#FEARLESS365 is a yearlong study of God’s commandment to us to live without fear. For 365 days, we will focus on one scripture and volunteers from all over the world will share their personal thoughts and what God has shared with them on the specific verse. For more info… go here.
and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’
Do not be afraid, do not fear, have no fear; these words are repeated several times in the Bible, but I still continue to be afraid. What am I afraid of? My biggest fear is the unknown, concern for the unknown of my future. At 44 years old, I have found myself as a single mom raising a teenage son; my husband passed away July 2016 from a brief battle with a very rare cancer. Just last week I was filling out some paperwork and had to check the box that said “widow.” I am not old enough to be a widow, that is for people my parents’ age. My husband was the bread winner of our family, so I now find myself having what some would call a mid-life crisis if the circumstance were different – no insurance, no pension, no benefits. So, I am getting ready to enter into full-time ministry.
For the past ten years I have been serving as a quarter-time minister in the United Methodist Church, so for me to enter into full-time ministry, I will be moved to another church and most likely to another city, perhaps even another state. How can I just up and move, given what I have been through, leaving behind everything including my friends and family? Just as Abraham, up and left everything he knew, I must do this also. I know that the Lord has set this path in front of me, I know that He is going ahead of me to prepare it for me and I know that He will be with me every step of the way. So He is telling me, “Do not be afraid, Caroline. You must stand trial before your friends and family; and God has graciously given you the lives of all those who will be at your new church, your new appointment.”
What do I have to fear? Sometimes I even ask myself which is scarier: the thought of losing your husband to death, losing all your security for the future, moving away from everything you know and love? They are all very scary, but as long as God is with me, I do not have to fear any of these. He has already showed me so much faith and He will continue to do so and He will do this for you too! Do not be afraid!
Caroline Hawthorne is an United Methodist Minister who lives in Northeast Tennessee. She LOVES crossfit.