Fearfully Made: How Do I Live With Fear?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Motherhood comes with many things.  Love, awe, gratitude, patience, and selflessness.  These are the wonderful things I've grown in (sometimes begrudgingly) since I first set eyes on my own offspring.

But, something else that comes with motherhood is worry...and lots of it.  As my children grow, so do my fears.

It starts off small, checking on them while they are napping to make sure they're breathing; knowing where my phone and the nearest ice pack is at all times as they learn to climb; praying for them at school as they start to develop beyond my grasp.  And on and on.  Many of these things seem within my control, many of these worries are calmed by the illusion that I have the power to prevent them if I plan enough, work hard, and pay enough attention to detail.

Then I get on Facebook, or Instagram, or watch the news at all.  Turns out just about anything can kill us at any time.  I've seen reports about the dangers of flip flops for heaven's sake!  Articles about how babies get injured from this or that seem to inundate my newsfeed at all times.  Child abductions and horrible diseases become part of my regular checklist in praying for protection for my family.

And I am afraid.

Are these fears reality?  Am I crazy to be anxious about every little thing?  Is it okay to NOT worry about something, or does that make me an uncaring mother???

We can work ourselves up to the point of worrying about worrying and suddenly all the mothers I know are flooded with more anxiety than a chihuahua on Redbull!  WHAT GIVES?!

I can't take it anymore.  I am tired of being afraid.  I am over letting my joy be stolen by worry for things I do not have control over.  I am done with feeling the burden of fear when it is not mine to carry.

Psalm 139:14 (NIV) 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

The word "fearfully" here does NOT mean that I live in fear of the world around me.  The word actually reflects fear in the sense of respect and reverence (i.e. "fear of the Lord") and a healthy acknowledgement of HIS sovereignty.  We were made to hand over our fears to God - in full acceptance that His works are wonderful and we revere His divine wisdom to act in His perfect will.  

1 John 4:18 reminds us that "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..."so I can rest in God's perfect love for me, reflect that in my life through faith and action, and rid myself of the fears in this world.

We can't worry about everything.  We just can't.  (Trust me, I've tried.)  It's exhausting and impossible and futile.  But, we worship a God who has no need for worry.  Not only can He take on all our cares and concerns, but He extinguishes them and can help us steer clear of them in the future.

My big secret to driving out fear?  Focus on His perfect love.  

When I feel the lies creeping up on me (you know the ones:  You're not good enough.  You're ruining your children. You don't deserve this.) I take a deep breath and pray to the God who made me to hand Him my insecurities.  

When I feel the worries crashing down on me (all the what ifs! What if there's a shooter at school?  What if it's not just the chicken pox? What if, what if, what if...) I read the Scripture or sing a worship song and refocus my thoughts to truths that are steadfast regardless of what the day holds.

We live in a fearful world that's ready to amplify our worries if we let it.  But we serve a God who created the universe, and nothing is too major for Him.  

Yes, there are terrible tragedies that many of us will encounter in this life.  It sucks.  I hate it.  I do not belittle pain or grief or turmoil that we each experience.  But, my hope is that we can encourage one another to not let those fears control our minds, hearts, spirits, or actions.  

So, when you see that fear pop up in your newsfeed today - stop it in its tracks!  Text someone an encouraging word.  Hug your kid.  Kiss your husband.  High five a friend.  Take a deep breath and drive out that fear with the perfect love God has for you right now in this time and place.  

And take joy in the thought that you are wonderfully made. 



  1. Love this Emily, I so struggle with fear in motherhood, my husband helps hold up the mirror sometimes. So good to remember that the opposite of fear is love and that God's is perfect. Love that.

  2. FEAR =

    Thank you for the reminder that (no matter what) we are daughters of the Most High King!


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