Monday, January 9, 2012

Why Does God Make us Face our Fears?

So, my friends, how do you feel about fear? I think we all have things in life that we fear and if we allow it, those fears can overwhelm us and hold us back.

Ten years ago about this time I was just beginning to face a fear that I’d had for a while but had never had to face. I was coming down to the end of a lease where I was living and I began to think about buying a house of my own.

The thought of owning a home was a little daunting. What if I lost my job and wasn’t able to make the mortgage payments? This scared me and was one of the reasons I had yet to take the plunge. Mind you, I had never involuntarily left a job, it was always my choice but the thought of this happening scared me.

By April the decision had been made. I had found my cute Little House on the Prairie (so named because the wind rolls in off the plains east of town.) I was getting ready to sign the multiple papers needed for a mortgage and by middle of May the house would be mine. Well, mine and the banks for the next 30 years.

As I moved forward with this I prayed that God would provide for the mortgage. I had a good job and I was able to comfortably meet all my obligations. I thought my prayers were just an insurance policy. I thought it was all up to me.

In May I became a homeowner and in July I found out that I was going to be laid off. Suddenly I was face-to-face with my monster and I didn’t like it.

Image: winnond/

Isn’t this just like God? At the time I couldn’t see it, but when I look back I see that this was God’s way of making me face the fear. He wanted me to see that I was afraid because some things I can’t control. He wanted me to really understand that I’m not in control to begin with. How many times had I said “God is in control?” Many, many times. God wanted those words to become a heart song.

I was finally going to have to trust that God was truly in control. I had to let go of my fear and let God do what He does best – take care of His children.

A new job came my way 9 months later. In those 9 months my previous employer allowed me to continue on as a floating employee so that I was never actually without a paycheck. It was a humble time for me as I was doing jobs that could be considered beneath my experience and education. But those jobs paid the bills and supported me.

Seven years later in my new job I was once again in a situation of losing my job. Budget cuts caused the elimination of my job position and others. I was one of 28 who went to work one day and were unemployed the next.

What are the odds of one of my greatest fears happening twice within 7 years of buying my house?

The second time was different for me. I knew that God had a plan in this job loss. I knew that things would work out in the way God had in mind. The second time was not about me. It was a bigger part of God’s plan. I wrote about that second lay-off on my friend, Cynthia’s blog and you can read more about how God worked in my family’s life through that time in my guest post "A Hard and Beautiful Year."

Yes, I believe that God sometimes forces us to face our fears so that we learn to trust Him more deeply. It is in our dependence on and trust in Him that He can use us to minister in other’s lives.

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