9/05/2013

I Have Not Given You a Spirit of Fear

My mom was a worrying, fearful person. She never took risks. Wouldn't try anything new. Didn't want to go any place she'd never been before (well, maybe a new restaurant or shopping mall). If she was visiting family, she insisted on returning home within an hour or two after arriving.

Because of her fear of unfamiliar situations, she didn't come to my induction into the National
Honor Society during my junior year in high school. Everyone else had one or both parents attending. No one came for me. My father was dead and my mother later pleaded some imagined malady, something she frequently did to avoid unknown situations.

My Mom did not attend my wedding. I lived across the country by then, and although my sister and her husband flew out and would have traveled with her every step of the way, she would not fly. When each of my four children were born, she still did not come to visit. I lived 3,000 miles away from her for 13 years but she never visited.

In my heart I forgave her for her unwillingness to try and step out of her comfort zone, to be there for me for many of the special moments in my life. Most of all, after years passed and I realized she wouldn't change, I felt so sorry for her - all those missed opportunities and the fun and excitement new experiences bring were lost to her.

Aside from the damage her fear of the unknown caused her, that fear also infected my sister, brother, and me. None of us is a risk taker and we walk through life very cautiously.

While I didn't have an epiphany, I experienced a growing realization over the past 10 or 15 years that I was letting my anxieties and worries over the maybes and might bes rule my life. I was becoming my mother.

A Bible verse instrumental in my climb out of the fear and worry pit is from 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." The spirit of FEAR is NOT from God. God gave me power, love, and a sound mind.

I do not have to let worry, uncertainty, and fear of the unknown rule over me, I have power. God said so. Constantly, I have to remind myself that stepping out into the unknown is good. No, I cannot control the world. Yes, bad things will happen sometimes. But God Is In Control. Nothing is going to happen to me that He doesn't already know about. He loves me. He will take care of me. Even if tragedy strikes, He will hold me up. I don't have to be afraid.

Freedom from fear, worrying, concern over change, the unknown, and all those other little demons that robbed my mother of a full life are not going to rob me. I choose to trust God and take Him at His word when He says I don't have to fear.

Image: Master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

17 comments:

  1. This post was awesome!! And it means that you are going to visit me in Peru :D

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    1. HaHa! I was actually thinking this as I was reading!

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  2. I'm generally not a risk taker either, believe it or not. (Jonathan was always the risk taker.) But, the more risks you take, the easier it becomes to take more risks. Funny how it works. I seriously do not like change. Thanks for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone.

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    1. I agree with you. The more risks I take, the less afraid I am do take further risks.
      You go girl!

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  3. He will hold me up. I don't have to be afraid.
    I am living proof that those words are %100 true.

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  4. I am so very very sorry that was the case for you. I came from a rough past - not the same, but I do understand the pain.

    I hope you can get through and past this.

    I do know there are social illnesses that don't allow people to go out and do things - wish she would have talked to someone and got some meds. That had to hurt with your dad gone and your mom not there.

    Hugs,
    sandie

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    1. I just felt so sorry for her, so many years wasted.

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  5. Oh Elizabeth! This is such a heartbreaking post. I am so sorry! I know that your Mom was ill, but that doesn't help a young lady getting such a huge award, and doing it alone.

    It is such a testament to God's grace that you can forgive your Mom, and see the patterns of fear in your own life. That is huge! It's like you are Rocky in the movie series. Amazing! I am so grateful that we are blog-friends. I learn so much from your posts, and get to know you so much better. Thank you.

    Blessings on your weekend, my friend,
    Ceil

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    1. Thank you Ceil.

      Now I have the Rocky theme song rolling through my head!

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  6. My mom was cautious too, just did not encourage us to try things. I'm sorry your mom missed so many important things in your life. You are right, it was her loss in not being present for those moments. This probably made you teach your own children differently. I wanted my kids to know that failure is OK. It helps us grow and learn. I think we often don't step out b/c we're afraid of failing. Thank you for your honesty.

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    1. One of the things I pray for my kids is that they'll live full and abundant lives and not be afraid to take risks.

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  7. Oh Elizabeth, this is so powerful, so moving, so honest. All those decisions we make from fear do nothing but paralyze us ... and those we love. Thank you for putting this huge issue on the table today. I'm going to be sharing this link over at Creekside in the next issue of Gleanings, ok?

    I so appreciate you, my online friend!

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    1. I would be honored Linda. You link some amazing posts in your Gleanings. What a privilege that you would want to share mine.

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