Updated: Feb 20, 2021
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.”
Galatians 5:13a &16a
“What does it look like to be a fear.less mom? Is it even possible to live without extreme caution and a smidge of mania when being responsible for someone else’s precious life?” In so many words, I get asked these questions a lot from interviewers and inquiring minds after they hear my toddler’s true story.
After spending months chronicling our family’s saga in Unraveled: Mother Fiercely in a World Full of Fears, I should have been able to express the really good answer to these fear-free inquiries, right? And my sincere response sounded something like this. . .“I realized the term my husband and I gave to our painful season of trauma after trauma, our ‘unraveling’, was actually God’s beautiful and intentional title for ‘surrender’.” Through my pain, God had my attention and could take apart what I had constructed. He revamped my perceptions, broke down my veneer walls, and redefined a host of other things that made ‘me’ me. I surrendered every part I was unknowingly holding back until I fully unraveled. As a mom, I found peace in taking off the superhuman cape I was never asked to wear.
This response is my reality and how I would express my answers to these hard, but good, questions. The answer to fear-free is essentially intimacy with Jesus. But, how can each mom grow in intimacy with Jesus for herself when her story may be different than mine? Our testimonies are powerful and effective, but only within the context of sharing the universal Gospel message of Jesus. Those together speak to every heart. So, even when all our stories are different, God’s miraculous path to freedom resonates everywhere all the time.
No matter her story, freedom from fear, surrender, and letting go is found in Galatians 5:13. The opposite of fear is freedom and you and I have been invited to live in it.
As soon as we come to know the Lord and decide to live for Him, we are free from the sin that once held us in bondage and separated us from God. So why don’t we always feel like we are liberated from sin; like when we are unable to shake the fear and worry that can control us moms? Simply, we don’t use our freedom how we are supposed to.
“But, don’t use your freedom to…” v. 13
Paul is pointing out there’s actually a right and wrong way to function in the freedom we have been given. We live in the resoluteness God intended when we listen to the rationale God instructed.
“Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives.” Genesis 5:16
I was a Believer with a worn Bible and a sincere faith, but I didn’t activate the hidden parts of that faith until I fully yielded to God’s Spirit within me. Hour after hour I have to choose to yield again and again by laying down my will, my plans, my expectations, my fears, and surrendering to God’s control. Otherwise, it’s like remembering a gift card after the huge purchase. We miss the benefits of God’s gift of freedom to us when we seek to do things on our own.
Let’s not live without the freedom you and I have already been given access to as followers of Christ. Let’s stop letting our ‘flesh’ destroy our freedom. Let us instead allow the Holy Spirit inside us to own all of us and then direct us. Here, a mom lives free and in freedom -- she lives fear.less.
Name a situation you have experienced lately as a mom that left you undone or worrisome about your children’s well-being?
After reading Galatians to your group, what is one fear.less act your moms can put in to practice today to yield to the Holy Spirit within them?
Lord, you alone are Who we need. Let us not take Your place by usurping Your authority. Let us rest and not feel the pressure of being our children’s sole protector, provider, or priest. Let us allow You to work through us by yielding our will to what You would have us to do hour after hour. We love You.