Crippling Fear to Crazy Faith

Crippling Fear Vs. Crazy Faith

A couple of years back, I went through several months of extreme fear and anxiety. This blog post is a recollection of that period and how God helped me move from crippling fear to crazy faith.

It started when my husband was offered a work assignment at Zurich which was expected to last 1 – 2 years.

We realized this was a God-given opportunity for him, but it wouldn’t be possible for me and the kids to join him there.

Since I’d never been apart from my husband for an extended period of time, let alone mother 3 boys alone, the thought of him leaving sent waves of panic rushing through my body.

So, I did what seemed sensible at that time… I refused to think about it.

I was on auto-pilot, making lists and getting things ready for my husband’s overseas assignment. I was torn and conflicted inside and my faith took a beating. But I pulled myself up and did what needed to be done for my family on a daily basis.

The initial few days after my husband left, I was extremely sad but also determined to strengthen myself and pull through each day for the sake of the kids.

I was counting on God to make life easy for me in the absence of my husband.

Well, He didn’t.

Everything that could go wrong, did.

We faced plumbing and electrical issues in the house, appliances stopped working, we had several near misses on the road, and our car needed a minor repair.

The kids’ attitude and behavior went off the rails. They somehow started acting out in the absence of their father. {He did try his best to parent them remotely, but only so much can be done via FaceTime.}

And that wasn’t the worst of it…

The kids started falling sick every week. It ranged from minor respiratory and stomach ailments to severe wheezing and a flu that lasted over 10 days.

Since I was the only decision maker at that time, the constant sickness and things going wrong at home sent me into a constant state of anxiety.

I worried that the kids weren’t sufficiently protected from the cold, or the house wasn’t ventilated enough. I worried the kids might puke in school, or their fever would spike during the night. I worried we’d have an accident on the road. I worried our marriage would grow cold after an intermission.

Since things were bad as it is, I kept fearing they would only get worse. My emotions during that period ranged from feeling numb and crippled by fear to heart pounding panic.

Somehow, I’d lost faith that God was in control… that we would make it through. I was angry at God because He wasn’t making life better for us.

I started feeling better when my husband came down to spend Christmas with us. The situation hadn’t changed but it felt good to make plans to visit him over the summer and spend a few months together as a family.

The panic was slowly dissipating, but I still needed to overcome the fear that constantly gripped my soul and destroyed life as I knew it.

Here’s what my long road to recovery looked like…

1. Recognize and Repent

I remember one Sunday our pastor mentioned that worrying was a sin. It hit me like a lightning bolt. God has interspersed the Bible with verses saying:

Do not fear.

Don’t be anxious.

Do not worry.

It was a sin for me to go against God’s Word, doing the exact opposite of what He said. My worry was proof that I didn’t trust Jesus to be Lord over all my life. I had to recognize that my fear and anxious thoughts were sinful and repent.

2. Pray through the Panic

Repenting of my sins did not take away the panic, though. But prayer certainly did. Every time I felt the panic rising, I would walk up and down our apartment and keep praying. If our floors had been carpeted, I’m sure I would have worn down a pathway down the middle of our home! It helped to voice out what was troubling me, seek God’s guidance and pray that God would take control.

3. Battle Worry with the Word

I always spent time reading the Bible after the kids left for school. But now, this time became much more precious. I would pore over my daily Bible passages for strength to battle worry, and then seek out sermons and devotions from trusted online sources for encouragement. Many days, the tit-bits I heard or read would be just what I needed to keep going.

4. Journal my Days with Jesus

My blog was neglected but my journals were not. I wrote more that year than I had in all my previous years.

I wrote down my worries…
Noted takeaways from my daily Bible reading…
Jotted down quotes from other authors and speakers…
Recorded answered prayers…

This practice was what my soul needed to heal and fully surrender to God again.

Have I moved on from that crippling fear? Absolutely!

Do I have the kind of crazy faith that never doubts God and His ways no matter the circumstance? Not completely… But I sure am on the right track to get there!

I do still have some fears, though not on a daily basis. But I’ve learned how to encourage myself like David did.

When I fear I’m failing as a wife, mother, homemaker, writer… I remember God’s love for me is not based on my own strengths or abilities.

When I fear that illness, pain or an unpleasant change might shake up our family… I trust that God is powerful enough to strengthen us through the trials and deliver us from evil.

If you’re a chronic worrier, I hope my testimony offers you hope and encouragement. You don’t have to live in panic all the time. Allow the Lord to lead you into a peace that surpasses all understanding.

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