This article is the first in our “Freedom From…” Series. In the next eight weeks, we will feature a new woman each week that has faced adversity and found freedom in the process. We hope that reading these stories can help you face your own battles, that these personal testimonies of faith would encourage you even as they glorify God. Our first story comes from Deborah Walker, as told to Tabby Finton. Deborah is a wife, mom, and business owner in Blaine, Minnesota.
My faith had been shaken. I was going through a process of loss and pain, learning how to see God in the midst of my personal situation. Sometimes when circumstances are so opposite of what you’d think a loving God would allow, it’s really a challenge. That’s when it’s time to walk the walk not just talk the talk.
I grew up in a Christian home, but our family was shaken by my father’s infidelity and subsequent abandonment when I was about four years old. I always felt his absence, but I learned to function pretty well most of the time.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but even then fear and insecurity were attempting to braid themselves together with my heart and emotions.
As I remember details of my life, I can see how God has truly been a father to the fatherless. I knew girls who had a dad, and they somehow seemed to be missing something that I had. I clung to Christ always. I knew he was my daddy. I knew he held my tears. He was with me when I cried at night in my bed, and when I asked him for a hug, he faithfully met my need. I felt comforted by God from a very young age. That gave me a stronger faith and stronger desire to follow Jesus throughout my life.
Alongside my good memories of God’s faithfulness, I can also remember how the devil has lied to me since I was a little girl. How he prowled around on the innocence of a child. (Although I still ask myself, how much longer will I allow his nasty filth and lies in my mind?) It’s sickening when I think of myself as a little girl missing and longing for my daddy, even as the enemy was ready and waiting with lies. But I knew I had a true father in heaven. Even though I believed some of the lies, I know God kept many of them from even reaching me. He protected me in many ways.
Growing in faith has been a constant story in my life-walk with Jesus. But a recent situation threw me for a loop. I once again felt overwhelmed and afraid. And fear and insecurity raised their ugly heads, trying to act like they were still my close companions. I felt overtaken by fear at times. I know that faith and fear cannot live in my heart at the same time. Part of this journey has been not even realizing why my quiet times were so empty, and why I was short-tempered and emotional.
I realized this week that the devil tries to trick us into feeling like an innocent victim of fear and insecurity. Circumstances overwhelm us, and we cry because of the pain and torment it brings into our lives. It’s tempting to see them as a handicap. But God has shown me that fear and insecurity are not just something that has happened to me. Accepting them as part of me is a choice I can make when responding to betrayal or deep loss. I can react in fear or in faith. It is a choice to counter a thought of pain with insecurity, comparison, blame, or redemption.
The truth is that God has redeemed me. He has saved me. He is bringing me through. I am in the process of restoration. It is both difficult and painful when we are in the sanding and scraping phase, removing the old and worn out in order to bring forth the beauty of what could be. But it’s worth it.
It’s challenging when we realize we’ve fallen into the clutches of fear and didn’t even realize it.
I have decided: I am not a victim to fear or insecurity or self-doubt. I was absolutely not “just made that way,” as the devil would have me believe. It is a choice to be afraid, doubt, and to hate and reject myself. And I choose not to believe the lies anymore.
I can’t do it alone. I am grateful for trustworthy friends to remind me of our father’s love.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
How have fear and insecurity tried to rob you in life? You can make the choice to trust Jesus today, too.
Are you experiencing fear and insecurity? Here are a few simple things that may help.
1. A Bible study by Dr. Charles Stanley through InTouch Ministries to study
2. An exerpt from Max Lucado’s book, Fearless
3. A link to a book by TD Jakes called, Woman Thou Art Loosed
4. You might find encouragement through Scriptures like:
- 1 John 4:8, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced [God’s] perfect love.”
- Proverbs 3:24, “You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.”
- Psalm 34:4, “I prayed to the Lord and he answered me; he freed me from all my fears.”
- Proverbs 3:26, “For the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.”
- 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”