longer watch some of the shows I used to be a fan of. I made a decision that R rated movies were not for me as well, really for a number of reasons. In addition, I asked God to forgive me for my part in adding to my fear by what I had put into my head.
Y’all prayer is huge! It is the power source that can change everything! While going through this I was attending a weekly prayer group with women who were older and wiser than me. One day when I was feeling especially fearful for my 2 children at the time they prayed for me and one woman told me something I have since spoken to myself many times. She said, “Ashley, you are not your children’s ultimate protector. God is! And you need to get that burden off of you.”
Also, during this time in my life I remember reading all throughout the Bible where we are told, “Do not fear” or “Do not be afraid.” I started to wonder if at some point my fear had become a form of disobedience.
I know this from living it. Fear is real and Satan will use it to keep us from really living the life God has called us to live. Fear will also often keep us from moving into an area of ministry that God has clearly called us to.
Today I challenge you to put your hand out and hold onto Jesus’ hand. Is there somewhere in your life you need Him to remove fear from and bring peace to. He’s completely trustworthy and faithful to do it! If there is ever to be a common denominator to my blog posts, let it be Jesus. He is My Everything…
My First Love
My Greatest Treasure
My Deepest Desire
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27