Being sisters is about being honest. It’s about sharing real life. The good stuff, and the hard things. The pain. The insecurities. It’s also about being honest about the truths we all need to hear from time to time. Truth that has the power to break into our fear, insecurity and worry and set us free.
Summer is upon us, and if I’m being honest here in the midst of sisters, I’d say that I have some apprehension. With schedule changes and the daily (sometimes hourly) emotional, physical and spiritual needs of my four kids, with writing goals and dreams of extending our ministry reach as a family, and with the obvious tasks of keeping the house going – all without the structure of school and the comfort of our normal routines – I wonder if there will be enough.
Enough of me to go around. Enough space (me-time) to thrive. Enough energy to be a fun, present mom. Enough stimulation to keep my kids happy and growing. Enough resources to travel. Enough planning capacity (my weak-spot) to give our kids unique memories together. Enough time to build on the creative ideas bubbling up in my own mind and enough grace to grow the ministry visions that seems to be burning so strongly inside my heart?
With my overstuffed pool bag in one hand, sunscreen in the other, and new sunglasses from TJ Maxx on my head, I am beginning to realize that the core of my summer anxieties is not schedules or kids or potential adventures. It’s a repeat encounter with the ugly f-word that all too often hangs around my life.
I’m realizing that these often small worries about changing seasons and facing new situations usually reflect, if I’m willing to be honest, a greater, more fundamental fear that lurks just under the surface and regularly tries to overwhelm my hope and choke my confidence.
It’s my ruthless fear named “not-enough”.
Sensing these anxieties I forced myself to sit quietly and get brutally honest with God about these fears of “not-enough”.
And then, God, the bondage breaker that He is, cut right into the core of my fear with truth.
He gently brought me back to the familiar and comforting waters of Psalm 23.
Reminding me that the Lord- the orchestrator of all time, all history, all of humanity- is my personal shepherd.
HE is daily leading me, restoring me, guiding me, comforting me. HE is the one who has anointed me for the calling that lies ahead. HE, the author of rest, promises me space (even in the 24-hour job of motherhood) to rest and be refreshed in the quiet place of His presence. HE leads me faithfully in the right ways. And oh yeah – this whole journey of life- it’s actually not about me. It’s about His glory working in and through me. And that’s a relief.
When I’m most afraid, He is inviting me to take a seat and feast. To feast on the freedom, joy and promises set before me.
Yep- Right there in front of my enemy named fear, I am called to feast.
Not because life is a dream. Or because everything is always easy. But because His goodness, love and mercy NEVER FAIL. NEVER FLEE. NEVER FLOUNDER. They actually FOLLOW me every step I take. And I get to live today looking for them. In the midst of rushing off to swim lessons, hearing “I’m bored” on repeat, and early mornings of praying or writing or creating before the kids wake up, they are mine to claim.
He provides. Every time. In every season.
I have all I need, because He, the uncreated ONE is with me. Really with me.
So this summer, I am beginning with a freedom declaration and I invite you, sister, to join me in searing these fear-dispellers on hearts.
The Lord is my shepherd and with Him there is no lack.
I have all I need.
I will live not in fear.
I bask in His rest and overflow with confidence
because the GREAT I AM is with me.
He is my leader, my provider, my restorer.
His goodness and mercy are awaiting today and everyday.
It is for freedom that Christ set me free, so today, I walk in freedom.
It’s only His word, His Spirit-breathed truth, His unmatched love that has the power to break through our fears and set our hearts free. To love our families, serve our communities and live our calling well.
So sisters, let’s do this. Let’s shake off these fears of “not-enough” and dive into this vast ocean of freedom together, this summer and always.
Francie Winslow is a mama to four and an encourager to many. Francie currently ministers as a blogger, writer, and as a speaker for women’s conferences, MOPS groups and for Quench Bible Ministries. She is a regular contributor for The Billy Graham Center’s Evangel-vision blog and Million Praying Women.com.You can find her at FrancieWinslow.com.