How to Fight the Storm of Fear

“Hurry, load ‘em up!” I hollered over the wind as my young niece and nephew brought their horses to the trailer.

The temperature had dropped as the wind seemed to come up instantaneously. Everyone at the rodeo was desperately trying to get horses and kids rounded up and to safety.

I was just out of high school and was going to the town an hour north of us each week for the women’s and kids’ rodeo. It was a fun evening to look forward to each week. It also gave me an excuse to have my niece and nephew come stay with me for the weekends. It was also a way of getting them out of the situation they were in even if was just temporary.

I had always been a completely fearless person. Often not even exercising enough self caution to prevent way to many injuries to count. Then that storm rolled in and changed everything.

“Grab your ropes and get in the pickup,” I said hurriedly, “I think we can get ahead of this storm and outrun it.”

The sirens were going off in town and I knew there must have been a tornado warning issued. It was so dark the only way to see any of the sky was as the lightning sparked and illuminated it all. As far as I could tell there was nothing on the horizon so plenty of time to get out of there before it got worse.

My niece was concerned but had spent her whole young life with me and snuggled up beside me trusting my decision. It was short lived!

As we rounded the corner out of town the rain started coming down in sheets followed by hail pelting us in full force. Visibility was almost nonexistent at that point.

My poor niece was terrified. I was fighting my own fear welling up in me to calm her down. I was just trying to stay on the road as we inched along.

It came up so fast I didn’t have any time to react. I never saw it coming just the wind hitting us with such ferocity that fear completely overtook me.

The next thing I knew we were being picked up off the road and moved like a little matchbox car to the opposite ditch.

Something died inside of me that night. That fearless girl who believed she was completely invincible realized her own mortality. Fear had set in and the devil was trying to destroy me in new ways since his old ones had failed.

If there was so much as a cloud in the sky while I was outside, my heart would race uncontrollably. I would make every excuse in the world to those around me on why we needed to immediately go in the house. As rancher’s we work outside for a living and this presented a huge problem over the years.

It was especially bad if we were in a vehicle and crippling if I was the one driving.

It may sound like a logical fear but unfortunately it was a foothold for satan to gain ground in other areas of my life. New fears started growing and morphed into daily worries. I became the epitome of a worry wart.

One day, many years later, I was driving home by myself pulling a camper when a storm rolled in fast. My heart felt like it was going to explode it was racing so fast. Rationale was fleeing. Then I remembered a verse I’d chosen to repeat while I was in labor with my first son.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

I started repeating it to myself as a way to calm my heart. Also to help turn my focus back on Jesus who had always wanted to heal me of this fear.

The fear started to subside. I was fighting back finally and the devil knew he was in trouble. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I was taking ground back that had been stolen all those years earlier.

You know what, the storm didn’t subside. The wind blew hard and it rained and hailed on me for a good part of the way home. It was dark and scary on the outside but my heart had found firm footing inside and there was no way I was going back!

I love what Kelly Balarie reminds us in her book Fear Fighting – “What didn’t kill you yesterday has no real power to kill you today.”

Unfortunately, I had let fear rob me of the power Jesus had made available to me all those years. So, I exhaled all the fear and inhaled life back into those dry bones.

Does that mean fear never tries to rear it’s ugly head in my life? Of course not, but now I know that where the Spirit is – there is freedom!

~I would love it if you’d visit Fear Fighting Writers Contest and vote for me if this post has encouraged you. Go to the bottom of the page and enter 32 in the comments. Thank you!

If you want to learn more about Kelly Balarie you can visit www.purposefulfaith.com or to order the book go to www.fearfightingbook.com.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Fear Fighting: Do you Live Fear or Faith?

Please help me welcome Kelly Balarie to the blog this week. 

Just yesterday, my friend told me her daughter has lice. 

I hugged that girl yesterday!

Would lice go from her hair to mine? Would I be cleaning the entire house, washing every sheet and stuffed animal, and pulling a thin comb through every inch of hair on my family’s heads from now until eternity? I can’t handle this thought. Next time, fist bumps will trump hugs.

Fear is the plumbing of discontentment.
It is the spillage of hesitation and loneliness.
It is the brakes to love.
It is the bulldozer to close relationships.
It is the boundary holding you back from God’s unlimited plan for you.

Fear is the rain cloud that always follows, the homicide to all God has, the breeding ground to insecurities, the shortness of breath that wakes you up at night, the cemetery of faith, and the artery blockage to the Spirit’s leading.  Continue reading “Fear Fighting: Do you Live Fear or Faith?”

Empty Nest Part 1

That time God asked me to …
                                               Put down the idol of motherhood.
 

Maybe I missed all the discussions about empty nest before I headed into this new territory. Or could it be we simply don’t discuss it very much?

Since venturing into these new waters I’ve asked for advice but most people either just tell me to be happy about it or keep busy so I don’t have to deal with it.


