Fear is something we’ve all experienced. It’s a powerful emotion that has been prowling news headlines for what feels like forever. It’s a crippling feeling that many of us feel guilty for falling under the spell of. And yet, it is a phenomenon that God can use to grow our faith and draw us closer to Him. We wanted to share this powerful blog written by our founder, Diane Paddison, just days after her mother’s death in 2011. It is our hope that Diane’s words inspire you to find a freedom from fear.
Don’t have time to read this blog? Listen to it below!
Is fear holding you back?
Fear can be a powerful, crippling force if you let it take hold. But God knows your fears and defeated them before you were even born. How do you know? Because HE said so:
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
No interpretation or advanced reading required! It’s right there in black and white: I have done it.
What it comes down to, ultimately, is whether you believe Him or not. If you fully entrust your life to Him, God will free you to love and live fearlessly. With God at the center, your life cannot go wrong, not in the ways that count.
Looking back, I really learned this from my mom. She lived her life with total confidence in the Lord’s providence. And that confidence freed her to live generously, and to love others without reservation. She worked tirelessly and joyfully alongside Dad, operating the family orchard and raising four kids. Watching her love so fully, I knew that’s what I wanted for myself and my family someday.
She taught me to tackle life with the same faithful confidence. My siblings and I were a bunch of scrappy farm kids growing up in the middle of nowhere Oregon. But Mom never let us see our “disadvantages.”
“You can be president if you want to, you can do anything.”
And she didn’t just say it. She really believed it, and she helped us to believe it too. As I got older, I never felt fearful that being a woman, farm kid, lower middle class, etc. might hold me back in life. Following Mom’s example, I had confidence to meet challenges and take advantage of opportunities God provided. I knew I could leave everything to study abroad, even though no one I knew had gone before me; I knew I could move across country alone for my first job (from Oregon to New Jersey!); I knew I could survive divorce, even though it hurt. Thanks to Mom, I knew I could boldly trust in God’s providence, just like it says in Psalm 23:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.
My wonderful mom, Sharon Detering, passed away last Monday.
The week has been a mix of joy and sorrow: rejoicing that she is in heaven but missing her nonetheless. I’ve reflected a lot on what she meant to me and all that she taught me, and I think that more than anything, I’m most grateful for this beautiful gift of Psalm 23-style fearlessness.
This gift can be yours, too. Will you live fearlessly?
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