When Fear Interrupts Our Plans
These words were written several years ago, but sometimes feelings return because circumstances in our life change on a dime. These are the days of….fear. I still don’t have this perfectly sorted out, but I can say Fear does not have to have the final word.
More tears began to flow. I hated myself for feeling this way. The tightness in my chest came first. It slowly inched its way from the center of my core and made its way up to my breathing. In and out. I could count the breaths because that’s all I heard. My husband’s breathing next to me disappeared as the tears began to pool in the corner of my eyes. Under the covers, I could feel my legs but couldn’t move them. The physical darkness in my bedroom suffocated me, and I lost count of the air going in and out. I didn’t know if I was still breathing. I closed my eyes, my soul consumed by fear.
My husband grabbed my hand and squeezed it twice, which was our secret code to tell me he loved me. I wanted to squeeze his hand back, but drew it away instead. I rolled over, still unable to sob, but the tears silently trickled down my face and wet my pillow. I lay in the dark, afraid and feeling so alone. Pulling away from him was an easy thing to do. I didn’t want him to be consumed by the fear inside of me.
When I thought about opening up and telling my thoughts, I knew the fear would overwhelm me. And I didn’t want to face it. After all, I could survive wrapped around myself and not let anyone in, right?
My hand felt numb, my heart felt empty. I just wanted to sleep. I was so tired, but fear wouldn’t let me sleep. It was like a poison, deep inside. And even though I tried desperately to ignore the paralyzing effects, I couldn’t.
Relax, I whispered to myself.
My shoulders tightened. Silently, I rolled over on my other side. Back and forth I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours until I finally drifted off to sleep. The next night was the same pattern. The darkness and heaviness lifted when the morning came, but only because I had to get up.
I had to cook breakfast, care for my family, and manage a household. I didn’t think about the future. I didn’t think about decisions we would need to make concerning our son’s attention problems, my parents’ health, our daughter’s future, or the upcoming adoption. I made my heart cold, so I could work through the day.
Not until my head hit the pillow and the lights were turned out did I feel the tight prickly feeling in my chest. No more work for the day meant I couldn’t block out my thoughts. I didn’t want to think. My fear grew bigger than all the truth I knew in my head. All I wanted was to sleep, but the fear of the unknown kept my mind awake. I walked through scenario after scenario until it was 2 AM, again.
Around eight o’clock one evening I sat on the couch after the kids went to bed and my hand started to shake. It was a small tremor, and I thought maybe my sugar level was low. But I had just eaten some frozen yogurt. I felt it then. The tightness in my chest and the tears, they just appeared. I sat on the couch and sobbed. Embarrassed, I relayed to my husband the fears I had been feeling. The unknown, and where God was leading our family and the future. The unknowns were the root of all my fears. What happens when the test comes back for our little girl? What happens when we move to a new country?
You have questions too, don’t you?
What happens when we need care for our parents? What happens if one of our children gets hurt? What happens if the baby doesn’t sleep at night? What happens if death comes, when death comes? What happens if they say you can’t come to work for them and you lose your job?
Fear wasn’t supposed to be part of our plan. Nothing in this crazy world is part of our plans right now. But God’s plan is still intact. Our plans might have shifted, changed, died, been postponed, or disappeared. God’s plans are still here. Although I won’t claim to know His ultimate plan for the world or the next few months, I do know His heart-plan is still the same. The gospel.
The gospel is not canceled, shifted, changed, died, or been postponed. Our message of HOPE for the world is still here. YOU are a part of it. Don’t let fear derail you from God’s plan to spread the gospel. Maybe that means offering a smile, sending a text, or writing a card. Maybe God wants you to call a neighbor, a family member, or friend. The gospel is not canceled and God’s plan is still intact.
When you are uncertain, I encourage you to go to Scripture. God’s word talks a lot about fear. I’ve created this Fear Reading Plan, so we can grab a hold of fear and replace it with faith. Get your copy here.
Sarah E. Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor at sarahefrazer.com. She is the wife of Jason and mother of five who all serve as full-time missionaries in Honduras. Her passion is to encourage women to fall in love with the Bible. Sarah is the author of several Bible study resources for women. She share tools for deep-rooted Bible study at sarahefrazer.com. Follow her on Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/sarah_e_frazer) and join her free prayer challenge at sarahefrazer.com/prayer