“I sought the Lord, and He answered me and rescued me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 CSB
It is not a coincidence that as I begin to write about fear for the month of October I am facing one of my greatest ones. Fear of the unknown. Since I have been writing these devotions, I’ve learned quickly whatever the topic is, I’m writing about, God’s got something to teach me. None of us ever arrive, we always have something new to learn. Yesterday I experienced fear so great, it paralyzed me. Ron and I embarked on a three week road trip in our R.V. for my 50th birthday. We’ve been planning this trip for over 2 years, ever since Ron turned 50. I honestly never thought the day would come when we would actually do it. Yet yesterday, despite all the odds, at 2:27 p.m. we pulled out of our neighborhood and hit the open road. And I was paralyzed with fear.
As we started driving, I started thinking about all of the things that could go wrong. From car accidents to roadside robbery, it all ran through my mind. The thought of something happening to someone I love while we’re gone crippled me. I was overcome with fear in a way I can’t describe, it was petrifying. Thankfully, I’ve been listening to a series by Craig Groeschel, “Anxious for Nothing,” and one of the points he preached on was, “If it’s worth worrying about, it’s worth praying about.” So I started praying. Every worry, every graphic image that passed through my mind, I started praying. I laid my heart out before the Lord and told Him I was scared. Many times I told Him I was scared, I asked Him to please help me. When it was something specific that was scaring me I lifted it specifically up to the Lord. I prayed for hours, I prayed through the night. And I woke up this morning at peace. I pray it is a peace that will stay with me for the rest of this trip, but I don’t know if that will be true. But for now I have peace.
Fears are irrational. Part of the fear I’m dealing with is the result of a car accident I had five years ago. I have PTSD from the accident. I drove over 50,000 miles a year for 16 years when I worked for Nautica. In that entire time, I only had one bad car accident, and it created a fear in me of driving that I’m still dealing with today. Six months later I left that job, one accident in all of those years affected me so deeply I quit. I’ve learned from my therapist, the best way to overcome my PTSD is Exposure Therapy, exposing myself to driving. I’m hoping and praying by the end of this trip, will have overcome my fear. Time will tell. Facing fears are hard, for all of us. They can cripple us, but when we face them with God, we will overcome. I could have let my fear keep me home, but I trusted God and we’re on the road. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, I don’t know what fear I will face, but I do know, I’m not alone. God is with me wherever I go, whatever I do. You can know the same, without a doubt. Just call on Him and He will answer. He will rescue you from all your fears.