My husband travels for his job. A lot.
When we first got married, we lived in the country on five wooded acres. For this growing-up-in-the-city girl, it was a big adjustment.
The hardest part was trying to sleep when he was gone.
That could sound all romantic, but really it was about fear. I realized if anything happened no one would hear me scream and come running to help.
Having lunch with a friend a few years ago, she seemed exhausted. She told me she hadn’t been sleeping very much since her husband was out of town the previous few days for a fishing trip. She sheepishly admitted every little noise woke her up. She and I confessed how it was hard to be by ourselves at night.
My husband and I moved from our home in the woods a few years later to a neighborhood closer to town. I figured I would feel more at ease at night with nice neighbors on the block. But I would lay on the couch for hours watching TV hoping to drift off to sleep. I would leave lights on, check under beds, fling open closet doors with my cell phone in hand ready to hit send on a 911 call. I was still scared.
I was afraid of the dark. Yes, ma’am. A woman in her 30s afraid of what goes bump in the night.
All it takes for me is a brief glance at the headlines and fear can set in. My imagination can be used by the enemy to get me scared and wanting control. It’s a feeling of vulnerability. And having my dad growing up, my roommate during my college years or my husband in the house gave me a false sense of security.
I guess there are some things we really don’t grow out of.
We carry the fears deep within. Trying to act like we have it together. Making plans and trying to quiet the voices ourselves.
When our hands are on our ears trying to muffle the wrong voice, we can’t hear the voice of the One who sings over us with His love and tells us of His great plans for us.
When our eyes are shut because we’re too scared of what’s ‘underneath the bed’ or ‘lurking in our closet’, we can’t see the Lord and the beauty of His great love for us.
With the immediate shift from Christmas packages to lists and changes for the new year, it may seem like a silly question, but what are you afraid of?
I’m not asking how you can be more brave.
I want you to pause and ask Jesus what you’re running from, what you need Him to heal inside, what you’re really scared of. Be honest with yourself.
I was afraid of the dark — the dark I could see and the one I saw on the news and the one that circles me waiting for a chance to pounce.
We’ve followed the star, the light, to witness the Great Light. Now we can take that brilliance and swallow it, down deep, to the depths of the darkest place within us. And whatever you’re scared of, whisper it to Jesus. Ask Him to take it from you. He already did. And find verses to speak into the dark so there will be once again light in your life.
Let’s pray this together, every day. Believe it even when you don’t feel it. Insert your fear. Call it by name and let God deal with it. He’s the God of light and healing and courage. I promise He will do it through you.
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid (name your fear here). What can man do to me? I will be strong and courageous. I will not be afraid or terrified because of (insert your fear), for the LORD my God goes with me; He will never leave me nor forsake me. For God did not give me a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So I will not fear, for God is with me; I will not be dismayed, for He is my God. He will strengthen me and help me; He will uphold me with His righteous right hand.
(taken from Psalm 27:1, Psalm 118:6,Deut 31:6, 2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 41:10)
I can testify the Lord keeps His word, and He will do the same for you. I can sleep soundly and secure now because I take Him at His word and the Word comforts me.
Light will overtake the dark. Christmas proved that. And we can live in the new year like it’s true.Leave a Comment
What a beautiful writing and thought provoking. Thank you. It met a deep need!
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
What can man do to me? Though the enemy stands against me, God is for me, and if He is for me who can stand against me? This piece of scripture has sustained me through some very scary and fearful times. Each time that I have seen God fight for me, my courage and confidence in Him builds. Maybe it’s a lifetime of overcoming fearful hurdles, but I am not as afraid anymore. I know that my God is more than able and ultimately He will triumph. Thanks for an encouraging and thought provoking post!
Ifeoma Samuel says
sometimes these fears we entertain try to steal the light of God’s words from our heart. Thank you for this post.
I was on the same journey…..looking in closets and under beds, not sleeping when alone…..Not being safe as a child carried over into most of my adult years, and there have been many! BUT Jesus has helped me heal, and another tool for me if necessary will be the prayer you shared for your readers. We are never alone! What a helpful post. Blessings……..
Renee, thank you for sharing your story…I also grew up in a very harmful and unstable life and even though I knew Jesus and my God, it took years to called Him Father. I didn’t know what having a father was. He is now my Abba Father and I love Him like a Dad. I am 58 yr so it took a lifetime to get to this point. He is so faithful and understanding. Ps 103:13….Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Ps 103:14….For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
God Bless you….Darlene
Thank you for sharing this honest, heart piercing truth. This is a core struggle for me that I deal with on a daily basis. It almost feels impossible to know that praying this prayer rather than trying to do things keep myself safe and give me false peace will work. It is a faith issue. Please pray for me that I will have faith enough to reach out and trust rather than trying to find my peace somewhere else. Thank you so much for sharing this!!
