Living in Fear or Living in Faith?

Jerusha Agen Uncategorized 19 Comments

By Anne Hockenberry

anne-hockenberrys-painting

Wild Wyoming Landscape (Original Acrylic Painting)

We just moved to a place in Wyoming where there’s a legitimate fear of grizzly bears and rattlesnakes; at least for someone like me who has wild visions of vicious creatures emerging from behind every tree or under every bush (don’t worry, Mom, I carry bear spray wherever I go).

And let’s be clear, I’ve nearly stepped on rattlesnakes twice in the wild, so you can’t say I’m totally exaggerating.

I used to espouse the philosophy of “what do I have to lose?” when I was single. I was generally up for new adventures and more willing to be in dangerous situations (that’s all relatively speaking, of course; I have my limits).

But now that I’m married and a little more established in my life I think I have everything to lose, and I live with the fear of that daily.

I find fear to be ever present in my marriage and in the varying degrees of possession-owning I’ve experienced in my life. For a time, I had a huge fear about my house burning down. Every time my husband Owen heads to the mountains for a hike in bear-infested wilderness, I worry. I really don’t want anything to happen to my car, my health, my family…. and the list goes on.

Fear is in some ways a human construct. My greatest fear may not be the same as yours, but no amount of worrying about our individual fears will change the reality of the situations we’re in. Usually our worries serve to exaggerate the possibilities we’re afraid of that don’t actually exist.

Worrying can never protect us from what the future holds, but it does drain us of the joy we could have in the present. I can’t count the number of car rides, plane flights, hiking trips, first days of school—you name it—that I’ve been afraid of, yet all of my fears ended up unfounded. But what did happen was I lost the joy that those moments could have brought.

live-in-faith-meme-centeredThe reality is, we’re only living in an illusion of safety and security anyway. And I don’t say this to impart more fear, but to say that every situation we’re in (even the ones we think are completely harmless) requires a deep trust in God.

We can be in the safest place we can think of, and God is sovereign over what happens to us in that moment. Likewise, we could be in the most dangerous position we could be in, and God is protecting us in that moment too.

And maybe the worst does happen. But even in that we don’t need to be afraid because even in the difficult and scary times, God is working for our good and His glory in our lives.

If we have eternal life, than we don’t even need to fear death itself.

The more we can rest in God and trust that He is in control no matter what happens to us, the more we can cease living in fear and start living in faith.

Do you worry about losing the blessings in your life? How do you strive to live in faith instead of fear? Please share your thoughts!


anne-hockenberryAnne Hockenberry is a teacher by trade and an artist, blogger, and decorator by passion. She loves looking for beauty in the ordinary. She’s a sinner saved by God’s grace. Married to an adventurous mountain man, Anne and her husband love hiking, philosophizing, and watching reruns on Netflix.

For more of Anne’s writing, follow her Birds and Berry blog where she shares the beauty she finds and creates, as well as the thoughts rolling around in her head.

Check out Anne’s original artwork, including the Wyoming Landscape painting pictured at the beginning of this post, at the Birds and Berry Etsy Shop or on Facebook.

Follow Anne on Instagram @annehockenberry.

 

Comments 19

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    Jerusha Agen

    Thanks for being a guest on my blog today, Anne! I can definitely relate to the fear that I will lose the blessings that I have, especially my loved ones. I appreciate your reminder that trusting God and walking in faith is the only way to beat our fears.

  2. Emily Conrad

    I love this: “We can be in the safest place we can think of, and God is sovereign over what happens to us in that moment. Likewise, we could be in the most dangerous position we could be in, and God is protecting us in that moment too.” I’ve seen that to be true just this weekend. God is sovereign when we think a situation is safe and when we don’t. I’ve seen “safe” situations turn ugly and “dangerous” ones go perfectly smoothly. Every situation does require trust in God, who is good and in control always.

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      Jerusha Agen

      Amen, Emily! I’m thankful you made it through your testing ordeal this weekend, stronger in your trust in the One who is in control. As scary as those situations are, it is truly awesome to see God work.

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  3. Karlene

    Congratulations on the new blog, Jerusha. Such good words and truth shared in this post…”If we have eternal life then we don’t even need to fear death itself.” {Visiting from #MomentsofHope where Anne & me are neighbors, today.}

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  4. Kylie

    Oddly, I’ve experienced similar fears since getting married. On one hand, I do sleep better now that Michael is with me because I don’t have to be afraid of the dark (ha!) but on the other, it’s been harder for me to let go and remember God is in control because I’m worried I’ll lose him somehow. I worry more when we’re hiking and especially when we’re driving through the mountains. I try to tell myself it’s irrational because we hike all the time and we’ve driven these same roads over and over before but the reality is “something” could happen walking down the sidewalk or just driving in town. What I really need to be doing is praying and giving my fear to God in that moment.

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      Jerusha Agen

      I can totally relate, Kylie! Our fears can become almost like an obsession we can’t shake when we allow them too much. It’s a constant battle for sure. You made a great point I need to remind myself of, too. That anything bad can happen anywhere at anytime! Only by God’s mercy are we ever safe. Yes, turning our fears over to God every moment of the day if necessary is the only way to shake the fear. Thanks so much for stopping by and joining the conversation!

    2. Anne Hockenberry

      Kylie, Thanks for the honesty! You are always so brave and adventurous and I never knew you struggled with fear. Marriage does add a different dimension to fear too, doesn’t it? It’s true we need to trust God in every moment because anything can happen in this life and you can’t protect yourself from everything. It’s better to rest in Him anyway, although it’s hard to remember.

  5. Beth Sanders

    I realize I’m a couple days behind in reading this post :), but I’ve really been blessed by all the insights shared in the comments! Perhaps my biggest fear is losing my loved ones (particularly my mom), and it can become a paralyzing obsession when those fears grip my heart. It was good to be reminded that GOD is ultimately in control — He is sovereign even when we don’t “feel” safe! How much we all need His strength to depend completely on Him and TRUST Him moment by moment!

    1. Jerusha Agen

      I can SO relate, Beth! That’s one of my biggest fears, as well. My mom herself, though, has been a great comfort and challenge to me by reminding me that God gives us grace WHEN we need it So when I think about dark times and pain ahead, I don’t have His grace to handle that right now, which makes it much more terrifying. I need to trust that when I get there, He will give me the grace to carry me through. Maybe I should write a post about that some time! 🙂

  6. Beth Sanders

    My mom has been a huge comfort and challenge to me, as well, in this area! You’re so right that we don’t presently have God’s grace for what the future holds. I “discovered” that principle during a missions internship 3 years ago. God only gives us His grace right now, for what we face in each moment — just like He provided the manna in the wilderness for the children of Israel on a daily basis. I’d love to read more of your thoughts on that, Jerusha — it would be a very encouraging and helpful post!

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  7. Sarah Donegan

    You are so right-fear does take away the joy we would have had. My husband says he doesnt worry about anything until someone tells him to. I think I would be much better off if I feared less and trusted God more!

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