Psalm 112:7 (The Passion Version):
They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
I want that! I want to be a woman who has no fear of bad news. A woman with a steadfast heart, who trusts in the Lord. Many a time, I am a woman who fears bad news, whose heart is fickle, and doesn’t think God is running the show the way I’d like Him to run it.
Not long ago I was pulled over on my way to take a test and received my first ticket since college, eons ago. I was driving in a lane I wasn’t supposed to be in. I thought I was allowed because I have something called a Fastrak pass. But in this Fastrak lane, you must have two or more people and I was solo. A four-hundred dollar oops!
So, as I sat in the test cubicle (next to a man and his tissue collection), anxiety swarmed with thoughts like where will I find four-hundred bucks? How much will my car insurance increase? Can I do traffic school for this kind of thing? I’m too flustered to pass this test. It stinks that my bragging rights have been taken from me.
Fear of bad news took at least a half an hour of precious test time.
It’s not just stinky situations like my ticket that throw me into the fear corner, it’s triggers of past experiences; you see, I’ve faced heaps of bad news. The last three-plus years, unwelcome guests carrying glum messages repeatedly kicked down my door. No matter how many deadbolts I installed, they still arrived.
And unfortunately, my emotional triggers occur almost before I know they are hitting as the cortisol spikes and my breath quickens. These feelings are formidable, and they don’t play.
Do you relate?
My word of the Year is “FIGHT”. I chose this word because it was time. Time to fight and time to grow in courage. I have learned much in 2019. One valuable lesson is now I see how I often dive into my default when fear hits. When the winds of trouble blow in, my instinct is to retreat. It is so much a part of me, I often don’t realize it is happening, until I do. Until I find myself chewing my nails with my stomach churning and the “what ifs” (the fear of bad news) circling my brain.
A “fighter” enveloped in fear.
And fear stops me from fighting because I believe its lies.
But this is precisely when I must, we must, pull out our boxing gloves and drag ourselves into the ring.
Perfect love casts out fear
1 John 4:18
Oddly enough, the way to march into the ring and fight fear is by fixating on God’s perfect love. Our Bible is a love letter, it contains verse after verse of our God proclaiming His love for us, and showing this love by the gift of Jesus, His son.
The fight of fear is the love of God.
My friend, this is tough and requires intention. God’s ways are often not easy, yet they are simple.
When we live loved, it alters what we do with the triggers and memories and our default position. Do we linger in a place of angst, chew our nails and hang out, or do we push ourselves to move into God’s truth and cast out fear? We must practice living loved until THIS becomes the default position. Until fear stops robbing us of peace and joy. Until our hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Oh, and that ticket? I’m going to fight it.