an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.
Fear is a word that motherhood brings a whole new meaning.
Like many aspects of motherhood, I never explored the idea that I would experience gripping fear that would lead to anxiety.
You see, before becoming a mama, you fear things like embarrassment or failing, or maybe the darkness after watching a scary movie. All stuff that effects YOU.
After having kids, you start to fear things that affect THEM.
Which is so much more terrifying because they were entrusted to you and you are responsible for them.
All the new mom questions like….
“are they breathing”, “are they eating enough” and “are we connecting with them” were ongoing thoughts.
I just wanted her to get to a more stable age. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about SIDS, dry drowning, or newborn things.
But fear seemed to just grow with her.
As she became a toddler I was afraid of being too strict, or not strict enough.
If I let her cry it out was I psychologically damaging her?
If I always gave in to her was she going grow to be an entitled adult?
These were fears I struggled with on the daily. Always trying to do what’s best hoping and praying that I was making the right decision.
Then there are irrational fears.
Fear of someone snatching her up at the playground while I wasn’t watching or breaking into our house and hurting her.
Or something falling and hurting her.
While I think many irrational fears have so much to do with hormones for new moms it can still be really hard to navigate them and not let them consume you.
Then there are the fears that other well-meaning people place on you.
Like the times you’re doing something with your kids that feels perfectly right and someone will come along with unsolicited advice and ask….aren’t you afraid of ….XYZ?
& before that moment you weren’t until they said that and then you started questioning your decision.
Oh yes. The fears that come with being a mama come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
But at some point, something’s got to give? Because if you let it, fear will consume you. Left unmanage, you will become a stressed out, anxiety-filled mess.
Fear doesn’t give, it only takes.
A View Of Fear And Anxiety Through The Lens Of Psalm 77
In dealing with my fear and anxiety as a mama, I stumbled on Psalm 77 and found something interesting.
The Author Of This Passage Was Dealing With Fear, Anxiety, Depression & Maybe Even Doubting God
The first few verses you can see the depths of his depression.
.1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.
2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
So troubled he cannot speak.
He talks about his soul refusing to be comforted, his spirit was overwhelmed, he is so troubled that he cannot speak.
We don’t know why he felt this way but it’s very clear that he was dealing with some very heavy things.
Recognize Fear & Anxiety
5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.
6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.
He talks about searching his own heart diligently. Note that he took the time to recognize his fear and wasn’t in denial.
The bible talks about bringing into captivity every thought 2 Cor 10:5. It’s important not to ignore or deny feelings of fear or anxiety.
Be Real With God
The writer blatantly doubts God. I found this REALLY interesting.
7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? ← Doubing his promises.
9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
I think the reason this part stood out to me is that we tend to not be real with God.
We don’t admit our doubts.
I know how I’m supposed to feel and what I’m supposed to say, but what would it look like if we were real with God about our fear?
What would change if we would have an open line of communication with Him?
By bringing our fear out in the light it loses its power.
That’s exactly what this author is doing.
We can see that after he gets it off his chest, his writing changes from doubt to praise.
Remember What God Has Done In The Past
The rest of the passage is recalling the wonders of God.
10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.
11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.
The author begins to recall what God has done in the past.
Has God kept you safe in the past? Have you felt His presence and overwhelming perfect peace in a time of storm? Has he turned a bad situation good for you?
By remembering what he’s done in the past, it brings confidence to know that He will do what He said He would in the future. Which brings an overwhelming peace.
Worship & Praise
Fear and worship cannot live in the same environment. The Psalmist then writes….
12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.
13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?
14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.
17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.
18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.
He turns his fear into praise. When I am feeling anxious or fearful, the best way to calm that is to read through passages on fear in the bible or put on and meditate to worship music.
And it is truly incredible how quickly a calm spirit comes over me.
My biggest takeaway from this passage is that….
Fear, depression, and anxiety aren’t a new thing and even believers long ago experienced it. You are not alone <3
Don’t forget what God has done in the past
Worship and praise are an antidote to fear
My challenge to you is to make a commitment not to mom from a place of fear.
Rather live in confidence that God is who He says and will come through for you as he promised.