“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
The year 2012 was one of the worst years on record for our family and we just couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. You know about those, I am sure. At one point, our van was completely disabled and I just totaled my car, we were having trouble making ends meet, the food was on the table but it was kept to a minimum because we were trying to get the van repaired. I remember the day like it was yesterday where Sara and I sat on the couch in our living room in tears because we were exhausted from all the mess that had been going on. She was folding laundry and I had just got done meeting with the guy who was fixing our van (I should say the 2nd guy who “fixed” our van). At this point, I completely felt useless as a husband and a father. Most men can relate that you feel that you are the provider of the family and it rests on your shoulders but when you can’t provide the necessities of life and the sky keeps falling on you, you tend to see yourself as a failure.
It was here that I had to fight the spirit of fear and inadequacy. As a man, I began to fear my importance in our family and the reason why we were here. I seriously began to wonder if I had “missed God” in what we were doing in our lives. There was a sense of “what’s next” in our house and we were sinking. God really began to minister to me during this time. It was a great thing that He had a wonderful woman who was my support because I don’t know how I would have managed to get through this without her. God started showing me in His word that He’s the One that I have to trust and not the money or the job.
My prayer to the Lord at the time was “I just don’t understand” followed by the usual rant about how we were givers and we tithe, etc. I remember clearly the Lord speaking into my heart and reminding me of this scripture.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
And without missing a beat, I heard in my heart “I have not called you to understand, but I have called you to trust.” Man. That spoke volumes as a father to me. The Ultimate Godly Father asked me to trust Him.
One weekend we took the girls roller skating with the church. None of our kids have ever done this and we thought it would be great for them to interact with other kids their age. I took Maleah and Joanna out onto the rink and without missing a beat, they fell down. Joanna completely wasn’t thrilled with it. Maleah, on the other hand, is the type that loves to learn, wanted to go out and try more. All the way, my hands were in front of her to keep her from falling. I told her that if she fell, to grab me and she would be fine. She fell at least a dozen and then some more times. But she never forgot that I was there waiting to catch her when she fell. By the end of the night, she was skating on her own, not like Tanya Harding but skating nonetheless. Joanna, on the other hand, was afraid to do it. We found out that they have special skating shoes for ones her age and we got her a pair. I remember the look on her face when I first put her down. At first, she wasn’t going to do it. With instruction, the fear began to leave her face as she realized that with help, she could, in fact, do it. For the next two hours, Joanna was on her own skating with these special skates. I could only imagine what would have happened if Joanna had decided that because of her first experience with skates that she would never skate again.
Dad and Mom, I see you out there concerned about how things are going to work out in your circumstance. There’s a wolf at the door and you see no way to get it away. I want to encourage you to “trust in the Lord with all of your heart” today. Not with just some of your heart but all of your heart. He’s got it.