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Faith Over Fear


Well, hello there! It feels like it’s been forever since I have had the chance to sit and write a blog! I have thoroughly enjoyed my Christmas and New Year break, but I am so ready to get back into the swing of things! Leading up to the New Year, I saw so many people posting words that they were going to live out in 2019. I considered doing this, thinking of areas of my life that I was lacking in faith, or courage, or consistency, but couldn’t nail one word down. It wasn’t because I couldn’t find anything there… maybe it was just because there were too many things to choose from! Lol! So, I started brainstorming…. yet nothing really stood out to me.

 Then, one day, as I was on my way to pick up Naya from school, I came to the bridge that leads into Cynthiana. I cross this bridge (or the other one adjacent to it) at least twice a day, sometimes more, and EVERY time I get this anxious feeling that literally makes my heart skip a beat! I can feel it in my chest, no lie! My fingers grip the steering wheel as I white knuckle my way over the bridge while holding my breath, trying not to have a panic attack. If you know this bridge, you know there is a traffic light just at the other side. Who does that! Why would anyone put a light at the end of a bridge, causing the bridge to withstand dead weight for lengthy periods of time? Doesn’t that age the bridge faster? Surely it does!  My luck that day, a semi-truck was in front of me, and a line of cars behind me. Typically, I would stop at the front of the bridge if I am lucky enough to see the light turn yellow.  That day, it turned yellow just as I started driving onto it! I was hoping and praying the semi-truck driver would be a rebel for just this one moment and run the dang light… but, of course he didn’t! He stopped. This left me right smack in the middle of this little old bridge with cars lined up behind me, and muddy water beneath me. I was stuck. 

You know those times in the movies where the main character’s life flashes in front of their eyes, right before something tragic happens? Well, usually it only flashes for a few short seconds as I cross the bridge each day. But today, that darn light made my life flash before my eyes for what seemed like 15 minutes! I was literally about to lose my mind! My head was all of a sudden on a swivel that turned in every direction it possibly could to desperately find a way out. I am sure the people in the car behind me probably thought I was either jamming to some great tunes or high on drugs! My eyes wandered across the bridge, full of cracks and potholes; then underneath the bridge, which was brown mucky water that was so high from all the record-breaking rain this fall. 

My thoughts started running wild. “I know I will definitely get caught up in an undertow and never get out! And how in the world will I be able to see through that mucky water to unbuckle Nora’s car seat in the back of the van.  Oh, my goodness, she is asleep! Would she even wake up if we went down? Surely, she would be so disoriented she would not know what to do! And that muddy water would make it nearly impossible to save her life! And even if I did get her out of the car seat, how would I get her out of the van without us drowning first?”

Okay, I could probably go on and on for about another page worth of all the crazy fears that went through my head, and go through my head each time I cross over a bridge. But, I think you get the point, right? So, clearly, I have a phobia of bridges. Gephyrophobia is the fear of bridges. I know I have it. I feel it every time I am in a car or walking over a bridge. It may seem ridiculous to you; it does to my husband and kids… they make fun of me every time! But, I wouldn’t wish the feeling I get when I cross over a bridge on my worst enemy… well, maybe Satan!  Which got me thinking. Phobias are just fears of different kinds. For example, I also have a fear of spiders. That is called arachnophobia. One day I almost wrecked the van when a spider started crawling towards me on the windshield. Another time, I called the church office to see if Jon could come home and kill this big spider on the ceiling. I was so scared I didn’t even care that I had to leave a message with Sammy, the senior minister, in order to rid myself of the anxiety I was feeling. (We live right next to the office in case you were starting to think I was REALLY crazy!) I am pretty sure I also have ichthyophobia, which is the fear of fish too. Pools are my favorite! Anyway, you get it! I have real fears, and plenty of them! 

There are so many things that I am NOT afraid of, like rollercoasters and trying different foods! But, in the rare, or daily occasions, that my fears are put to the test, I fail miserably at having courage and faith, controlling my anxiety, and looking at things logically in the moment. So, this year my goal is to have faith over fear. Three words, not one… man, am I special, lol!

I recently had the pleasure of listening to a few audio books that hit on fear. (I will list at the end) One passage of scripture that stood out to me so clearly when dealing with fear and anxiety, is the passage where Peter walks on water with Jesus. You can find this passage in Matthew 14:22-33. 

Before we dive into this passage, I want to set up the scene for you, because right before this happened, Jesus had performed a miracle, and fed 5,000 people with just 5 loaves of bread and two fish. After they had all eaten there were 12 baskets full of the broken pieces left over. The disciples had just witnessed this miracle! Peter had just seen his Lord break the bread and feed all those people like it was no big deal. After all, He was the Son of God!

