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Yes, free indeed: Overcoming Our Deepest Fears

January 26, 2011

“Get dressed. We’re going to the lake,” my husband Jeremiah says on the other end of the line as he’s driving home from work on Monday. I was already dressed in my workout clothes and I was loving his spontaneity because it had been a hard day at home and I needed some fresh air.

We arrived at the lake an hour before sun set. My toddler John ran through the leaves and down the hills. I pushed Rebekah in the stroller and inhaled the cool breeze. We then walked on the paved trail that led to a long bridge where ducks swam underneath. We parked ourselves there for a while and watched our son in such delight. It was like the world stood still and all that existed was our little family.

Then out of nowhere… a cyclist comes riding across the bridge and before we could even think to hold his hand, John darts out in front of him. I scream: “John!” and the cyclist screams “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!” and slams on his breaks in a panic, coming to a screeching stop. Not quite understanding, John hurried back to our side and the cyclist rode off.

On our way home, I started crying. Jeremiah was still in shock too. That experience showed me that I have a whole new set of fears I didn’t know I had. God has told us in His Word that He’s not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. But now what? What does that mean? What does it mean to live by faith, this faith I’ve been called to?

Being responsible…When I was crying, the fears flooding through my mind made God’s word seem stale. Could I trust God to protect John in the future…and me and my family? I mean, shouldn’t I help God out and do what is responsible? My heart wrestled. What seems most responsible is to not return to the lake. It is too dangerous! My insides were being seized by fear, and I was doing everything that I could to muster up some sort of faith that would set me free. I felt compelled to act, but if I did, would I even know what was best? I needed to be free.

Yes, free. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! Monday taught me that nothing will deflate our spirit faster than fear. Faith in God’s promises gives us the confidence and courage to experience the freedom and joy of the fullness of life. We were created to go to the lake with our family. I was made to watch John sprint down the grassy knoll, laughing with joy as he kicked up the leaves in the air.

Yes, I want that joy that comes with such faith- the faith of a child. John’s life became to me a vivid picture of faith. He lives by faith. Questions about how his needs will be met don’t go through his head. He doesn’t wonder if he will be safe. John’s faith allows him to be free.  John had such delight because he ran freely without inhibitions and fears that would keep him from running. John’s faith doesn’t know such fear. That is why he could laugh and smile when he shuffled his feet through the leaves.

Today, God is helping me to run again. Monday’s experience was tough, but I’m looking forward to going back to the lake again with my family. I haven’t figured it all out, but I know that I’m a weak vessel and I must trust God. There is an “abundance of life” that we were created to enjoy. In fact, I’m learning to enjoy it in a whole new way that I did not know before. Jesus said, “If the Son has set you free, you will be free indeed.” Our faith in Christ is our very freedom. I am free. Yes, I am free, indeed.

* This article was a team effort. Thank you, Jeremiah, for helping me write and edit the story.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2011 9:43 am

    Good job on the story and wow that would be way too scary. We had a little one run out towards our car the other day she had a bright pink coat on and we missed her thank God but it was a very unsettling that in a split second something could be catastrophic. Her dad grabbed her quickly and I could tell he was talking to her she was about two. Oh we are thankful always for the quick work of angels all around us. I hope you are settling down.

  2. January 26, 2011 12:03 pm

    Great post. Couple of things come to mind:

    1) Clearly God has plans for John! As Sharon pointed out above, “we are thankful always for the quick work of angels”.

    2) How many times in Scripture does it say to “be strong and courageous”, yet we seem to almost always forget?

    3) That near miss reminded me of all the near misses my son in particular has had at the park, on the playground, etc. while running, walking, biking, and now skateboarding! And have you noticed that when kids are running behind swings at the playground, they almost always walk behind the kid on the swing and rarely seem to get hit? 😉

  3. January 26, 2011 1:15 pm

    Yes, how often we forget! (daily just about)

    That’s so true about swings at the playground. Great observation! So thankful we are in God’s hands ultimately.

  4. January 27, 2011 3:08 pm

    Wow, what a great post. In a really strange way I am encouraged that I’m not the only one who has struggled with fear ever since being a Mom. Not a life altering kind of fear but enough to taint a situation at times. Love the comparison of John’s freedom and how our faith is designed to be and can be with our trust in God.

    • January 28, 2011 1:28 pm

      Melody- I think a lot of my fears aren’t necessarily life altering either and I think I worry more than anything. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  5. amy permalink
    January 28, 2011 11:52 am

    Wonderful post! It reminded me of what I recently read in James MacDonald’s new book Always True: God’s 5 Promises for When Life is Hard – that God is always with us, always in control, always good, always watching and always victorious. It’s an awesome book.

  6. thegoodservant permalink
    February 1, 2011 6:26 pm

    Samantha,
    Through the years we’ve had so many close calls with the kids (so to speak). God’s mercy is always welcome, remarkable and completely undeserved isn’t it? Take comfort in knowing He is always in control. Reliance on Him is an everyday choice.

    My best,

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