Cathy Baker is a writer friend I’ve never met. Funny how this crazy online world works. 🙂 She blogs at Cultivating Creativity and her second devotional book, Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Mountains, just came out this week. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know her to through our connection at inspireafire.com., and I’m honored to share her guest post here on Life Reconstructed today. If we allow God access, He will reconstruct the broken parts of our lives, and that is what He is doing with Cathy. He’s helping her say no to fear and yes to freedom. Read on, she’s got good words to say.-
Say No to Fear and Yes to Freedom
Fear has plagued me since an automobile accident over three decades ago.
Its invasion began soon after the accident when I refused to get on a highway. Driving or riding, it didn’t matter. Like a disease, the fear began spreading into other areas of my life. Within a matter of years, I was afraid to drive or ride over bridges, through tunnels, or busy roads. Our lives, unlike the fear, became very contained.
I’ve missed out-of-town birthdays, trips to my husband’s hometown in DC, and early on, even a few family beach outings. Truth is, I’ve missed out on much more but even I can’t bear to admit how much. Guilt clings to fear like a well-fitted backpack, creating a heavy load for anyone to carry, especially a Christ follower who has taught adult Bible studies for over twenty years.
I know that love casts out all fear and that fear is not of Him. At one point, I considered stepping away from teaching because guilt constantly whispered how can you call yourself a Bible teacher when you struggle with all these fears? Recognizing this voice was not from God, I sought counsel from a wise friend and scholar of the Word. He asked, “How would a good father respond to your fears? Would he banish you from his home or heap guilt on your already weary soul?” I drove home with a fresh appreciation for my good, good heavenly Father and moved forward in many ways.
Over the years, I’ve kept a journal of God’s faithfulness. When a difficult trip came up, I wrote it down. Sometimes the sentence was as simple as Lord, help me drive to the grocery store in the storm. Every time God chose to miraculously clear the skies or the roads, I gained confidence. And on those days when the skies refused to clear or a kiss from the bumper from behind left me rattled, I found comfort in knowing God was there, allowing it for my ultimate good.
A year ago, in an effort to move closer to our grandchildren and to the mountains, we decided to leave our beloved century-old home and the city we’d lived in for twenty-five years. Leaving everyone and everything I knew to move an hour away (which was approximately 55 minutes outside my comfort zone) required a tremendous step of faith. We found a home that sat on four acres with a spectacular view of the mountains. The only downside was the drive to civilization.
Instead of taking five minutes to reach the closest Starbucks (is there a better point of reference?), it would now require twenty minutes. Yes, a 40-minute round trip for a Grandi-licious cup of coffee. Fear tempted me to re-think the move. I had enough trouble driving around the corner on rainy days. How could I even think of driving twenty minutes to anywhere? But I refused to allow fear to determine where I lived.
Enough was enough. When I declared this for the first time, I heard the heavy thump of my foot hitting the ground, claiming my right to freedom.
We moved to the house on four acres with a mountain view. Every time I get into my van to drive down a two-lane road for twenty minutes one way, it is an act of faith and it feels like a gratifying kick in the shin to the enemy.
After writing such a bold statement, I wish I could end this post in true David and Goliath style, but I can’t say my fears are totally slain. I can, however, say that with every small declaration against fear, freedom gains ground.
And isn’t this where victory over fear begins for us all?
Praying In Every Room of Your Home
by Cathy Baker
Subscribe to Cathy’s Blog, Cultivating Creativity and get a free copy of this book. In it she shares specific ways to pray over every room in your house.