So now, we pick up in verse 22 where Jesus commanded the disciples to get in the boat and cross to the other side of the sea, as he dismissed the crowds. Then Jesus went up to the mountains alone to pray until evening. (v.23) By this time the boat was a long distance from the shore, being tossed by the waves as a storm blew in. (v.24) Then, in the last part of the night, between 3am-6am, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. (v.25) When the disciples saw him, they cried out in fear, “It’s a ghost!” (v.26) But, Jesus immediately replied, “Do not fear, it is I.” (v.27) Peter then called out to him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” (v.28) Jesus said, “Come.” So, Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. (v.29) But, when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, and looked down at the waves and the wind, he was afraid, and started to sink into the water. He cried out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!” (v.30) Immediately, Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed Peter up out of the water saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (v.31) When they got to the boat the wind ceased. (v.32) Then the disciples worshipped Jesus, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God!” (v.33)

The first thing in this passage that stands out to me is that Jesus commanded them to get in the boat ahead of Him, and then went alone to pray; to spend time interceding for them, I am sure. Because, when we look at scripture, we see that Jesus is in heaven interceding for us, while we are seated obediently in the boat He told us to get in! When we are obedient to the calling God places on our lives, Jesus is busy interceding for us to the Father! He is fighting the waves, the waves of the enemy, while we are in the boat anxious and worried we may not make it out alive. Hebrews 7:25 says” …he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Again, in Romans 8:34, “…Christ is the one who died- more than that, who was raised- who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”  So, when I am crossing over that bridge each day, from this day forth, I will focus on the truth that Jesus is interceding for me. He understands the anxiety I feel, because He was flesh. He knew and felt anxiety in the garden. He felt the weight of the command God put on His life so much that He sweat blood! I have never sweat blood on a bridge! But, Jesus knows what my feelings are, He knows the fear I face when I see a bridge in the distance. Just as He felt it, even more so, when He saw the bridge he was to become between man and God. And I am sure, He is interceding for me as I cross that bridge each day! I am sure He has been praying I would have courage, and overcome my fear, this Gephyrophobia that shakes my courage to the core! He longs for that day, the day I focus on Him instead of that fear! 

The next part of the story, is one of my favorite parts, because just as they thought they were goners, Jesus shows up… and doesn’t show up riding on a boat to save them… He shows up walking on water! No rescue boat, just Him. Because, isn’t He all we really need? 

I am sure the disciples were just thinking logically, it had to be a ghost because if Jesus wanted to save us all, wouldn’t He show up in a big boat, or just calm the storm all together, just as He had before! We see earlier in Matthew 8:23-27, Jesus got into the boat and the disciples followed, then a powerful storm came in and the boat was being swamped by the waves. During all of this, Jesus was sleeping, while the disciples were freaking out! They woke Him saying, “Save us Lord, we are perishing.” Then Jesus said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” He got up and rebuked the storm and there was a great calm, leaving the disciples saying to one another, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey him?”

Sound familiar? Well, you would think the disciples would have learned the first time, that the winds and sea obey Him! Just as you would think I would have learned the many times I drove over that bridge unscathed, that the next time would be the same. But, as the disciples needed more teaching because some people just don’t get it the first time… or the second… or the 1,000th, apparently, neither do I! The disciples were a lot like us, forgetting all the times God had protected and provided in the past, all they could see was the storm they were in. They knew when Jesus commanded them to do something, like get in a boat, they would be safe. Yet, they forgot when fear had overcome them.

I love that it says Jesus immediately answered, “Do not fear, it is I.” He didn’t wait until he got near the boat to respond and let them shiver in fear a moment longer! He responded immediately when He saw they were afraid! Jesus is quick to comfort. Quick to remind us that He’s got this! He commands us to not be afraid, because all we need is Him. And He is there!

When I was stuck on that bridge, the last thing I thought I needed was a little bit of faith. I could think of so many things I needed, like 10 more inches in front of me and behind me, so I could high tail it outta there! But faith, no. That was the last thing on my mind. Instead of thinking, “if this bridge goes down today, I get to see my heavenly Father!” I was thinking, “I can’t handle this, I am doomed to the mucky waters below!”  My faith was too small in comparison to my fear. 

