by Stephanie P. | Sep 2, 2020 | Uncategorized
You may have heard “Fear not!” is said 365 times in the Bible–one for every day of the year.
Fear is a stronghold. A stronghold is like an iceberg–the sea of our thoughts and emotions hide the majority of it. The ten percent we show to those around us is no indication of its depth and size.
Fear talks to us and for us, too! I hear fear in people when they say things like, “I’m not doing that!”, “I can’t do it!”, or “I won’t go there!”
God does not want us to live our life in fear. He wants us to be free!
For God did not give us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7
Why does this verse mention a sound mind? Because fear causes us to imagine everything bad that can happen to us. It messes with our thoughts and can make us irrational.
God gave us the power over fear through the Holy Spirit and the saving power of His blood. Jesus’ blood releases us from the bondage strongholds keep us in.
I admit, I have my share of strongholds. I am learning to be free by the truth of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit, reminding me of the lies of the deceiver.
Satan desires to keep us captive. But we need to come out of our cell.
[Jesus will] deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.Hebrews 2:15 ESV
Did you know Fear has friends? Their names are Control and Untrust. All three usually go together. Fear loves to control everyone and everything around it.
Fear does not trust.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.1 John 4:18 ESV
In order for us to truly love, we must not fear. Fear equals distrust. Love is trusting.
Trusting God for answers, for wisdom, for healing. for light in our darkness and confusion. When we trust God, we show how much we love Him.
Of course, I am not saying we have to trust everyone and if we don’t we have fear. That’s not what I mean.
Fear says, “Don’t trust anyone.”
Fear says, “I can only depend upon myself.”
When we think we are the only ones we can depend on or the only ones who have the answers, we are not trusting God. Our Father puts people into our lives to teach us.
We must be teachable. God lets nothing go to waste. If He can’t use it for our good, then it won’t happen.
Trust God with your day to day life–with your fears–your desire to control–and untrust.
He wants to free you.
by Stephanie P. | Apr 21, 2020 | Devotional
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 ESV
At twenty-five years old, I had a stomach ulcer from the unbearable stress of my job.
I had found a laboratory who would hire an inexperienced college graduate with a B.S. in biology. The VA hospital needed a histology technician, and they would train me to do the job.
Histologists make slides from the tissue removed from the body during surgery, which pathologists review to make a diagnosis for the patient.
My lab consisted of my supervisor and one other histology lab tech—I was the youngest. Both women had been working in this lab for years. I came in excited to learn. But I didn’t realize that I would learn more than histology…
God was about to throw me into the middle of a spiritual battle.
My supervisor, a Jamaican woman fond of talking about curses and voodoo dolls, did not like me from day one. I believed her goal was to make my life and job miserable.
She began by criticizing my work clothes, the way I styled my hair, and wearing my contact lenses. She demanded I pulled back my hair and wear glasses. Good thing I wasn’t there to find a boyfriend… it would’ve never happened. Although she thought I flirted with all the doctors who came into our lab because I acknowledged their presence.
It got worse. She didn’t allow me to take some of my breaks and if she decided she wanted me back in the lab before lunch was over, she would stage a mysterious phone call from a family member, who hung up before I got to the phone…
My supervisor criticized my work in every way and at times compared it to that of a five-year-old. Equipment from my locker disappeared after she watched me stow it away for the night. She even called my house to see if I was sick after I had called off.
I cried to the Lord every single day. I was too demoralized by her to complain and fear and intimidation held me hostage.
Even though it seemed like discouragement and hopelessness were my constant companions, I sensed God’s presence. He met with me each morning as I worshipped and poured out my heart to Him; He filled my soul. I grew in faith and dependence on my Savior.
However, the more I matured in my faith, the worse the harassment got.
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6 ESV
After a year, I interviewed for a job on another floor of the hospital. They offered me the position, but I knew the Lord did not want me to take that job. As I turned it down, God gave me immediate peace.
Once I had endured that job for two years, the head lab manager gave me a significant pay raise and promotion because of my degree and two years on the job. My supervisor, who had no control over this, was furious. She increased the attacks, wanting to prove I was undeserving of this promotion.
I begged God to let me leave; He did.
During those two years, the Lord surrounded me with praying friends and mentors who taught me how to pray against the spiritual darkness I faced. I had faith the Lord was with me.
After I quit, the Lord had an incredible job waiting for me in cancer research. They were looking for a histologist with two years of lab experience!
If I had taken my eyes off Jesus and surrendered to the hopelessness of my circumstances, I would have missed out on a job I loved.
No matter what situation you may find yourself in today, whether a bad relationship, a difficult job, or a health problem, don’t give up. Keep your eyes on Jesus and hold on to your faith.
He has you in the palm of His hand. He will never leave you or forsake you.
In what way is the Lord teaching you to trust Him?
by Stephanie P. | Mar 31, 2020 | Uncategorized
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV.
I like the King James version of this verse because it uses the phrase “sound mind” instead of self-discipline or self-control. Fear tends to make us conjure up a lot of possible (usually frightening) outcomes as a response to something we can’t control.
I am not usually a fearful person, but this past week tested me.
My 23-year-old daughter started showing symptoms of the coronavirus last Tuesday—sore throat, headache, and fever. We hoped it was a normal virus or cold. But by Friday she had pressure in her chest and was weak and dizzy.
She could barely walk across the room without resting. She was nauseous if she thought about eating.
My momma heart hurt for her, and fear was crouching at the door of my emotions. I told the Lord I didn’t want to give in to the fear that was threatening to take over me. I told Him this many times. I kept praying for Alexandria.
If you’ve read many of my blogs, you know my twins were preemies—born at 27 weeks. They had their share of ventilators, pneumonia, and asthma. We worried that her lungs could be ripe for this virus.
Let me just say here she was never officially tested or diagnosed. We were told to stay away from hospitals and doctors’ offices unless you were having trouble breathing. She wasn’t. So we stayed away.
We have a holistic approach to health care. So, we had her on liquid silver and zinc, and vitamins A, B, C, and D. I felt like a pill pusher…
On Friday morning, my husband and I anointed her and prayed for healing. During prayer, the Lord gave me a picture of Alexandria as an infant in the NICU isolate. I remembered this day.
We received a call at 4:30 in the morning telling us our baby girl was in critical condition. She had pneumonia in both bronchial tubes within her chest. She was no longer breathing on her own.
When I got to the NICU, I saw my very sick baby girl. She was gray and still. The doctor gave her a drug to paralyze her so she would not fight the ventilator. We prayed for her and asked everyone we knew to pray for healing.
So, I as saw this picture in my mind, I felt as though the Lord reminded me He healed her then and He could heal her now.
Peace ran through my body, just as it had twenty-three years ago.
Monday morning Alexandria got up, feeling herself again. The fever was gone, the headache, aches and pains disappeared. She wanted to eat.
I am thankful for all the people who were praying for our daughter.
But, mostly, I am thankful for my Heavenly Father who knew her plight and never left her or our family.
My family is in quarantine for at least another week or two. The rest of us have no symptoms and I am praying it stays that way.
But my house seems small with five adults here ALL. DAY. LONG! Let me tell you.
I am thankful for friends who have dropped off groceries and hair color, too :).
Stay healthy and don’t give in to fear. It has no place in your home or life. Give it to Jesus and let Him send it to go back to the place it came from.
We have much to be thankful for. We have homes, food, and people who love and care about us.
What are you most thankful for during this time?