For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Today has been a remarkable day, one that may very well be a turning point in my life. Who would have thought that I would have received a Word from God within the walls of a doctor’s office? Not just any doctor, but a dreaded gynecologist? Truly, the Lord’s ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not my thoughts.
I went to this doctor on the advice of my regular physician. The thinking was that perhaps the strange blood work I’ve been having is somehow related to my suspected endometriosis. Just to be clear — three doctors had already told me that I needed to have a laparoscopy to see whether I had endometriosis and to remove any lesions. Each time, I turned my back on their recommendations and just kept suffering. Why do that to myself? Because I don’t want to experience the possible nausea that happens after anesthesia in surgery. I am so afraid of throwing up that I have stuck my stubborn head in the sand and neglected to take care of myself. I have lived in pain for the past five years.
I shared my fear with the doctor today. He did not laugh at me. Rather, he validated my fear and reminded me that everybody experiences some anxiety with nausea (at least he does). It’s just that my fear is unreasonably ramped up. He gave me some suggestions for dealing with it and then said that ultimately, it is the will of the Lord whether I have the surgery or not. “On earth, as it is in heaven,” he told me.
From the moment I walked the hallway to approach his office, I felt a peace descend on me. My racing heart stopped. This calm feeling continued throughout the appointment, and it intensified as it became more and more clear that not only was the doctor a Christian, but his staff was, too. The billing receptionist shared with me that the doctor and his staff pray over the patients.
And then two remarkable things happened. As I told the billing receptionist that fear had kept me from scheduling surgery in the past, she put out her hand to my forehead. She did not touch me, but she spoke that verse from 1 Timothy. As she did so, I felt a tangible movement charge through my body, and I was moved to tears!
The very next moment, the nurse walked up to deliver some paperwork for scheduling surgery and heard us talking about prayer. I mentioned that I would be praying for the Lord to keep me from being nauseous…and she held HER hand out and quoted the exact same scripture to me and then said,
Pray for no fear.”
Suddenly I felt light dawning over my mind. All this time I had been praying for the Lord to keep the nausea away, when instead I should be praying for the Lord to keep the FEAR away!
As I walked out in the 150 degree heat to get out to my car, I puzzled over that verse in 1 Timothy. Where exactly does the spirit of fear come from? Well, I do know the answer to that. It comes from the one who will steal and destroy. The verse tells me that the Lord has given me a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. So what to do about the fear?
What would it be like to experience life without fear? What would it be like to sit down in a restaurant and eat without wondering even for a second whether the food had been prepared properly? What would it be like to step into an elevator without experiencing a jolt of anxiety as those doors close and the elevator jerks and creaks and makes all manner of suspicious noises? What would it be like to be able to board an airplane without having a panic attack? To live my life without a second thought towards my safety or well being because I am so sure of my protection in the Lord?
It dawned on me that I have lived my whole life in the shadow of fear. It rides me like a dragon, breathing smoke and fire in the form of obsessive thoughts and worries riddling my mind.
Even now as I write these words, I can hear him whispering those noxious thoughts. He’s threatening to make someone in our house sick so that I will be thrown back into the fear and panic cycle.
But God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.
I don’t know yet what all these insights mean to me and to the way I live my life and think my thoughts. But I will hold on to them because they so clearly came to me from God. I get goosebumps just thinking about it all over again…the power I felt as she said those words over me.
The best part of all? I scheduled a surgery appointment. It’s not until December because I wanted to wait until I had this first semester of school behind me…but I will move it up if the doctor thinks it necessary to do so.
This song captures the way I feel about today:
Thank you, Lord!