We see next in this passage; the disciples are still in question if it is really Jesus. So, Peter calls out to Jesus in need of confirmation. He even proposed putting himself in the dreadful waves, escalating the danger of his own life, just to find out if it was really Him. If ya ask me, Peter was walking in blind faith at that moment. I feel like he blurted out something he didn’t have time to process. Because, if he had thought about it long enough to let fear set in, or doubt, he may never have walked on water at all. But, it was Peter, and he spoke without processing a lot. And thankfully, this quality came in handy this time, handy enough for Peter to check off “walking on water” from his bucket list! Many of us are like Peter, but, I am not. I would have been the LAST person on that boat to suggest I get out on the water to discover if that figure walking in the distance, on water, was a ghost or Jesus! If you haven’t figured me out yet, I am not a big risk taker! I especially don’t come up with the big risky ideas! I simply reject them.

But, if Peter had not blurted out as he did, this example of faith would have been lost. But, Peter was fearless. Oh, to be like Peter… 

Jesus quickly responded, “Come.”

This has me thinking… if I were to be more like Peter, and ask God to give me cofidence enough to step out in faith, in a dangerous way, I have no doubt God would say, “Come.” and would use me to do simply amazing things! But, for now, I really just want to get over that bridge without fear! One step at a time, Amanda.

When Jesus said, “Come,” Peter did! I don’t even think he hesitated. It doesn’t mention he hesitated. Sounds to me like he just flops his legs over the side of the boat and put his feet on the water and took off in the direction of Christ! 

Peter chose to remove himself from the boat of fear and bee-line it to Christ, as the other disciples stayed in boat, choosing fear over having faith. I want so badly to be more like Peter! I want to have courage, without hesitation, to take a leap of faith when God says, “Come.” 

Then we see Peter do what we all do, when we choose to have faith and follow Christ. We look away. We get side tracked or distracted by the waves of the enemy, that we take our eyes off of Him. We start to focus on all those cracks and pot holes on the bridge, all the muddy waters below, and we begin to sink in fear just as Peter sank into the waves of the storm.

Good news is, as we see Peter do; all we need to do to get back on top of the water, is call out to Jesus! When Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus reached out his arm and pulled Peter out of the waves of fear, and back above the water in faith. Then He said to Peter, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

I know God is powerful. I know God has a plan for my life. Why would I doubt that? Why would I think God would let me fall into that muddy water and die? Why do I choose fear over faith? Not anymore! The next time I cross over that bridge, I will rebuke that bridge in the name of Jesus, just as Jesus rebuked the storm in Matthew 8! I will quote 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given me a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” And if that doesn’t strengthen my faith enough to keep my mind and eyes on Christ, I will cry out to him, “Lord, save me!” And he will.

I no longer want to be one of the disciples who “played it safe” on the boat, and missed out on the experience Paul had! I want to be the one who proposes great feats to Christ, so that He may say, “Come.” And I will, without hesitation! I have such a long way to go before I become like Peter, but, this passage is such a powerful example of faith over fear. 

I would imagine, the vast majority of you do not have a fear of bridges. But, we all have fears. The question is, Is your faith greater than your fear? If it wasn’t before, I sure hope it is now! 

Let Jesus calm the storm of fear that you have been living in today. Pray with me.

Lord, we come to You today so thankful for the Word! We thank You for this powerful example of faith. We thank You for sending Your son as a bridge we can love! Lord, help us overcome our fear with faith today! Increase our faith today Lord, knowing Peter was able to walk on water gives us faith we can too! We praise You for the wonderful Father You are, faithful, true, holy, and powerful, we give You glory for all the good things we learned from this passage! We pray You would continue to strengthen our relationship with Christ. We cry out to Him in the midst of our fear, and He will save us! We claim victory over fear in Jesus name, amen!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my heart today! I hope you enjoyed the read and will continue to revisit my blog in the future. I love giving, and am so thankful God has blessed me enough that I am able to give back to my readers! This Friday, I will be giving away a snap bracelet, with a snap of my faith over fear design. Here are the three simple steps to enter to win:

  1. Subscribe
  2. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram (links are in side bar)
  3. Comment below a fear you will commit to overcome with faith!

