Right now people are facing their biggest fear in life: the unknown.
If pain and fear had a light switch, we would quickly flip the switch and find another way around the uncomfortable task of facing our fears. It’s called avoidance and we are very good at it. We have endless distractions and a thousand mind-numbing ways to move past our discomfort because change and pain require action, not sedation.
Yet we pray for a numbing agent and turn our heads. Fear has to be faced, eventually. Fear doesn’t always have to be viewed as a critical thing. Fear can serve as an important reminder to be cautious about something that could bring us harm. It signals us to pay attention and be on high alert.
Fear teaches us to pray differently. Whether it’s physical or emotional pain, it reminds us we are needy people dependent upon a God who never slumbers. He is not surprised by the needs of our hearts, homes, and our world. Whether the threat is up-close or far off, fear is something that we live with daily.
I spoke with a friend of mine who is a life coach and counselor recently. She said, “People need to see us leading and reaching out in whatever ways we can without all the answers.”
You mean showing up messy and without answers is allowed?
What if fear wasn’t a sign of defeat but a battle cry instead? For most of us, we feel like a battle is a one-man show. But an actual battle has people who are fighting alongside you and have your back. A battle cry is never just one voice, it’s many. It’s powerful because the troops are unified.
Battle cry: a word or phrase shouted by soldiers going into battle to express solidarity and intimidate the enemy.
I know that I feel less afraid when I know that I am not alone. Together, even with our knees shaking, we can face it together with God’s help.
We can give each together permission to feel the fear and hear the roar of gutsy women going into battle alongside one another. These are the ones who run into the fire carrying our small but powerful buckets of water. The helpers. The rescuers. The scared yet brave ones.
We are living in a world where the wounded wait and everywhere I turn I see people in transition. Many trust God but, they still feel a fearful stirring of “What’s next?”
And the answer to that is… we don’t know, but God does.
When we don’t know what’s next, we can show fear the door because we have a “Helper” that dwells in us. (John 14: 17)
When we feel the weight of fear, we can trust that God will not leave us orphans, alone, or stranded. (John 14: 18)
When we feel overwhelmed and stuck, we can realize that needing others to fight on our behalf and asking for help is not weakness. It’s strength and strategy because we are locking shields and being covered on all sides.
When we feel tired and battled scarred, we can be still and rest in God.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Ex 14:14
Most of the time, we are simply depleted because we have been fighting our battles for far too long by ourselves. Reach out to someone you can trust if you feel like you are sinking. You have a tribe here that understands what you are facing. None of us know what is next but we are in this together.
Battle Cry: Facing Fear Together is ENTRY ONE in Sanctuary's blog series, Sabotage of Fear, featuring the work of ministry wife, author, and guest blogger Jennifer Watson. What have you experienced over the past few months in regards to fear? What's your personal battle plan? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Jennifer Watson and her husband Jonathan have been married and in ministry for 21 years, serving as Lead Pastors in NW Arkansas. She's the mother of two teenage girls, which she says makes life "very full and fun with their different approaches to life".
Something that has shaped Jennifer's ministry philosophy is that "there is nothing below me when it comes to servanthood and nothing too out-of-reach for me when it comes to pursuing the calling on my life. I spent my early years in ministry feeling very under-qualified for my calling without realizing that the things that I thought would only trip me up were actually tied to my most important work in life." Jennifer acknowledges, "My only strategy in ministry is obedience and loving the people around me."
In her free time, Jennifer enjoys napping and binge-watching cheesy Hallmark movies with her daughters, as well as hiking and exploring when the weather permits. "During the wintertime, my favorite thing to do is stay home and look ugly- yoga pants sans the yoga."
Jennifer recently published her first book with Bethany House Publishers. Here's a sneak peak from Freedom!: The Gutsy Pursuit of Breakthrough and the Life Beyond It.
Brokenness has become a buzzword. We wear it like a badge, proudly showing off the shattered pieces of our lives–while still fighting the same desperate battles. But brokenness was never meant to be the destination. Or your identity.
It was meant to be the catalyst for breakthrough.
Inspiring, vulnerable, and powerful, this new book from Jennifer Watson helps you take your eyes off the idol of brokenness and experience the God of breakthrough. She shows how breakthrough is really hope moving forward, even when life hurts. And she gives you practical, uncomplicated ways to:
· stop feeling shame and emptiness
· leave the victim mentality behind
· experience lasting restoration in your story and your soul
· and more
It’s okay to not be okay for a little while. But Jesus has a plan to see your scars become success stories that reflect his glory to the people around you.
To learn more about this amazing new book, visit Jennifer's site or order via your favorite online retailer.