For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – II Timothy 1:7 KJV
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. –II Corinthians 1:20 KJV
Fears and doubts creep into the corners of our minds, often unnoticed. They start so small that we often don’t realize they are there until they have such a grip on our hearts and minds that we are paralyzed. They begin to slowly eat away at our confidence in our Creator until we begin to question His promises and doubt His word. We can be so immobilized by our fears that we are unable to obey the Lord when He calls us.
The enemy knows our weaknesses. That has been established since Eden when Satan tempted Eve and asked her “Hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1). He knows our weaknesses and he exploits them as much as he can. Our weaknesses in the flesh can make us doubt God. The enemy will use the things or hopes dearest to our hearts to cause doubts and fears to take root.
Most of the time, once we realize that we are overtaken by fears and doubts, repent and conquer them, we realize how silly and unfounded our fears were.
My own battle with doubts and fears was a hard one. From my childhood, I have always wanted children of my own. I have always loved children and caring for them and little people hold a special place in my heart. There would be a literal ache in my arms and heart for children—even before I was married. I would cry out the Lord and ask for children.
When I was in my teens, on several occasions different ministers or people with influence in my life would come to me—out of the blue—and tell me that I would be a mother and that God would give me the desires of my heart. Oh I would rejoice and get so excited and praise the Lord for His promises to me. I was ecstatic! The Lord was going to give me the desires of my heart! I had received confirmation from many witnesses and now I was breathlessly awaiting the day that it would happen.
About this time the Lord laid on my heart a heavy burden for ladies who are unable to have children or have suffered miscarriages and loss of children. I ached for their empty arms, and when I heard their stories my heart broke for them and many times I shed tears for them as I called out their names in prayer, asking the Lord to give them a baby.
Then one day when I was about 20, out of nowhere, came a nagging little voice, “What if you can’t have children?” It stopped me dead in my tracks. I scoffed at it. “That is ridiculous” I said. I laughed because I had been given a promise of children and it had been confirmed many times over. Fertility had never been a problem in our family—on either side. I shook the voice off and went on my way.
It was a while before I heard it again. “What if you can’t have children?” I went through the same thoughts as I had the first time—remembering the promises of God, reminding myself of the confirmations I’d been given, and it went away. But it came back. Over and over and over and over again like a song you can’t get out of your head, until one day I asked that question. “What if I can’t have children?” I opened the door wide and let fears and doubts stroll in and take up residence in my heart.
It didn’t happen overnight. It was a slow, gradual process—like water slowly cutting through a rock. There would be times that I would stand up to that fear and doubt and say, “No! God has promised me children. He cannot lie.” The fear would calmly answer back, “Did He specifically say actual children of your own? Or did He mean spiritual children?” “And why did He give you such a burden for barren women? What if you are one of them?”
I never told anyone about the battle I was in.
I forgot about it for awhile and got caught in the realization of another of my dearest desires—being loved by and marrying a Godly man. The fears and doubts were pushed to a dark corner while I basked in the light of new love and a new chapter in my life. The future was bright!
After a little break, the fears surfaced again. I fought hard this time. The Lord had given me a husband, and He would give me children. The fear and doubt agreed with me, “Yes, He gave you a husband, but barren women have husbands too. What if you can’t have children?”
This fear was further fed by the fact that I was on hormonal birth control. We’d decided to use birth control for several reasons for a little while after we got married. It wasn’t a long term decision, it was only temporary, but it fed my fears. I knew going into it that it was not good for me, but I wasn’t going to be on it for very long, so the good side of it outweighed the bad.
Finally the time came when we’d been married about 18 months, we’d been praying asking the Lord when the right time for us to start a family was and I stopped taking birth control. I’d been told that it could take anywhere from 1 month to a year to get pregnant after being on birth control and we were prepared for that possibility.
I began asking the Lord for a baby, ignoring the fears and claiming the promises He’d given me. About three weeks after I stopped taking the pill, we were at church and towards the end of service we were gathered around the altars praying. I don’t remember what I was praying about, but out of nowhere a Voice told me, “You will not be alone for long. I am going to give you a baby.” I began to cry and thank the Lord for letting me know that He had heard my prayers. As further confirmation, a few minutes later, the minister said from the pulpit, “Rejoice, the Lord has heard your prayers and your promise is on its way.” When we left church, I excitedly told Jacob what had happened. He was very happy.
A week later, I started. The fears tried to creep up, but this time I would have none of it. I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord was going to fulfill His promise to me. I decided that it didn’t matter if it took a whole year for us to conceive, I was going to rejoice and thank God for my baby and know that every month that went by and I wasn’t pregnant, was one month closer to my womb being filled.
A month later, I found out that I was pregnant. After seeing the positive result on the test I wept and praised the Lord for nearly an hour. He had kept His promises to me and was giving me a baby.
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. –Proverbs 13:12 KJV