This week my sister-in-law received news no woman wants to hear.
After going in for a mammogram to address some changes she’d been experiencing the last few months, she was referred for a 3D ultrasound and then for a biopsy later in the week.
She called me, thanking me for encouraging her to follow up on the unusual symptoms that prompted the initial visit to her GYN doctor. She also asked me to pray for her. The uncertainty evident in her voice, we both knew the results of this test could indicate a serious health concern, one no one wants to talk about at the young age of 36.
As a single mom of three kids ages 16, 13, and 11, the “what if’s” whirled. At the same time though, everything in her fought to trust the God who she knew had gotten her through a plethora of arduous situations the last few years.
The fear was there, yes. But she determined in her heart to not let the fear rule. Instead, she chose faith. And choosing faith in the middle of a trial requires action.
She chose to reach out to other believers to request prayer for specific needs and to focus her mind on God’s truths.
She asked for peace to replace the fear threatening to take over her thoughts.
She asked for patience as she awaited biopsy results.
She asked for favorable test results.
She asked for strength to walk whatever path was ahead.
In the middle of her trial, when it might have felt easier to try to attempt to control the situation and Google her way to the answers of looming questions, she chose to lean on faith instead of giving into the fear of the unknown.
Whether it’s a medical scare, a period of financial uncertainty, or a broken relationship, it only takes one trying situation for fear to take over our thoughts and wreak havoc on the peace in our heart.
Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
God’s word reminds us that we’re NOT going to understand everything that happens in this life. But you know, I don’t think we’re supposed to understand everything.
Trusting God is an integral part of growing in faith.
Learning to acknowledge Him in the middle of our trials squelches the fear that is human nature and replaces it with a growing measure of faith.
Our confidence in His provision for our lives grows as we walk through trials. We seek Him, pushing away fear, and embracing an active faith in the One who created us and loves us unconditionally.
I’m not going to pretend this is easy!
In my life, this looks like daily submission to God’s ways, remembering He is in control, not me. However sometimes I really struggle to remember!
I’ve found that constant visual reminders really help. Scripture on my shower curtain and pillows on the couch and in my office chair bring God’s truth to my mind during the day and help to quiet my overly anxious heart. Scripture on the walls helps too.
For me, the process of pushing away fear and instead embracing a growing faith has been just that, a process. I’m learning the importance of trusting God to make good on His promises to make all things work for good in my life (Romans 8:28).
What about you? What helps you combat fear in your life and instead trust God as you grow in faith?