Can I be real honest for a minute? I did NOT handle it real well in the beginning. My life had been filled with so many of my kids’ sports and events I felt completely isolated when it all came to end. Continue reading “Empty Nest Part 1”

Brave the Anxiety for the Adventure

“I am brave, I am brave, I am brave!” I just kept repeating it to myself so the anxious thoughts might not move back in and set up camp.


When I was younger I lived life fearlessly, probably to a fault if I’m honest. I was ten foot tall and bulletproof, or so I thought. If there was an adventure of any kind out there, I was first in line to jump in. I have the scars and broken bones to show for it too unfortunately.


Over the years, my adventurous spirit was starting to be drowned out by pops and creaks of the pains of a wild youth. I knew how hard a person could fall as I’d taken that trip down way too many times in the past.


God had placed this new adventure right in my lap and I knew He wanted me to move forward. The truth is though, it was WAY outside of my current comfort zone.


It wasn’t scary to write and follow the Lord’s call from the safety of my little home way out in the middle of the sticks. I mean come on, I’m the Hicks from the Sticks! Doesn’t that mean I should STAY in the sticks. That’s where I’m comfortable. This is my sweet spot. “Lord, I am happy to sit right here in my comfy office chair and type the words You want me to share with the world. Just don’t ask me to go out into it!”


Don’t take this wrong, I genuinely love people and have no issues driving the 30 miles it takes me to get to our little town of 1200 people. I love one on one conversations, small study groups or even our “big” events in town.


On the other hand, large crowds truly overwhelm me. So, when God said to jump on a plane, by myself nonetheless, and fly across the country to a conference with 800 or so people, I was slightly freaked out.


I prayed repeatedly to see if God was sure this is what He wanted me to do. I knew the truth, there was really no fighting it. So, I committed. That should have been the end of any anxious thoughts, right? Nope! I came so close to wimping out over and over again.


I crammed it to the back of my mind when there were still a lot of calendar days before my flight would leave. So typical of me. Just don’t deal with it until I absolutely have to.
As the days grew warmer and the time got closer, I felt a sense of fear starting to sneak in little by little. I tried to think of it as a great adventure but my anxious thoughts just kept fogging up my mind.


Then God whispered some reassuring words in my ear. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)


I was still trying to follow God’s plan for my life under my own power. Ugh, SO frustrating. I felt a good spiritual kick to the pants. I cried out to God, humbled myself and asked for His forgiveness. I wish I could tell you that meant it was easy sailing from there on out. There were still moments of doubt. I’m human!


But…I would literally picture myself casting my anxious thoughts at the foot of the cross any time they popped into my head. It really did get easier each time. Not easy but easier.


I’m learning to do the work God asks ME to do and then just show up and trust Him to take care of the rest. He is faithful.


God is so awesome and what an adventure it is when we follow Him!

Leave Fear Behind

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7


I have known fear.  I have felt that growing, ever nagging fear of failure many times in my life.  I’m pretty sure I’ve known it since I was born.  Many of us experience this.

Why?  What is in us that makes us so scared to fail?  That kind of fear that cripples so many of us from even trying.  Because somehow if we don’t try at least we can’t fail.

Simple answer is fear is from satan!  The enemy knows that if he can keep us crippled by fear he can keep us from walking forward with Christ.  If we’re too afraid to try to walk into the freedom Jesus promised us, then the enemy can keep us bound up.  This in turn will keep us from doing the kingdom work God has called us to.  

I’m trying to be honest here but even this is a scary situation for me.  Putting your fears out there for the whole world to see opens you up to others as well as facing those fears.  I’m ready to face those fears though!  I have to say that to myself loud and proud as it’s still not easy and sometimes I’m really still trying to convince myself!

I have been scared to let my family down as well as myself by choices I make.  Even ones I’m sure were good at the time.  I’ve been afraid of looking foolish if I don’t succeed at things I put out there for the world to see.  What if I pour my heart and soul into something I feel God has called me to do and I fail?  Does that make me look weak?  What will people think of God if I’m such a failure?

If I looked in a mirror more often I would tattoo to my forehead, “If God calls me to it HE will see me through it!”  God can’t fail.  I’m not saying I can’t fall on my face, but not trying is the bigger failure.  When God calls me to do something, even if it looks like a failure to the world, my obedience IS success!

Let’s just say that one more time to really get that to sink in – “My obedience IS success”.  

I’m making the daily choice to stand up to these fears and call an end to them. I realize I can’t do it on my own.  It’s only with the help of the Holy Spirit in me that I can say no to fear!

Father God, I have tried to fight fear on my own in the past and lost the fight.  Please forgive me!  I know I can only truly be free from the grip of fear by trusting YOU with my life.  Help me to follow wherever YOU lead and do it without fear.
In Jesus name, Amen.