When I was a young mom, one of my greatest fears was losing one of our boys. At times, I allowed those fears to smother my faith and twist my thinking. Even after praying for God’s protection over my boys, I still struggled with letting go and trusting God.
That twisted thinking allowed Satan to get a foothold in my spiritual walk. My prayer life was rote. I said the right words, but I knew there was distance between God and me.
Nearly ten years ago, I read about a single mother whose family lived in a poverty-riddled neighborhood. She put her children in God’s hands. Even while attending her one son’s funeral, she said he was still in God’s hands.
How could she have such faith while grieving the loss of her son?
Seven years ago, we were thrust into a situation where our youngest son’s life hung in the balance. For ten days, my husband and I camped out at our son’s bedside in the critical care unit of a hospital three hours from our house.
Through the power of social media, I had friends around the world praying for our son’s recovery. That experience was a life-changing moment for me.
For eighteen months, I had been walking through a season of winter—my heart was frozen due to the constant hits our family had experienced—one parent’s heart attack (again), the loss of both of our fathers, other family situations that derailed me.
As I sat by my son, I prayed the most honest, heart-wrenching prayer of my life, laying all of it at God’s feet. I was so exhausted, mentally and physically, and my heart hurt so badly. I was in a constant state of grief. I wasn’t sure how much more I could take. Then, in the early hours of the morning, I felt like someone had wrapped me in a warm blanket fresh from the dryer. It was then that I realized I had just held hands with God. I knew He was with us, no matter the outcome.
Fears have a way of getting in the way of our faith. We want to trust God but maybe our experiences have proven that trust seems almost unobtainable.Fears have a way of getting in the way of our faith. We want to trust God but maybe our experiences have proven that trust seems almost unobtainable. #faith #fears #TellHisStory Click To Tweet
When I wrote The Father He Deserves, I wanted to write a character who dealt with a lot of fears and anxieties. Natalie, my heroine, endured a traumatic event as a child, and she allowed a deep-seated fear to take over her life. Even though she knew in her heart that God was with her, she struggled to let go of those fears to embrace the freedom that trusting in Him offers.
She was afraid to take His hand.
I know many of us have experienced fear at one time or another. However, so many live with levels of fear beyond what some of us can comprehend. Holding hands with God can be tough, and it’s a growing process for everyone, including Christians. Fear is a great motivator for wanting to control our situations. Admit it–at times we think we know more than God.Holding hands with God can be tough, and it’s a growing process for everyone, including Christians. #faith #fear #TellHisStorry Click To Tweet
I love this photo of our oldest son holding our granddaughter’s hand. She placed her hand in his, knowing without a doubt that he would guide her, protect her, and keep her safe. We need to have that kind of faith.
I’m not always quick to grab God’s hand when going through tough times. I admit to having days of shaky faith. No matter how shaky or faithless I am, God remains patient and faithful with me. During difficult times, I hope I have the courage to lean into Him. After all, holding hands with God means trusting him wholly and letting go of our fears. On the way to church, I heard the radio DJ of our local Family Life Network say, “God’s plans are always greater than your disappointments.” I think that’s something we all need to remember. He is faithful. He is our protector. He wants us to take His hand and trust Him.
Your turn: How do you face your fears? How has holding hands with God been a growing process for you?
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I appreciated this post as I was recently reminded of: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NASB). Lisa, I so agree. In these days of uncertainty which tries to fill us with worry, we have the promise of His Presence with us – every day, in every place, in every situation.
Joanne, that’s my mom’s favorite verse. I’m so thankful we can rest in His promises.
Reminding myself of God’s promises in His Word, His character, and His dealings with me in the past help me to trust Him for the present and the future.
Barbara, I agree. Looking back reminds me to keep looking forward.
Good morning, Lisa! Don’t you just love that ‘be strong and courageous’ is repeated by God multiple times in Joshua 1?!
Some of us need an extra reminder, a reassurance …
Linda, I need those extra reminders every day. So thankful He’s patient with us.
Oh! I’m still growing in faith, even after my 63rd birthday. I’ve been focused on trusting God and writing about it this month. It’s a God thing that many of the posts and bible passages I’ve come across this month have to do with trust, faith, and releasing fear. Not uncommon topics in the Christian blogosphere and SM, but I think God highlights where He wants us to pause. I’m glad He brought me over to your site today.
Suzette, thank you for visiting and reading. I realized a recent theme in my blogging has been focused on fear and faith. My former pastor said they can’t go hand in hand. Faith over fear. God’s got us. Every day.
I always remind myself of the times He has delivered before and it helps me trust He will again. After all, I’m always going to be His child; and He never changes!
Jerralea, I’m so thankful He never changes and His unconditional love means He’ll never change how He feels about me.
Lisa, the photo of your son and granddaughter is so powerful. And also this: “She placed her hand in his, knowing without a doubt that he would guide her, protect her, and keep her safe.” I want to hold hands with God like this, and I pray my girls do too. Wonderful post, my friend!
Lois, thank you. That was a random photo I had taken, and I loved how it turned it. It really spoke to my heart. Not just as a mom and a Mimi, but also as a child of God. He wants us to take His hand.
O Lisa, how I want to sit right here with this post. I have been walking in some hard places for a very long time; fighting the fear of trusting God with outcomes I wouldn’t choose. But the picture you draw here is so powerful, that of placing my hand in God’s hand, just like the picture you share of your son & granddaughter-I need this. Thank you!
Donna, I understand those hard places, and I’m so sorry you’re walking through this trying season. I’m walking through my own season of learning to trust without condition.
Great post Lisa! Yes, I’ve felt His warm arms around me too when my daughter had just passed away & my heart was breaking.
Jennifer, I can’t even imagine the losses you experienced. I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through. God’s comforting arms are so healing.
I love how God gave you a warm blanket to remind you of His care in all circumstances. I’ve felt Him hugging my heart, reminding me to trust Him! A lovely post! (received an error with first time commenting so hopefully this goes through).
Lynn, your comment did show up, and thank you for visiting. I’m so thankful for His care in all circumstances.
The 21st Century has not been for the faint of heart. Great post!
Susan, you’re so right! Thank you for visiting.
Beautiful and encouraging post!
You’re welcome, Jan. Thank you for visiting and reading.
Fear has definitely been an ongoing struggle for me. It is hard to let go of wanting to control things, but there is a lot of peace when we manage to put our hand in God’s and trust him to lead.
Oh, I love that photo too of your son and granddaughter! I want to grab God’s hand much quicker in times of fear and in times of security. I appreciate you sharing about your son’s close call. That has always been one of my biggest fears too, and even more so after our middle baby died shortly after birth. I’ve seen the Lord’s presence in my life, even then, but my flesh still needs the reminders to reach for God’s hand through it all.