Once during a high school spring break, I was feeling particularly good about my hairstyle as we headed out of the condo and to the rental mini-van. A pretty strong wind was whipping over my right shoulder through the parking lot–in true teenage fashion, I was pretty concerned that my perfect hair wouldn’t make it to the restaurant. Since, I couldn’t stop the wind, or control from which direction it was coming, I decided my best option was to put my face right into the wind. My thinking was that the wind blowing my hair straight back rather than sideways would be less damaging (I was 17 okay?). You may be thinking that there isn’t anything too terrible about this plan. Let me insert one additional detail. While I ran in one direction, my face was turned in another. My plan worked until I ran into a cement parking block full force. The impact sent me sailing through the air with a hard landing on hot asphalt.
I guess it is good I was only 17 because other than scraped knees and bruised pride, I was okay; and, my hair even looked okay.
Looking in the wrong direction can cause some serious damage.
I have been spending a lot of time, in the last few weeks, running while looking in the wrong direction–looking either at fear or looking at what I felt my proper response, as a Christ-follower, to the fear should be. The unknowns of the upcoming delivery of our baby boy, Ryker have been an excellent tool for the enemy to stir up fear.
I have spent enough time in the Word and under the mentorship of my Holy Spirit filled parents to know not to let fear run unchecked in my heart and mind. So, as the waves of fear came, I began battling them with scripture I’d buried in my heart as a child such as,
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
When the fear didn’t subside instantly or only subsided for a matter of hours, my response was to keep after it. It was as if some of the rooms of my heart and mind had fear scattered about–like the crumbs of food you’d find in my kitchen and the dust in my living room. Try as I might, with my broom of scripture and telling myself that God’s plan is good (whether I like it or not), I could not get those rooms entirely swept out. And, I became so focused on the specks of fear still scattered about and my inability to sweep them out entirely or permanently that I was just as focused on the fear as I had been when the wave of fear first washed over me.
“Stop looking at the fear.” I so clearly felt God whisper in my heart–He revealed to me that the enemy was just being sneakier, but he was still being successful in getting me to look in the wrong direction. Though, I thought I was spiritual as I tried to sweep the fear away, the enemy knew I was still looking at the fear. As God spoke to my heart, while I stood at the kitchen counter chopping broccoli, I could imagine Him tenderly using His hand to lift my chin and eyes to Him.
Stop looking at the fear; when it resurfaces, just look at me.
Mommas, this has been an incredible game changer for me — the fear is not entirely gone, but when I feel it vying for my attention, I fix my eyes on my Father. I fix them on Him by audibly declaring who He is and thanking Him for His provision (the evidence is everywhere), and I don’t even give my fear the chance to be talked about.
Can I encourage you to check which direction you’re looking as you run your race. Looking in the wrong direction can cause some serious damage, mommas. Whether it is anxiety, fear, frustration, temptations, stop looking at it and look at Him.