Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
We feel it. Fear about the future. Anxiety about the present. Worry about the unknown.
It feels like the boat is rocking. Storm blowing hard. Waves pushing fast.
We wonder, “How can I move forward, when I can’t see?” We ask, “How do I go back, when I feel alone?”
We call out to God, asking for His help, “Where are You? Do You care? Do You see me? How will You help me not drown?”
It feels impossible to stop the cycle of fear, once it begins.
It pulls us under, an insidious tug on our hearts. We can no longer see clearly, or even hear the truth of God.
Do you know the secret to not sinking, not drowning? Do you know what to do when life is hard and we don’t know how to lift our heads?
The secret is remembering, first, who we are, how we are made. “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4). We remember we are formed by the very hands of God. We remember our breath is breathed into us by our Father. We remember that this is where life is. And that there is no life in fear.
The second step is remembering that when we call out to God for help, our prayer is just the beginning of a conversation. We remember God is with us, ready to listen, wanting to communicate to the daughter whom He loves. We remember God is our Father, our King, our Friend who actually loves conversing with us—in a manner unique to each of us.
Storms can be excruciating, yes. But in the midst of them we can believe by whom we are made and how God wants to bring us light and joy and hope. In John 14:27 we hear Jesus reassure us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” Jesus has peace for us. He desires a conversation with us. Will we listen? Do we want a conversation with Him? Do we want to heed what He has to say?
I am challenged by Jesus’ reminder in Luke 6:46: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” When we hear only our own voice crying out to God—when we don’t believe God is with us or we don’t wait on His response, fear is what drowns us. It feels impossible then to claim hope.
Yet there is more here for us, sisters. When our prayers with God are conversations—a sharing and a listening both, there is more life. More beauty. More joy. More peace. Perhaps it would help if we had examples of women who call out to God in the midst of their fears—women who call out to God for help and who listen for what He has to say back?
the fear of infertility
Meet Hannah. Hannah walks the beach day after day, crying out to God. Her heart is aching to have a child. She has gone to countless doctors for over five years, injecting herself with fertility drugs, trying to get her body to accept and carry a baby in her womb. She struggles with God, wondering whether this dream she holds is one that she is supposed to continue to fight for or surrender. She is confused and hurt, wondering why she has a desire—a desire that she believes God has given her—while the realization of the dream is yet unfulfilled. This gets her to question desire at all, and doubt her dreams, and wonder where God is in the midst of this pain.
Hannah is afraid to trust her heart with this desire to want a child. She fears she wants too much. Do you need God to whisper to your heart about a similar fear, too?
the fear of low finances
Meet Tessa. Tessa watches her husband steadfastly look for God’s goodness. Tessa wonders that if she practiced looking for God, even in the midst of difficult and stressful times, she could find Him, too. Tessa and her husband have lost their jobs, and their home. She wonders if she has enough faith to trust God now. She fears she is alone in this storm.
Tessa—homeless and without a job—begs for God’s wisdom, encouragement, and hope. Would you like to know what He says to her, in the midst of stress and uncertainty?
the fear of illness
Meet Samantha. Samantha is being treated for possible breast cancer. She grew up knowing God. Her grandmother modeled his love to her, and she grew strong in faith and in love for Him, trusting in his presence with her, especially when she was desperate for Him to come and rescue. She waits on results from the technician regarding her breast exam, wondering if God is there with her as she waits. She asks God if He is with her, in the midst of uncertainty. She fears she is not okay with what is coming—with life’s hardship and trials.
Samantha is facing unknown results about her health. How do you need God to speak to you about health problems you are facing?
Hannah, Tessa, and Samantha have particular fears that might be different from the ones you personally face. Yet I bet you can relate to them, somehow. What produces life change in these women—and in us—is when our prayers are not just one-sided pleas. They are conversations.
Want to learn more about how to have conversations with God, with me?
In what way are you now struggling with fear? How are you excited to begin a conversation with God about it?
If you want to learn more about how to go about having a conversation with God, pre-order your copy of Breathing Eden: Conversations with God on Light, Fresh Air, and New Things. I think this book is going to change you. When you pre-order it, let me know by emailing me an image of your Amazon receipt (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will send you the first five chapters of Breathing Eden, as well as the free ebook, Prayers for the Women of Breathing Eden.
This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com