Faced with Fear
Sep 15, 2019 | by Nancy Newbrough
During the next six months, once in a while I would experience a bit of pain in the jaw that was quickly alleviated with pain meds. But then I also began having weird sensations in my lower lip. At my next six-month checkup, nothing had changed on the X-rays, but I was becoming increasingly alarmed by the strange sensations.
I was referred to an oral surgeon who ordered a CT scan. He confirmed the presence of the tumor, assured me it was most likely benign, but said it needed to be removed.
At that time I was facing a critical time at work with a co-worker leaving and multiple high impact projects to manage that were either starting or mid-stream – simply put, I had no time to be sick.
But with additional symptoms surfacing, I began to get alarmed. My husband was covering me with prayer, but I also revealed the problem to my children and extended family so they could pray along with us. I was very scared, yet trying to walk in faith by taking my fears to God. Nevertheless, there were sleepless nights when I would cry and pray for hours on end, wondering what would happen to my family if I did not live through this ordeal!
During this time, the enemy constantly taunted me with thoughts of this being terminal. In one of my lowest points, I felt compelled to discuss with my husband plans on how he would manage our family without me.
Up to this point, I had not submitted a prayer request at church because I felt shame as if this tumor was somehow my fault. But as one of The Fellowship’s intercessors, I knew how important it was to reveal my need. Once I shared my burden in a prayer request, I immediately felt a flood of relief as fellow intercessors called to pray with me and reassure me that they were standing in the gap for me. What a relief to know that I was being under-girded with prayer; this was the beginning of my liberation from dark and negative thoughts.
Another amazing thing that happened was a friend’s husband calling to pray with me for deliverance from the spirit of fear that was oppressing me. As he prayed, I confessed everything I had not entrusted to God and for the first time in months, I slept like a child through the entire night.
Finally, someone was hired to fill the vacancy at work and we began her onboarding. My surgery happened more than two months after first seeing the oral surgeon. My biopsy results came back confirming the tumor was benign!
Recent X-rays show there are still traces of the tumor. But the oral surgeon reassured me that new healthy gum tissue is growing and nerve connections need time to form. I am learning to rest in the truth about what God’s Word says rather than entertain the lies welling up in my mind.
So as a project manager doing a retrospective review - what are my lessons learned from this experience? What do you do when your world comes unhinged and you face your humanity? How do you live out your faith in the face of fear? Simply ... Trust God! My anxieties drove me to such despondency that I had to turn to God. He knows what is best and I want nothing but His will for my life! When bad thoughts come to mind, I extinguish them with verses from God’s Word. 2nd Corinthians 10:4-5 says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. We can only extinguish fear with faith in God’s word that we hide in our hearts. God is faithful to all His Word! I accept daily that He is lovingly in control and will work all things together for my good – as he promises in Romans 8:28.
I have also come to realize how easy it is to get caught up in life’s busyness, pursuing one thing too many – such that God gets pushed into the background. With His help, I am striving daily to keep Him at the center of my life through persistent prayer and soaking up His Word! How blessed we are to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving! To give Him our burdens and anxieties and daily reaffirm our trust in Him because His grace is more than sufficient for our every need.
I will say of the Lord,
“He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”