“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” ~ I John 4:18
I was finishing up the dinner dishes when someone called my cell phone and immediately asked, “Is your TV on? Are you watching the news?” I immediately thought something catastrophic happened to our nation again.
I quickly turned on the television and the news brought me to my knees. A few bombs had been dropped in the Middle East; the same exact location that our youngest daughter was currently living. She was with a team of Americans, bringing humanitarian relief as well as spiritual hope to refugees in that area.
Worry had been a long-time battle that I thought I had conquered when I first learned that my daughter planned a life of mission’s work.
I daily prayed for, and trusted the Lord with her life. I had learned that worry was my enemy and didn’t profit me or anyone or anything.
Most days, I managed well. It helped that I could reach her by phone or internet daily.
But this all changed on that evening. Fear and worry overtook me. All my calls got dropped. She never answered any of my texts. I went into a panic. I have quite the imagination and it was running rampant.
I’m thankful for a calm and peaceful husband. We love our children equally, but he has always been the steady calm to my fearful storm.He always just seems to have faith.
That night as we lay in bed, we held hands and prayed for our girl. We prayed for her and her team’s protection and also that they would be able to find a way to call home. It seemed we no sooner said ,“Amen, I love you and goodnight”, that my husband had fallen into a deep sleep.
Can I be honest? I was ticked that he slept so well, I mean, he should have stayed awake and worried along with me, right?
The longer I laid in bed, the more anxious I became. My mind went to the “worst-case scenario”. I imagine her to be hurt, scared, worried, and worse. These thoughts caused me to be more panicked by the hour.
I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and actually began pacing around the house, overcome with anxiety. I went to the spare bedroom (so as to not wake my sleeping husband), and all I could do is cry and pray.
As I lay there paralyzed with fear, I recalled the words of an older woman who had shared at our church many years ago. She had faced many trials as a young child in communist Russia. She said, “You can either pray or worry, but you can’t do both.”
“Lord!!!”, I cried out, “I don’t want to worry, but I can’t seem to get ahold of myself, I am so afraid!!”
I remembered the words my husband and I spoke as we dedicated her as a baby twenty-three years earlier. “Lord, she is yours! Use her, care for her, be with her, protect her, give her peace.” As I prayed those words again, this time, they seemed so much more difficult.
Fully releasing your children to God’s care can be the most difficult task there is, and yet once I did, I felt peace settle over me, and I finally fell asleep.
My daughter called the next day. She and her team were safe and planned on staying in the country. The bombings were close but they had complete peace about the situation. (Sounded like my prayers were answered!)
Several months later when she arrived home for a visit, she shared in more detail, the events that took place. It was amazing. Although I was pacing the floor, imagining the most horrible situations to be taking place, in reality, she was experiencing peace in the midst of the storm.
What more can a mother ask for?
What has gripped your soul? What has taken place in your life that has you pacing? Worrying? Fearing the worst-case scenario?
Believing the lies that fear can bring? I encourage you- give it to the Lord. Do it again and again, if you must.
Even if “worse-case scenarios come to pass, who else is there but God, who promises to hold us close. Fear is a liar, but Perfect Love covers all fear.”