What are you afraid of?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my relationship with God. And I think that there are two fears that most people, myself included, struggle with overcoming. If we believe that the Holy Spirit is powerful and active, as outlined in the Bible, we are either afraid that 1) If we ask God for something, He won’t show up, or 2) That God will show up and ask us to do something we don’t want to do. 

I grew up in a rather conservative church, especially when it came to the Holy Spirit. I did find faith there that I made my own and carried into adulthood. But being raised in such an intellectually-based faith had its drawbacks. I knew the Bible. I thought I had all the right answers. So, I grew up feeling like I knew about the Holy Spirit (you know, that thing we receive at baptism), but I had very few experiences where I felt like the Holy Spirit worked in my life. Though looking back, I know He did, I just didn’t give credit where credit was due.

Fast forward several years, and I became convicted through Bible study and conversation with Spirit-filled christians that I had neglected the Holy Spirit. And as a result, my faith was simmering down to an intellectual set of beliefs and a lifestyle, rather than something that was active and growing in vibrancy in my life.

Today, what I view as my most important job as a mom is to pass on authentic, genuine faith to my daughter (and future children). Of course I want other things for them too; but above all else, I want them to fall in love with their creator and give their lives to Him. Passing on genuine faith that our children can call their own cannot be forced. But it should be something we strive to do at the center and heart of our parenting. 

If we want to pass on faith to our children, we have to examine our own faith and face our own fears. Has your faith grown a bit stale? Are you just going through the motions? When was the last time you talked with your kids, or anyone, about what God is doing in your life? Are you giving credit where credit is due? 

I am still learning what it means to walk in the Spirit and to let joy permeate my life. For me, a big part of that is making time with God foundational. However, even though I am a big believer in seeking time in God’s word and prayer, I also am a realist and young mom. Sometimes the demands of life don’t let up–not even for 10 minutes! Fortunately, this isn’t every day. But some days my ideal quiet time doesn’t happen. Instead, I whisper prayers to God as I nurse a sick baby or try to get dinner on the table. And that is okay.

We are in God’s presence 100% of the time. But do we live in daily communion with His Spirit? The Bible tells us to walk in the Spirit. Not just on Sundays, but every day.

I think sometimes I am as stubborn as my daughter. She started walking a month ago, and she is determined to climb up and down stairs, stand on her rocking chair, run down hills, run down the driveway into the street, etc. If I offer my hand for stability and help, usually she swats it away, determined to conquer the obstacle on her own. Often, I have to pick her up kicking and screaming and bring her back to level, safe ground. God is with us all the time; but, like a child, how often do we refuse His help and stubbornly press on into treacherous situations? Sometimes He redirects us kicking and screaming. Other times, He lets us fall and endure the consequences of our choices.

God has given us incredible gifts and resources if we simply take hold of His promises. Maybe He won’t give us everything we want or think we need (He knows better)–but, He will prove faithful on His promises.

What are you afraid of? What promise do you need to lay hold of today? For me, it is that God will never leave nor forsake me. 

I have also been reading aloud, writing out, and trying to meditate on the truths of Psalm 25. God is my refuge. May he forgive me my sins and give me an ever teachable and moldable heart. 

If you need some encouragement today, please take time to read and pray through Psalm 25. Internalize these truths, and remember that God is near to the broken hearted. He will not abandon you when you put your trust in Him. But trusting Him over your fears will require some effort! 😉

When you lay hold of God’s promises–your children will notice. Talk to them about how you are taking your stress and fears to God. Tell them what you are praying over them. Share what God is doing in your life. Verbalize what you are thankful for. Give credit, where credit is due. Start small, and give yourself grace on the hard days. Each day is a new gift from God.

*******

If you are a struggling mom, feeling overwhelmed and less-than-enough, please take just 45 minutes (or 15 minutes if you do one a day) to watch this free video series (available through Tuesday, April 26th):