I never experienced deep and terrifying fear until I became a mom.
Specifically, it wasn’t until my newborn had half a lung removed to save his life that I experienced crippling, debilitating fear. Somehow, God carried us through those 2 weeks at a children’s hospital, sometimes wondering if we would bring our baby home at all. And for months afterwards, I experienced fear that was debilitating, fear that kept me from enjoying my two children.
During that time, I learned how to take those fears captive, moment-by-moment, so that I would no longer feel deep anxiety over minor illnesses. I feel victorious over that struggle on most days, but there are times when I can go back to feeling fearful in an instant, which is why I guard my heart and mind when it comes to fear.
I have written about this extensively in the past because the more I talk about it, the more I am convinced that other women share similar anxieties. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
When we share our struggles, we can bring them into light and keep each other accountable. We can encourage one another in our spiritual battles.
This is why I was eager to review the latest book by Trillia Newbell, Fear and Faith.
I received a free copy of Fear and Faith in exchange for my completely honest review of it. Some links below are affiliate links. You’re not obligated to make purchases through them.
Trillia Newbell is the consultant on Women’s Initiatives for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. She has written for some of my favorite websites, including The Gospel Coalition, True Woman, and Desiring God. She has also been published in magazines and newspapers, and her book United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity is now at the top of my list of must reads.
I love her conversational tone and her heart for Christ. Reading Fear and Faith, I felt like Trillia Newbell completely understands my own struggles and the struggles I hear from so many of my dear friends. She doesn’t treat fear in a trite manner and she doesn’t minimize the struggle with fear and faith.
Because of her background, I knew Fear and Faith would not be just another self-help book. I was not disappointed. Newbell’s book is steeped in scripture and directs us to Biblical truth over and over again. She addresses the deep fear of tragedy that I struggled with during those months and addresses other fears that are universal to all women.
You know our people pleasing tendencies? They are rooted in fear.
Perfectionism? Fear of man.
Mommy wars? Fear too.
In Fear and Faith, Trillia Newbell shows us the root of these issues and gives us the tools to combat them. Those tools are rooted in the truth of scripture. She writes “Every page in God’s Word shouts of the faithfulness of God. Each story leads to Jesus and to the redemption of the world. And if we look, we can see God’s faithfulness to us now” (p 36).
This picture is a reminder of God’s faithfulness to my family. This was taken after my son was released from ICU after lung surgery. It’s his first smile! We still had no idea what the future would hold for him. We didn’t know how normal and perfectly healthy he would be.
Our fear of tragedy and illness comes from that old desire to avoid suffering and maintain control. The truth? God is good and His plan is good. If it’s necessary, and only if it is necessary, we will experienced tragedy, but only for the good of His plan.
God’s opinion of us must matter more than man’s. He is pleased with me because of what Christ did on the cross. “Do you realize that it is only in the gospel of Jesus Christ that you get the verdict before the performance?…In Christianity, the moment we believe, God imputes Christ’s perfect performance to us as if it were our own, and adopts us into his family. In other words, God can say to us just as he once said to Christ, ‘You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'” (Tim Keller, quoted by Newbell on pg. 26). Can I get an Amen?
We need to enjoy life right where we are. This stage of life looks unproductive, which is hard for this task-oriented mom, but heart-work is happening in my children. What’s my stage of life? I’m homeschooling my children who are 6, 4, & 2, with our fourth baby on the way. And when I’m rushing my children, trying to cram too much into our day, it’s because I’m afraid of not measuring up. My pride is on the line. I’m selfish and worshiping the god of me instead of the Lord. I need to rest in God’s plan, leaving things undone when needed, but embracing a peaceful home and a peaceful heart instead.
We can actively seek to grow in the fear of the Lord. There are lots of ways this can happen. The heart of it will be my own time with God, focusing on His promises and asking Him to help my unbelief. God gives us relationships with people for the purpose of accountability with these kinds of struggles.
There are times when fear is legitimate. Wisdom tells us not to walk into a dark parking lot alone at night. This isn’t foolish fear, it’s simply being smart.
If you’re thinking I need to read this book NOW, then you’re in luck. You can find it on Amazon, download it for your Kindle, or find it in your local Christian bookstore, but you can also try to win it right here.
We’re giving away one copy of Fear and Faith this week. You can easily enter the giveaway through any of the options below.