Fear {Guest Post by Elizabeth Marshall} {Day 10}

I don’t even want for fear to have its own title, headline, place in bold, upfront in this series.

I want nothing to do with fear, for I have given enough space and time and energy to it already.

Writing about it is even painful.

But isn’t that giving in. Letting fear sap energy. Tremble knees. Shake confidence. Rattle senses. Muss up the mind.

Isn’t fear numbing and paralyzing when it gets any room in a life.

It is greedy and boorish. Demanding and a bully. It saps Joy, drains the good, pulls the plug and lets hope rush down the drain like dirty bath water filled with bubbles of maybe.

Just maybe writing of fear, restores Hope. Writing of fear and meeting it head on pushes it back, meets it head on, faces it down.

Fear has erased days and bound me up. It has named seasons. It has defined seasons of  unknowing, of infertility and waiting years to add children to a family, by birth and adoption.

It has crippled in seasons of waiting for a husband to return, after a season of separation, marked the days dark and long. Tried to wrangle all life out of the days of healing, to rename me the one whose husband left.
Fear says failure and brokenness rather than Hope and Security.

Fear takes the good plans of God for redemption and restoration and leaves you frozen in unknowing, hopeless, hope dwindling and the self demanding an answer now, the self commanding and controlling outcomes.

Fear robs the days left with a child at home, when the self chooses to demand to know the future, and it demands to know it will be labeled good by the world’s standards, good by the description of the self-focused soul.

Fear teams up with frozen and frightened and steals the hours and days of a life with a power that is unbroken, but for Jesus.

When healing and His redemptive love restore a Hopeful, Trusting Heart, the fire of fear is doused and diminished. And the pile of ashes is blown anew with a Spirit of new-life and radiant restorative re-birth.

The days of waiting on children’s birth, marriages restored and even financial struggles to end are marked by a wholeness from leaning hard into Him and softening the stone-cold places that fear and trembling have made tough as a frozen tundra. Made life-less.

Anxiety and worry have fueled enough days, with OCD re-routing a life ,bound it up in chains, set the heart on a new gear worthy of a NASCAR winner. Chased me round and round,  like a pack of rapid dogs. Spun me round, dizzy, like a child on a playground whirly gig until nausea and fatigue take the weary spirit to the ground.

Fear fuels the tongue and raises the volume and chooses the words. Takes control when control feels lost. Shouts orders demands her way. Raises the blood pressure, raises the stakes, reddens the face, and raises the roof.

Who wins when fear is in charge and shouts at the top of her fearful lungs and blow her battle weary bugle – CHARGE. Who falls in line, follows? Who feels called in love to go her way. There are no winners when fear leads  the weary into the unknown places.

And slips into the night, commands the dreams and rattles the sleepy, gets you up to pace the floors at night, creaking lonely in the midnight hour, draining the life from a tomorrow. Re-naming the days to come as weary and hopeless.

Fear gets the title here. Fear gets a word in this 31 Day Series of Words, but only because Fear gives Hope an opportunity to do her best work, to come in and breathe a breath of new living and redemptions glory.

The reigns are dropped, the bridled grip on frozen frightened doubt and worry loosed, and Hope and Trust ride off on wings of eagles, bound for a life lived with glimpses of the glory of heaven.

Friends, I am so thrilled to introduce you to my friend, Elizabeth. She is married to the Patient One and together they have three perfect children, though they are not. Teenagers are great. They should know. And adult children are too. They should know. There are four furry people with four legs in their zoo slash home. Three of them follow her around all day, so she is never alone. She likes art and music and most days loves to write and play with words. She and the Patient One like to cook and play with food together. She doesn't know if it's a habit to break but middle child has asked her to leave the furniture alone. She loves all things Southern and old. Her life has been grace-filled. They have survived and been strengthened by more than one bump in their marriage and in their family life. Blessings abound in their life at the coast and she remains in awe of our God and all of his goodness.

You can find more of Elizabeth's soul-wrenching writing here--I really think she's a modern-day poet, and more than that, I am honored to call her friend. She is really a treasure. Please check out her lovely blog.

Still counting for joy, for Hope and Trust...1,000 and beyond...{1,007-1,019}...
For more words, for a calling-down-the-power-of-heaven prayer before CC, for godly parents in my classroom, for success in my weakness--only by His grace, for parents telling me they're using the gratitude journals we made--pure heaven and I'm grinning, for her leaning into me heavy in sleep, her always reaching up, needing me, for gentle, quiet moments in the rocker and the dark, for crying as I read "You Are My I Love You to her, for getting to bed late and staying awake with her vomiting in my bed off and on, how she raises up a mason jar for water when we wake, eyes questioning, for Husband who calls, asks if I need him to leave work and come home, for a loving man who reminds me not to take too much on, who relieves me of my burden, tells me it's his burden to provide...what a man.

