I have only been VERY afraid three times in my life. You know, that kind of fear that overtakes you and you cannot sleep. The first time it was when I thought I had cervical cancer. I had been diagnosed with HPV, and the possibility of developing cancer was there. My mind is a very powerful mind. It takes me places where I know I shouldn’t go. It was fear what made me think I might have cancer. I went through a cryosurgery, and the lesions were taken care of. Ever since then, I have a very healthy cervix. I am not afraid anymore. But if I have to be honest with myself, when the time for my yearly pap-smear comes, I always grow anxious until I see it’s negative.
The second time I was very scared was when I didn’t feel my first child moving anymore around 30 weeks into the pregnancy. We rushed to the hospital and I was given steroids in case the baby had to be taken out. My amniotic fluid was at a very low-level, and I remember feeling alone. We decided not to tell our parents mostly because they were a thousand miles away from Houston. Literally. They were in Mexico City. But I remember a sweet woman who came to the hospital to pray for me. At that time, we were doing a 30 week study of the Book of Isaiah. I was so afraid lying down in my hospital bed when she began praying over me. She did not pray for my baby to be healthy. She did not pray for my baby to stay inside my uterus. She did not pray for everything to be the way I wanted it. She prayed for God’s will to be done. Up to this day, that prayer has been the most difficult – and the most beautiful – I had been prayed over.
That day I realized that if I was going to follow the God of Israel, I had to agree with Him in many things, whether I understood them or not, whether I liked them or not. It made sense to me that sometimes bad things happened to good people, but there was nothing in this world that would happen to me if God had not allowed that to come my way. The problem with this statement, of course, arises with the different views people have of God. But I believed God was good all the time. I trusted Him. I knew Him. I knew He was for me and with me. So I was not worried anymore about the outcome. Of course, it was pretty sweet when they released me from the hospital with a big baby that I had to carry for ten more weeks.
The third time I was afraid happened just recently. A sudden pain in my back got me by surprise. I ended up with the gastroenterologist who suggested some lab work, an ultrasound, and an endoscopy. I was afraid of eating anything with fat, and guess what? Yes. I was afraid I had stomach cancer. My grandma died of stomach cancer so it was possible. My mind took me to scary places and I lost about 10 lb. in about two weeks. Even after the endoscopy showed only a mild gastritis – that I think everyone has- I kept on losing weight. I was eating even more than before, but kept on losing weight. I was afraid of dying.
I wanted God to help me. I just did’t know how He would do that. I remembered the two years that I went for counseling every single week. The lady mostly just let me talk forever, and she would just lead the questions, but I often ended finding my own answers. So I figured God had to be the best counselor. So every morning, before my children got up, or when they were napping, I made myself a cup of coffee and talked to God for hours. I asked Him to show me something, to tell me, to guide me to the root of my fear. If only I knew the root of my fear, then I would know how to stop being afraid. The Lord guided me through some Scriptures…
Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you;
He will never let the righteous be shaken.
– Psalm 55:22 of David
I was afraid for my children. I did not want to die because I feared they wouldn’t remember me. I would be such a distant memory. My oldest one was not even two years old, and my youngest was not even six months old. They would not remember the words I had spoken to them everyday. They would not remember about how beautifully they had been created in God’s image. They would not remember how infinitely they had been loved by God. As much as I tried, I couldn’t remember my parents at their age. The freshest memories of my parents that I was able to really remember (without looking at photos) were when I was about four or five years old. But I wanted to be remembered. How did I want to be remembered? That was the kind of mom I needed to be.
“I know one day this will be over. I will conquer it because you are helping me”, I wrote down. Yes, I keep logs of every single thing I have prayed. I need to remember God’s faithfulness to me. I often forget.
I argued with God – as if I could bargain – that maybe if my children were fifteen years old I wouldn’t be afraid anymore. I just wanted them to be saved. You know, I just wanted them to accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior. Then it would be okay for me to die. But somehow, in my Christian psyche or whatever (we call it the Holy Spirit) I knew that was not right. Even if they were fifteen and they had decided on their own to follow Jesus as Savior, I knew I would still be afraid. My fear was that I wouldn’t be there to help them choose right all the time. It hurt to realize that this children were not my own as much as I wanted them to be. It became obvious to me that I had to teach them to follow God on their own. God showed me that even if they were thirty and, I was still alive, they could reject my faith. They could say they were Christians, but only God could see their hearts.
The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation.
– 2 Peter 3:9,15
Every person has the free will whether to choose to put their faith in Jesus as Savior or not. Once I realized I was not in control anymore, and that it was their choice and not mine, the fear disappeared. I had found the root of my fear: I did not trust God with my children. The only solution possible was to trust God. I had to trust God to make Himself known to my children. God had been patient with me. What made me think He wouldn’t be patient with them?
Fear and doubt is something that you don’t make an appointment with, if you know what I mean. Nobody says, “Today, I’m gonna fear and doubt my salvation at 3 pm”. But I am afraid. Fear and doubt are gripping my heart like never before. I believe hell is real, and I used to believe I wouldn’t go there. But I am reading things and hearing things that have made me put into question every single thing I felt so sure about.
Jesus’ death and resurrection has been my hope. Without His resurrection every single Christian’s hope is futile. There’s the slight possibility that my faith is all a lie. But if not Jesus, then who?