Fear of the present.
Fear of the future.
Fear of the past creeping up again.
We may fear others. We may fear the unknown. We may fear even ourselves.
Fear is debilitating. It is like “freeze tag.” It’s all fun and games until someone whips you across the body with a “freeze”. This is what fear does. Then you wait for someone to come “unfreeze” you, but in reality, it is you that needs to do the “unfreezing” along with the help of others and God.
When Dan and I started to walk down the road of IVF and embryo adoption, there were times of fear. Actually, I would say more anxiousness. Anxious about each appointment and wondering if “this” would be the appointment that God would say STOP. Yet it was God who continued to lead us forward. The day Brenda and her husband came over to our house to offer the process to us, we were so overwhelmed with joy, with the opportunity, and giddy, really. Brenda stepped out in faith, NOT in fear, to offer her womb to us. To this day, we are still encouraged by her faith. It has spurred us on. After the initial excitement, then reality set in and we thought “there is no way we can afford this.” We knew though, that if THIS was what God had for our future, He already paved the path and had the finances set in place (we just didn’t know it at the time). Through the generosity of many, we were able to come up with the money. I look back at that and still question to this day, HOW in the world we afforded it. Honestly, prior to us doing the IVF process, when I heard of others doing IVF, I would think they had lots and lots of money. I sit here to say that you do NOT need a lot of money to do IVF – all you need is God. Some people may cringe at that b/c we spent more money than we have ever spent in our life on the process, but the lesson God taught us in TRUSTING HIM for our FUTURE, is a lesson we still take with us today. God used others in our life in a way we never experienced before. We could’ve been frozen in fear of the cost, but God “unfroze” us and we moved forward.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
When we started to get some pushback on the embryo adoption option, we could’ve been frozen by fear. At any point, we ALL could’ve been frozen by fear. Yet we kept praying, that if this truly was what God wanted us to do, that He would provide and take away all fear. Some questioned whether it was worth Dan’s job. Through many tears, God knew that we did not want to go down the road of embryo adoption. Yet through praying intensely about it everyday and laying in our bed at night, realizing that we were at peace when we surrendered it to God, we knew that THIS was His will for our life. Some question that, but we still to this day, feel God wanted us to journey down that path. And it cost Dan his job, even though we didn’t end up doing it. Some question why didn’t we just decide from the beginning that it wasn’t worth the risk? Because we have to stand before God someday. We don’t want fear to be our excuse. God is our God and following His will is not always easy. He had asked us to follow Him in ways we never even thought possible, but we didn’t want to be “frozen.” If we lived in fear and said no to the opportunity, we would’ve missed out on some incredible blessings, incredible relationships, and incredible faith-growing opportunities that we learned through the process.
Psalm 56:3-4 When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?
In doing IVF, there is a great percentage that it would not work. Though from the start, us 4 (Brenda, Tim, Dan, and I) said that we were not going to go through this process in fear, but in faith. No it did not end up the way we were hoping – but it has been our faith that has gotten us through it. If we lived in fear, we would not have even started. Again, I look at the sacrifice Brenda made. I will always see that as one of the biggest fear-defying experiences – to offer your body for someone else. That my friend is faith, not a spirit of timidity.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
In thinking about being stuck in fear, I am learning daily what it means to not live in fear. I still have fear in me. It’s my old self getting the best of me at times. But over the past few years, God is teaching me that it is not worth it. Stop playing freeze tag – God wants us to run this race in faith. If we stay frozen, we may not ever know what we are missing out on – the blessings He has waiting for us.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Don’t be overcome with fear, but with faith.