How We’re Learning
By Claudia Duff
When The Only Way Out Is Through
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (ESV)
Fear is an awful taskmaster, requiring our all. All of our faith, all of our desires, all of our energy–just flat all of all. In return, fear gives us nothing.
I used to say to my Dufflings on a regular basis, “Fear is never a good reason not to do something.” If I discovered they were afraid of something I would insist they try it.
But, I find myself needing those words myself.
We as a family are in a state of transition. It has been an ongoing event since 2012, so 6 years, and ladies I am tired. I have discovered fear has been my constant companion for the last 6 years.
Sometimes it sat quietly on a shelf in my heart, but at times it was quite vocal. “What if that doesn’t work? What will you do when that goes sideways? Watch out; the other shoe will eventually drop!”
You are familiar with those thoughts I am quite sure. But, little by little I have learned how to shut the mouth of fear, therefore leaving it powerless in my life.
Retirement has been a steady pace of change. Fear loves change; it’s like the fuel for the fire. We have lived in 5 different homes since 2012. I lost my tribe with every move and found myself fearful of change of any kind. I began to isolate myself from others and solely depend on Netflix, Oswald Chambers, Nancy Guthrie, and my iPod for fellowship and direction.
Not the best plan folks, trust me on this. But, the fear just dug in and life kept coming at me. I was finally forced to still the voice of fear and replace it with some faith. I wish I could say it was just one “come to Jesus” moment but, thankfully, it was many!
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
Our God knew that fear would come and has given us a great provision for our weaknesses, His power!
I am an introvert, to the point where I could train introverts to become more introverted, lol. So, making friends is not my jam, at all. I love people just in small bites and on my own terms. Not very friendly, right? I found it easier to just stay home and not answer my phone.
But, God had a much bigger plan with this last move. We found a church that was ALL about connecting believers. They even did a couple of home visits! My extrovert husband was over the moon. I needed some recovery time, lol! But, you know what happened? We connected and it took very little effort on my part. I just had to start saying, “Yes.”
I started saying “yes” to just about every invitation of coffee, tea, lunch, dinner, etc. And I found myself.
I found why I love Jesus and His women once again. Fear was still there, but I beat it back with some serious prayer, counsel, Bible reading, quiet time sitting, and lots of opportunities to choose righteousness.
I found my jam, the power of love and self-control that only comes from the Father, our Lord and Savior.
How to kill your fear and embrace the power of God’s Word:
- Read your Bible every single day; even if it’s only a verse, read it.
- Begin your day with prayer every single day; even if it’s a 7 second prayer, pray it.
- Talk to someone outside your home every single day, even if it’s the UPS man.
- Have a download time every single day, even if it’s just to your pet.
PCS season has arrived and you are either packing to move or keeping kiddos and making casseroles for all of your neighbors who are moving. And if you are a retiree you are just glad you don’t fit in any of those 2 places!
The military community is a great place to hide. But, not anymore! Embrace this new season and free yourself from fear and its awful sidekick of isolation. Say “yes” to something this week, just do it! Then tell me about it on the PR blog. We love hearing from you guys! It blesses our socks off to know that God is moving in your life!
Here is my morning prayer. I pray this prayer as soon as I realize I am still in the land of the living. Before my feet hit the floor, I am praying this prayer:
Lord, thank you for this day. Thank you for victory over sin, death and the grave. Lord, thank you for bringing me out of darkness into your marvelous light. Thank you for the Cross, Lord, that completely saves, Thank you for your blood that is redeeming me and transforming me into the image of Christ. Lord, I give you this day and I will not seize one moment back. Have your will, way, plan and purpose in my life today. In Jesus Name, Amen