Fighting Fear with Faith


One evening Chris and I found ourselves at the movies with four teenagers. We filled up an entire row, and somehow I had wound up sitting all the way against the wall.

The theater wasn’t all that full as a very popular newly released film was playing in two of the other theaters there, so it wasn’t too bad.

Until three young men walked in right before the feature started playing.

They entered the room single file, silently, and with hands tucked into coat pockets. It was very odd for guys of this age.

I watched as they chose seats away from everyone else, in front of everyone else, and between everyone else and the exit directly to outside the building.

So now, if one of them were a shooter, our only exit point would be the door into the theater lobby located behind us three rows.

Yes, that’s immediately where my mind went. And being a long row of adult-sized people I debated the best way to get an exit strategy communicated to everyone in our row without alarming the full row of people in front or behind us.

I have just enough training in what we call “active shooter” training to assess most situations and have a plan whether needed or not. Based on generic characteristics, I felt a need for a plan.

Before alarming anyone, I took a moment to assess every other person in attendance. No one else jumped out at me as odd. However, as my eyes made a final sweep around the room, I noticed the third young man taking off his coat and laying it on the seat in front of him.

A different thought process took over.

Carrie, this is three young men together. They are even sitting together. Shooters are typically loners. In the rare case there would be multiples they would more than likely have split up. They are all taking off their coats now. Not packing extra ammo or planning a fast getaway.

I stopped.

It was time to do what I should have done in the first place.

Father, I’m not 100 percent sure about the situation in front of me, but I want to protect those in my care and those you’ve placed in this building with me. If there is nothing wrong here, please give me a feeling of peace so I can enjoy this time. But if I need to be ready to react, please give me a spirit of discernment and make me so uncomfortable that I can’t ignore it.

And in that moment, I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of my evening.



Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!”
Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey Him!”
Mark 4:38-41

For years I’ve heard that scripture repeated, taught, preached on: “Why are you afraid? Do you STILL have no faith?”

After everything you have witness God do, you are still clinging to your fears. You are still choosing worry over God. Christian people who have put their faith in God don’t worry and aren’t afraid of anything.

And I cringe every time I hear it.

We all face situations in life that bring us fear. Often, I can’t even recognize my need for faith until I’ve felt fear.

I’ve never counted, so I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’ve heard many people say that the words “fear not”, or some variation meaning the same thing, appear more than 365 times in the Bible. That’s at least one time for each day of the year.

I think God knew we were going to be afraid.

Daily.

Faith isn’t the absence of fear, but the decision to look fear in the eyes and say, “God’s got this, and I’m going along for the ride.”Tweet: Faith isn't the absence of fear, but the decision to look fear in the eyes and say,

Faith isn’t ignoring our situation. It isn’t pretending we aren’t afraid. It’s acknowledging the fear, giving the situation BACK to God, asking Him what our response should be, and responding as He directs not as our feelings dictate.

Do you feel like you aren’t “good” enough because you still have fears? Well, guess what?

You aren’t alone. Everyone does. If they didn’t, their faith would be fully developed. The only person in human form that has ever reached that status was born with a fully developed faith, and that was Jesus Christ.

The rest of us? We are all works in progress until the day we’re called home.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

14 comments

  • Wow that is such a scary feeling! As soon as I started reading your post, I had the same reaction as you did. Glad everything turned out ok!

  • Faith is a weird one. I find that I tend to notice it when mine is waning a bit.

  • Beautiful post! I love the line: Faith isn’t the absence of fear, but the decision to look fear in the eyes and say, “God’s got this, and I’m going along for the ride.” Good stuff!

  • I love this, I need to fight my fear with faith!!!!

  • Very good post Carrie. It is always a good thing to talk about the crippling affect fear has on our lives. Yes, faith is the antidote for fear because faith in God brings us the courage to move past them.

  • I love this thought about facing your fear and releasing your need to handle it. The situation in the theatre made an excellent example.

  • Love this. Especially the pic. at the top.

  • Thanks for sharing this because it’s much needed. I understand how it feels to be fearful and then defeat it with faith. As I grow spiritually, my faith is getting stronger to the point where I can say “God has my back, He will work it out” and then let it go. It’s awesome to feel THAT safe and worry free. Excellent post.

  • I’m going through a few trying times where my faith is being knee-jerked by the hamstrings. Beautiful and reassuring post!~

  • Yes, we definately need to learn how to FACE OUR FEARS 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience

  • The power of prayer is amazing. Prayer and faith have helped me through some rough roads for sure.

  • What an amazing real life example to go through. Fearful, scary and I could feel your concern as I read…but no matter the circumstance the truth does remain the the Lord has told us to fear not and I am glad you learned a lesson that day that was so powerftul i know you wil never forget it.

  • This is such a great post. Its inspiring to me for several reasons. Thank you for sharing.

  • I found it intriguing that you’ve had training in active shooter situations.I think many in our country run these kinds of scenarios in our mind. I was at work one day several blocks from where a mass shooting took place, leaving 14 dead. I have to believe I wasn’t the only one who wondered what I would have done if that man had entered my place of employment instead that day. Faith gives us strength. Alana