Linking up with The Nester, and all the other 31-Dayers....This ought to be one wild, brave ride...

Do you struggle with fear, friend? Please tell me your story? Have you seen God redeem these doubts, these concerns? Have you found grace? Your comments so encourage me. I draw strength from your kind words and knowing you were here. My faith walk is seasoned with the right ingredients when you hang around...

This is one post in a series of 31 days of Fear. You can find the entire 31 Day collective here.  I have chosen to do this one on FEAR, because it seems to be something I keep wrestling with over and over, something that keeps me in chains, pins me down, won't let me free. I hope you will come with me on this journey--to get a taste of glorious redemption as I soul-search and look for Jesus smack-dab in the middle of my fears. And Jesus sits with sinners. I won't have to look very far.

Couldn't we all use some freedom from those fear-chains that bind? I pray God gives me the strength and the courage to complete 31 days--y'all, it's going to be hard on this 'ol gal to write every.single.day. Pray for me?   

Some other 31 Day collectives I'm loving: Shelly @ Redemptions BeautyAmber Haines , and Lisa-Jo

And also linking up with Ann, Shanda, LauraMichelle, and Jen


  1. This is positively beautiful. How I relate to this journey, dear Elizabeth. Thank you, Nacole, for the welcoming community here. And thank you, Elizabeth, for proclaiming that fear is no match for the hope, life, healing and restoration of frozen places that are real for the God of perfect love!

    1. Oh Ashley, what a God we serve. That Hope he gives is no match for fear. He is a Hope builder, giver, restorer. Stay strong in your journey. Stay hope-filled sweet friend. So glad we met through Nacole. Love her heart and her community here.

  2. Oh Elizabeth...the richness here...you have lace these old chains of fear with such hope. Beautiful...and Nacole...how sweet to see you gather those around you...those who can cheer you on your beautiful journey. Elazabeth is a true gift indeed. blessings to you both~

  3. Ro, Nacole has a heart that draw us into her precious community. I love the real and raw that is her voice. I am humbled to be here. And as we link up and kick Fear to the curb with our collective might, we lean on and into Jesus. Oh the Hope we have in Him. This community is so strong and steady and I am covered in Grace by you all.

  4. Oh Denise. You words are a grace-covering on a soul-bared. Nacole is a gift and she is brave to write on fear for this series. One day leaves me a bit spent and weary. He will recharge us all, restoring us, filling us with Hope and New Mercies.

  5. Oh, so many beautiful lines in this post! I love this..Fear gives Hope an opportunity to do her best work" Amen. And, this line made me smile..."It is greedy and boorish. Demanding and a bully. It saps Joy, drains the good, pulls the plug and lets hope rush down the drain like dirty bath water filled with bubbles of maybe." What great comparisons!

    1. Eileen, oh what a process of continual release. To kick it to the curb for good would be blissful. Is there any fear that in a measured amount is healthy? Maybe in another post. But I know that God did not give us a spirit of fear. And I know He does not want us quaking in our boots. Nor wasting our God given talent on racing raging thoughts of anxiety and despair. Thanks for the link up at your place.

  6. What an honor to learn more of your story, Elizabeth..so many great descriptions here..."Fear teams up with frozen and frightened and steals the hours and days of a life with a power that is unbroken, but for Jesus." Yes, but for the power of Jesus, fear would keep me bound up, and has in the past...learning to live free...Thanks for sharing, and thanks, Nacole, for hosting :)

  7. Lets all learn more daily of living free, living Hope-filled and not fear-bound, brave and fearless because of Him. We have a big community to support one another in all parts of our journey. How amazing to walk shoulder to shoulder with each of you.

  8. Elizabeth,
    You are right. "Fear" is NOT a beautiful word. But in the naming, in the calling out, in the dragging it from underneath..the only shadow that is left for it to hide behind is that of Jesus. You are a brave soul, my dear, to lay it all bare. And that is why you, my dear, are beautiful.

    And Nacole, thank you for sharing your space. You are wise to stand up to fear for 31 days in the company of saints. There is power in that action.

    1. Yes fear has no where to hide, but is sent trembling and bowing at the feet of Jesus. Hope runs in His streams of living waters. I want my boat to float there and I want Jesus in it with me.

      Yes an army of sisters to fight the battle of fear. May we encourage and love one another pointing, always pointing to Him who won the battle, in Him there is no fear.

      Nacole is brave BUT she is not along. We will not leave a sister lonely or afraid. Amen? Amen.



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