Originally published Tuesday, 16 April 2013.
I was eighteen years old when I had my first child and had no clue how to parent, much less, how to do it all alone. I had never boiled bottles, changed diapers, or dealt with colic. Fear quickly permeated every area of my life. What if I couldn't do this right? What if I didn't have enough money to feed him? How was it going to affect him to not have his dad around?
Those early years were not the end of my fears either. As time went on, I became increasingly worried that my children may choose the wrong friends, fail a test, or make the same mistakes I did. Fast forward several years. I met and married the man of my dreams, secured great employment, and purchased a lovely home. My fears shifted from single parent worries to other things. I feared that my husband would one day leave me, like so many in my life had, or that I would lose my job and not have the ability to pay my mortgage. The list of fears was endless. What was this?! Fear. Fear. Fear. I was inundated with the What-Ifs of life.
Fear can grip our very soul. It can dictate how we live our lives. I was completely oblivious to how much fear I was carrying, until I sat in a sermon one Sunday morning by a local pastor. He asked us to write down things we feared. He, then, asked that we share out list with the neighbor sitting next to us. Tears streamed down my face. I was embarrassed that even though I had been on the Christian journey for many years, I had lived in bondage to this long list of fears.
2 Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear. Fear is faith in the wrong things. It is the uncertainty of whether our Heavenly Father truly has us in His hands. What we fear most often reveals what we trust the Lord with the least. Learn to take God-given authority over your fears:
- Acknowledge the fear and choose to trust God with it. If you fear that you will always be alone as a single person, confess it to the Lord. He knows far better what you need in your life. If you fear that you will never get your finances under control, trust God. If you fear your children may be killed or that your plane may crash, trust God. Begin to openly acknowledge what you are carrying.
- Seek God until he takes away all your fears. (See Psalm 34:4). Keep pursuing freedom. Keep praying for the Lord to deliver you from it. Keep believing he will. Keep professing God's word as truth over your life.
- Recognize that they don't do anything to you. You belong to the Lord. Do not listen to those who say you will not make it or those who proclaim you as a poor parent or those who say you aren't good enough. Do not listen as Satan whispers in your ear that your past sin will keep you from future success. Do not listen! You belong to the Creator of Heaven and Earth!
Jennifer Maggio is considered one of the nation's leading authorities on single parent's issues and writes for a number of publications on relevant Christian topics. She has been featured in hundreds of media venues and has a desire to see the body of Christ living in total freedom. For more information, visit http://www.jennifermaggio.com.