I don’t think those who know me realize how deep fear was rooted in me. There were times I feared going outside my house, feared sleeping, feared breathing. Yes, it was that bad. If I went outside I might literally step in the wrong spot and inadvertently cause harm to another person. If I slept, nightmares took over. I literally feared being taken from my bed while sleeping. If I breathed, I worried I might say the wrong thing, or breathe in the wrong air space. And I always feared rejection.
I remember the first time I entered a church as an adult. A young adult, but an adult. I think I was around twenty years old and with a two year in tow. My husband and I weren’t married at the time, but he’d gone the week before and for some reason I had stepped beyond my fear and allowed a complete stranger to pick me and my daughter up and take us to church.
No sooner had we arrived through the doors, someone escorted us to the nursery, a room away from the sanctuary. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know it was okay to say no. I didn’t know it was okay for me and my child to sit in on the adult Sunday School class. My fear of rejection took over and I felt as if we were being hidden away, that children weren’t welcome, that unmarried mothers weren’t welcome. Sure, the people were welcoming, and as I continued to attend that church I knew how loving and kind they all were, but at the time I was doing what I was told and I had no understanding of how things worked.
When we walked through the nursery doors, we were met with the sound of gut-wrenching sobs. I’ll never forget the image of that woman curled on the floor hiding behind a rocker. My heart went out to her, but I didn’t know her. I wanted to leave. The person escorting us quickly left, leaving me standing there with my daughter. My fear of not doing as I was told kept me from leaving, my fear kept me from offering this unknown woman words of comfort. Within a few minutes our escort returned with the pastor. The look of disbelief on the pastor’s face, the outrage, crushed me. Was he mad at the woman? At the situation? At me? Most likely. Growing up, it seemed like I was always a disappointment in one way or another. It seemed like I could never measure up, was always judged and found lacking. So, it was automatic that I assumed, the pastor was angry with me, but I didn’t know why. After all I was doing as I was told.
During the sermon, my fears were confirmed. I had done something wrong. I’ll say it now, it’s so much easier for the human mind to remember words of negativity than the positive ones. The pastor stood behind the altar and told the congregation that he’d witnessed the rudest thing he’d ever seen earlier that morning. Tears sprang to my eyes. Even when I was doing what I was told I couldn’t do it right. Every muscle in my body flinched, ready to flee, but if I did, then every single person in that building would know I was the offender. They probably did anyway, but my fear of being seen, kept me rooted to the chair in the very back of the church.
I understand now that I should have stepped out of the room and allowed the woman her privacy, but then, my fear of breaking some sort of rule kept me from doing so.Silly, I know. But that was the trap of fear.
Over the years I’ve seen my various fears settle on my children. It took me a long time to realize they were taking on my fears. My oldest daughter could only enter the mall from one door, never the ten others, without having a panic attack. My second oldest would have panic attacks at the thought of going to the grocery store. My son gave up on trying to measure up to expectations and ended up behind bars for a time. I sort of understand, I mean why try if you’re never going to be good enough? My youngest has anxiety issues with cars. My kids are so strong in so many ways, but the spirit of fear that led me around, and still tries, like a dog on a lead has leaked into their lives as well. Okay, maybe leaked isn’t the right word: FLOODED.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (KJV)
I’ve been a Christian for a long time, but there is constant growth. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I understood the power of praying scripture over people, especially my children. The following video brought me a sense of peace. I’m not alone. I’m not the only mother out there who suffered from fears, who allowed her fears to settle on her children.
I’m not going to lie, I have to constantly recite 2 Timothy 1:7, sometimes daily. Sometimes while I’m sitting on my bed, rocking back and forth with tears streaming down my cheeks. The more I allow Jesus to take over my life the easier it gets.
I lift up those to You who are struggling with the spirit of fear. May the stronghold taking over their mind be broken and replenished with a sound mind, a mind focused on Heavenly things, Godly things, pure things, things of goodness and mercy. And Father, I lift of the children of all those who’ve suffered from living in fear, free them, Lord. Free them from the bondage of fear! Release the power of the Holy Spirit into their lives.
I ask all these thing by the authority given to me from Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit.