Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday Talk #11: Fear Not

It's the most wonderful time of the year.


Yet in the midst of the joyful preparations, the twinkling lights, the festive parties...I find myself experiencing some feelings that aren't so wonderful.

Fear. Worry.

We've had a couple different situations lately within our families that have been the cause of my anxiety. Yet I allowed those feelings snowball into habits of daily worry.

A few evenings ago, my husband was out of town and it was just me for the night. The Christmas tree was on and I lit the candles on the Advent wreath. But something was missing.

Peace. The tranquility that a night like this would normally bring me. It was then that I realized how much I had let fear take hold within me. It was becoming less about the outcomes of the family situations and more about my attempts to control them, my need to know the future, my exhausted efforts to go beyond my abilities. And I realized these were not just reactions and emotions anymore-- they were habits. They were symptoms of a deeper problem. My lack of trust in God. My lack of faith in Him. That He would be with me whatever the outcome. That He knows, He sees, and He is a good God.

I reflected on Mary, who carried the Son of God in her womb as she traveled with Joseph to Bethlehem. A journey we too often forget about in our hurry to celebrate the Nativity. It must have been a journey of hunger, fatigue, uncertainty. Did they wonder about their next meal, their next bed, the health of baby Jesus in all that traveling?

Yet God was with them. Literally. And He provided for them every single step of the journey.

Just as He does in our own uncertain paths.

I watched this video that evening (moms send us such good stuff!). About peace, About stillness. About trust. I cried through it. And I repented of my lack of faith. Of my desperate reaching for control when a loving God has it all in His hands.

I sat before the Advent candles burning before my manger scene--the one my mom bought for me years ago as a little girl and promised to give to me my first year of marriage. Tears drying on my face. I felt it. Maybe for the first time this season.

Because I had let go. Those hands that had held so tightly to a false control were now open to receive it.

His peace.

"And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people." -Luke 2:10

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  1. Such a great post and reminder to stay faithful in knowing that God will see you through whatever situation you are in. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is beautiful, thank you for writing it! Isn't it crazy how Advent and Christmas, which are supposed to be about the King of Peace, so often revolve around family drama or difficulties? It's like Satan decides this is the prime time to attack family life, so that we lose our focus. I know a couple years ago, I was in the exact same boat, filled with anxiety and un-peacefulness because of family situations. It's such a blessing to have a chance to sit and let Christ fill us with peace!

  3. Aw, Laura, I'm so glad you were able to have that moment of peace in letting go! What a gift. Life is so hard sometimes as we try to control the things we worry the future could hold. The future can be so scary sounding. Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my favorite reminders ("for I know the plans I have for you...") that God's got it under control. How beautiful when we know in these moments of surrender that ultimately God will see us through whatever happens. Keeping you and your intentions in my prayers!

  4. Fear can grip us when we least expect it. Poetic words here and I know this week anxiety snuck up too and I had to fight it big time. God is good though.