Today is April 16. Every year I write something in memory of my Mama Sarah and in honor of my mom, Maxine Stoddard. On this day 37 years ago, my Mama Sarah was murdered by my biological father; at that point, many lives were forever changed. She was murdered on my mom’s birthday (April 16) and buried on mine (April 18). You can read all the details of this day and some of the effects it’s had on me and my family through the years in any of the linked posts, but the thing I always cling to in this, and any tragedy or moment I am afraid, is the truth found in Genesis 50:20:
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
And Romans 8:28:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
So, today, this is where my mind is going. I think about the fear that must have been in my Mama Sarah’s heart as she walked out of the house with me in her arms before she was shot. I think about the fear that must have been in hearts of Maxine and Connie Stoddard with the loss of their daughter and now the unknown future of adopting their two-year-old grandson.
That fear that they faced could have paralyzed them. It could have kept them from moving or doing anything. It could have caused their world to crumble.
But you know what? They looked the fear that they faced in that moment, they looked it in the face and did the right thing anyway. They chose to not give into fear. They chose to do the right thing in spite of the fear in their heart. They trusted even in the darkness.
This is not to say that everyone in my story is perfect. That’s far from true. I’m not, Mama Sarah was not, my parents are not. But I do know this. In the midst of uncertainty and danger and fear, they chose not to give into the fear. They chose to do the right thing, even when they were afraid. They chose to trust that God had a plan, even in the midst of human brokenness.
They chose trust and obedience over fear.
So must we today. I have no idea what you are facing today. You may be very, very afraid. The future may be unknown. There may be great pain in your life. There may be things in your life that you have no control over. Things that make you very, very afraid.
It’s ok. We all are afraid at times. We are. But don’t give into it. Don’t. Faith is bigger than fear. Trust in the fact that there is a God bigger and smarter and wiser than you. That has a plan. Trust. God will bring something good out of it, even if you don’t understand what.
He will. That’s what He does.
Don’t be scared. No matter what you face. One of my favorite quotes from my favorite the shows, “Doctor Who,” is this: the main character, The Doctor says, “Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.”
You may be afraid today. I understand. I learned at very young age everything I hold precious could be taken from me. Relationships can be ended; harm can come. I always have that fear in my belly. Always.
But I can’t give into it. I have to (by God’s grace) be strong and lean on God’s grace. I have to have faith, not fear. Because fear never wins; faith does. It always does.
So, today, don’t be scared. Have faith. God has a plan. Trust. Obey. Move. Don’t give into the fear. All things will work for our God and his glory: I know that.
Don’t be afraid; it’s going to be okay.