Just a word of encouragement….Rom 12:3
but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith….Your sincere desire to trust God will prove His faithfulness. I think trusting God with our lives is more of a learned issue. Renee said it well…if we have not learned trust in those around us it is hard to trust our Heavenly Father. He understands this. I believe Faith is the initial step in our relationship with God. Walking with Him daily helps us grow in that relationship and Trust is developed. Be encouraged…We are all still learning to trust Him in the midst of our struggles. Take Care, Sister in Christ, Darlene
Thank you, this was exactly what I needed to hear today. To know I am not alone in my fears and to be reminded that with Him I do not need to fear.
This spoke to me. LOUDLY. Thank you for sharing.
Sheila S. says
I always thought I was the only grown woman who was afraid of the dark when alone. Thank you for being so honest and showing many of us we are not alone. My oldest grandson seems to be more fearful of one thing or the other so I have written out your prayer so I can share it with him. Thanks for sharing!
I needed this as I sit at work today. Thank you, some day when we are in heaven I’d love to share how God used this post!
Lynn Morrissey says
I really needed that, Stephanie. Thank you for your transparency. I’m old enough to be your mother, and I still am afraid at night when alone, especially. I watch waaaaay too much news! That’s part of the problem. Thank you for these powerful, Scriptural reminders about Jesus, the Light of the World. Happy New Year.
Emily H. Lucas says
Thank you for sharing this message with meI
Blessings to All and Happy New Year
With hubby being military I can relate — although I started years ago praying that God would encircle our home with his warring angels ( ala Piercing the Darkness and Psalm 34:7) and now sometimes as my friend says I add “big hairy legged angels” :). It’s odd but I really haven’t feared for hubby while he’s been away – multiple deployments to war zones, while my children travel (one is in Africa as I type) – I, however, have different fears now – so I thank you for this even as it terrifies me that in my first read through of this this morning the Lord whispered “your word for the new year is … fearless” eeek!!!! what? … still mulling/praying on that one! 🙂
Beth Williams says
My biggest fear is failure. I left a job (field of work) I was good at and ventured into a different field that I’m not good at. Had several problems with this job and now have one last chance to redeem myself next year. I either do it or I’m unemployed. This kind of scares me a little. I want to do good, but would like out of the current position (job) as I don’t care for some co-workers.
Through all this I just pray to God to put me where He sees fit. Only God can sustain me through all this!
Blessings and Happy New Year!
Thanks! My husband recently accepted a promotion working nights & I’ve been struggling with falling asleep & staying asleep. I’m going to be using your prayer.
catol grady says
Your husband should have never bought that far away place in my opinion.
Thank you for this inspirational way to enter 2015 😉 I’ve copied the prayer in the front of my journal for the coming year…the year I intend to let go of ‘fear’ – Praise & blessings!
Lola Michaels says
Thank you! My whole life has included one form of fear or another – often several at once. It has run my life and this prayer is a step I can make that isn’t complicated, unbelievable, or difficult. I can do no less than try it and see what happens.
Thanks for sharing. I will definitely forward this to people I know that need to see & pray that beautiful prayer. Have a fearfree 2015 & the rest of the years going forward. God bless & a Happy New Year!
Thank you so much for your message ~ what a wonderful insight it is to me!
You’ve helped me to get out of the clutches of the fear-holding obstacle I’m dealing with.
Blessings to you!
We live in a crowded suburban area, but it’s not a good area, so I can relate about being fearful, although I am uneasy whether anyone is home or not! I’d be more at ease way out in the country. I’ve gotten better though as time has went on and I’ve kept praying and leaning to the Lord, as He has not given us a spirit of fear. Thank you for this post. Many blessings into 2015!
It’s amazing to read something exactly when you need it. That’s certainly God. I also am afraid of being alone in the dark considering I’ve been a single parent for 13 years. I’ve learned to rely so much on Jesus. Your prayer is perfect for this time in my life as I am leaving a job I can no longer physically do with no prospects if a new one. That’s my fear. I’ve whispered it to Jesus many times. He knows, and now you’ve reminded me he hasn’t forgotten. Thank you, all of you.
This truly resonates with me. My husband’s work also involves some travel and at 56…I am still uneasy when it is time to go to bed. Fear can grip me, and I struggle to fall asleep. But there is another fear of darkness that you speak of. With grown children and now grandchildren, I can fear the darkness of this world and the effect it has on those I love so dearly. My mind and imaginings can consume me and the darkness that creeps over my spirit is paralyzing at times. I am very appreciative of your insight here, and the prayer you have put together from God’s word. Thank you for your thoughts. I will use your prayer as a way to rehearse the promises of God over us. God bless you <3
When I was your age, I had several small children and my husband traveled. A LOT. I struggled so much with fear. At night, I would bring all the kids in my bedroom with me to sleep, and I would lock my bedroom door and sleep with the phone in my hand. I would set up “road-blocks” in the hallways or by the front door. I was exhausted all the time, and concerned that I was teaching my children to be fearful. But one day, after an especially stressful night…and much, much prayer…God delivered me of that deep, crippling fear. It took some deliberate (baby) steps on my part, and a lot of faith…but I don’t struggle with this anymore. You are so right…light will overtake the dark, and the Lord keeps His word. Thank you so much for sharing this!
Sister Sarah says
Fear of confrontation. That’s what I run from is confrontation, even healthy confrontation.