There-and-Back-Again-blog-title-graphic (1280x850)

There and Back Again: How to Fearlessly Face a Changing Life

Jerusha Agen Fighting Fear 8 Comments

Jerusha: We’re joined today by Helene Smith, blogger at Maidservants of Christ. Please join me in giving her a big welcome to our Fear Warrior community!

By Helene Smith

man-travel-suitcase (1280x916)A decade ago, my husband and I took our four-year-old daughter and moved to be missionaries in a developing nation. With a long stay in front of us, we sold off our American life. We left the security of jobs, cars, and homeownership for living upstairs at my parents until the big day arrived. We left our ordinary lives for God’s extraordinary one.

Got to be honest with you, I was scared.

But I clung to this verse in Psalms 84:

The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God. – Psalm 84:3

Again and again I prayed:

Lord you give birds their houses. You let the swallows raise their babies on your altar. You care about my baby. I beg you to provide a new home for us as we are seeking your kingdom.

Three years ago we were in trouble. Some officials knew a little too much about what we were up to. Our family of three was now a family of four. Our daughter, who had been a kindergartner, was about to be a high school freshman. They asked us to leave. We were headed back to America.

I was scared when we left America, when I knew God’s direction for my life, when I knew where I was going and why. Coming back, I was terrified. We were in our 30s with none of the “paraphernalia ” that makes up an American life—and no money to buy it. We were leaving our home for the last eight and a half years with four suitcases and a thousand happy memories to return to a country where we had no home, no job, no car.

airplane-in-pink-sky (1024x1280)Re-entry. That’s what they call it. It’s hard enough for an adult but we had two children who were unfamiliar with every aspect of American life.

And so my mind turned back to that earlier scripture and my earlier prayer. During our daily devotionals, I set out to memorize the 84th psalm with our daughters. Not an easy job. To help us all, the 12-year-old set it to the tune of “Yankee Doodle.”


That winter while we waited, sent out resumes and planned, that spring as we found a job and learned about the home and job that God had prepared for us, we sang the Psalm.

Sometimes I whispered the song to the fear in my heart, that God was my strength and I was walking in His house and praising His name.

How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You. 
How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion! – Psalm 84:4-5

Sometimes I sang defiantly to my fear that my little family would rejoice in His sunshine and be safe under His shield. That we, His servants, in His grace would receive His “good things.”

The-Lord-is-a-sun-and-shield-graphic (1280x853)For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. – Psalm 84:11

Three years have passed since those psalm-soaked days. God has been good to us. He heard me call His word back to Him. He heard my prayer.

When you are afraid, there is no more powerful place to turn than the word of God. He offers us there not only His truth to replace Satan’s lies, His beauty to replace our ugly, but the very words we need to bring us comfort, assurance, and boldness in prayer.

Pray, sing, shout His Word to His throne and you will “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

Has Scripture helped you face your fears? Have you found comfort and courage in the Word? Please share!

Helene-Smith-with-daughters (1280x758)Helene lives with her husband and daughters in the Wyoming high desert. She loves to tell God’s story through blogging at Maidservants of Christ, moving abroad then back again, and teaching students two to ninety-two.

Connect with Helene on Facebook and Pinterest.

Comments 8

  1. MJ

    Thanks for the great reminder to turn to Scripture in face of fears and difficult circumstances. We never can hear this message enough! I know I forget to turn to this amazing resource (God’s very words to us!) when I’m struggling. Also, I was just going through Psalm 84 in my daily Bible reading, so the timing of your post was great.

    1. Helene

      MJ, I hope you got as much out of that lovely Psalm as I have! My daughters and I have been singing it again. Not to face any life-change but just as a reminder of our family’s story and the way God has always been faithful. Whether you whisper or shout your fear has no power in the face of God’s word!

  2. Kelsey

    Beautiful story! Scriptures has been my courageous and my comfort many times. In times of uncertainty, i find myself repeating the lordms prayer, and it brings great peace. Nothing like his word to rest in!

    1. Helene

      One of my favorite things about the Lord’s prayer as a scripture to recite in the face of fear is that it calls us to submission (Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven), to focus on the present (give us this day our daily bread) and to forgiveness (forgive us our sins and we forgive those who sin against us). Few fears can’t be faced with these three gifts!

  3. Helene

    Hope, I have come to appreciate (through writing and discussing this post) that it is not my hobbit’s tale so much as it’s God’s tale of bringing His servants where He wants them when He wants them there! And how He provides comfort and provision along the journey. He is the sun that brings us life and the shield that brings us safety!

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