Have you ever been snow skiing before and stood at the top of the mountain looking down…and realized it’s going to take every ounce of faith you can muster to get to the bottom? It’s been awhile but the snow we had here on the East Coast the past two days (which was beautiful I might add) reminded me of all of those times I’ve been skiing and all of the times I had to draw on my faith – in myself and in God – and ignore my fear that I might break my leg or worse yet, my neck – to get to the bottom of the slope and feel all of the joy that came with that experience.
But that pales in comparison to big life decisions where it takes every ounce of faith to plunge forward and not get stalled and stuck in the quagmire that fear can cause. I was also reminded of the “breathe in faith, breathe out fear” response to life as I was finishing the final edits of my newest book coming out this June titled, “The Jealous Son,” a modern-day novel based on the story of Cain and Abel. In it (spoiler alert for those wishing to stop reading here and remain in suspense about the entire novel) the main character Eliza Trellis (a contemporary Eve) gets pregnant at the age of 47 and, of course, is shocked and fearful (after having lost her youngest son at the hands of her oldest) to have a baby this late in life. In the Bible, several women have had to put aside their fears and draw upon their faith in God’s plan for them when faced with getting pregnant unexpectedly: Eve with Seth, Sarah with Isaac, and of course, Mary with Jesus our Lord and Savior. But just think how humanity would have suffered had these women not gone forward in faith!
I have learned in the Twelve-Step Program that FEAR is usually just an acronym for “False Evidence Appearing Real.” In almost every instance in my life where I have been doubtful or anxious about the future, it has been the case that I worried about an outcome for nothing, letting fear get the best of me instead of having faith – which robbed me of my peace and joy. With the upcoming March for Life in our nation’s capital on Friday, January 18, I urge everyone to stop and pray for all women with unwanted or unexpected pregnancies…that they don’t give into the fears that plague them but have faith and courage to do God’s Will and choose life so that they may experience all of the joy that a child brings. And I pray for each one of us in our every day lives to be obedient, patient, grateful and faithful in our ever-loving, all-powerful God and in His plan for each one of us, even though sometimes we stumble and struggle along the way.
The women in the Bible had angels to guide them not to be fearful but to be faithful. We now have Jesus, who sent the Holy Spirit, to guide us. As Jesus says in the Gospel of John (14:26-27): “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” How comforting…that, like the freshly fallen snow, our slates are wiped clean and we get a new start each day…and all we have to do to experience peace and joy is to breathe in faith, and breathe out fear.