I will announce the winner of the bracelet Friday at 8pm on The Lesser Me Facebook and Instagram. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Audiobooks mentioned above: 

Anxious for Nothing By Max Lucado 

Fervent By Priscilla Shirer

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way By Lysa TerKeurst

Prayer By Timothy Keller

37 Comment

  1. Amanda I myself have a fear of bridges, I’m glad I’m not the only one, why they put a light there is question I have had for years, I know we shouldn’t fear but we are human, I have learned to have faith in certain situations but still fear alot of situations, my biggest fear is still death but its getting easier as I learn and understand the word of God I have along way to go but eager to learn, I dont know what gods plan is for me yet but I know it’s in the works.
    Thank you for the encouraging words you may not think alot of us don’t pay attention but alot of are quiet well ok I’m not one of them lol
    Thank you

  2. This hit right at home for me! I have been trying to have the mindset of having Faith over Fear! I am fearful of the things that I cannot control, like sickness, death, house fires, someone breaking into my house, etc.
    I drive myself crazy sometimes at night thinking of what Char’Lee would do without me or vise versa, ways to escape a house fire and all the other scenarios! I know, crazy right?! lol
    I think ever since I have become a mommy, it’s started. She needs me and I need her, so I need to be here to protect her.
    I choose to have faith that everything is in Gods control and the doubts, anxiety, and fear is Satans way of getting to me. I need to have Godly thoughts and not let fear of the things I cannot control take over when my mind starts to wonder! God will calm my storm, I know he will! Instead of having fear of the things I cannot control, I will embrace this life God has given. I choose to have faith over fear and I know I can cry out to our father whenever the fear slips in.

  3. I think Jon told us about the time you were driving with the spider😂😂 because I had a similar story. I have always as well loved the passage of Peter walking on water. I cant say that I would do the same as Peter but I will say I’m getting better at taking chances and having faith things will work out. Thank you for your blogs!!

  4. I can 100% relate to your fear of bridges. They terrify me! But right now, my biggest fear is failure. I had a major set back in school last year causing my graduation date to be pushed until this December. I was devastated and heart broken. Even with all of the joys and blessings I had in my life, this one thing sent me downhill fast. Now that I’m back on track, I have a major fear that I will fail and never make it through nursing school. It is constantly on my mind and at times it makes things so difficult. My anxiety is through the roof and I tend to dwell on it instead of handing it over to God. My fear is definitely bigger than my faith right now. But I will pray for courage like Peter, to have faith so much bigger than my fear. I know I will overcome this through God ❤️

    1. Thanks for sharing! I always try to remind myself this too shall pass… I will be praying you can get through this season of life with courage and faith ❤️

  5. My fear isn’t so much of bridges but of interstates. I try to avoid them if I can. The fear of I75 takes me over with fear to the point I could have a panic attack. I have had those too years ago and they are not fun.
    I don’t know what it is with I75. I can drive on I64.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Fear is real, no matter where you are and what it is! Hope this will give you a boost to maybe take a new approach when driving towards the on ramp ❤️

  6. Having a child born with a rare life threatening condition I knew everyday of her life she most likely die before me. I truly thot I would never survive this life without her. My biggest fear came true on May 2, 2018. Hannah ran into the arms of Jesus that day. I was sure that I would forget to breathe each breath after that. Truth is I’m learning to take everything Hannah taught me about how short life really is, how to live as Jesus taught us bc she lived that way every day and now I’m able to honor her with my work with people with brain injuries. So my fear was having to live without her and I’m working hard everyday to make it a good life bc of her.

    1. I think that’s every parents worst fear. I pray that you will feel the peace of Jesus over you throughout your days. I cling to not only the words of Jesus but also wisdom from my grandmother & great-grandmother who have survived the same as you have. “Nothing is so bad tonight that it won’t get better tomorrow.” I also was asked to sing the song One Day at a Time at my great-grandmothers funeral. “One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that’s all I’m asking from You.” ❤️

  7. Thank you for doing this blog! I fear a lot things too. I appreciate all you do, your inspiring jewelry and words of wisdom. Your smiling face at church! Love you!

  8. This is an amazing blog. So so much truth in this. My husband were in a terrible car wreck 4 years ago and I have terrible PTSD on the roads. I am a nervous wreck especially when someone else is driving and constantly watching the other cars. GOD spared us so I need to let go and let GOD…easier said than done, we all are a work in progress. Thank you for having such a giving heart and hope to get to know you more in the weeks and months ahead. I DONT LIKE BRIDGES EITHER

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I haven’t been in an accident, so I am thankful for that because I am sure I would be struggling the same as you with driving. Praying that you can find courage and faith even in those anxious moments ❤️

  9. So this is so cool! Our pastor talked about this same passage this Sunday. You both talked about fears, but in a little different ways! Such a great reminder! Maybe God’s telling me something…. lol thank you for sharing!

    1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing! Fear is always holding us back from the blessings God has in store for us. Hope you have a blessed week ❤️

  10. While my dad was battling pancreatic cancer I lived on the words Faith Over Fear. I know those words helped me with the journey with dad and now those words are helping me face every day since he passed away in September.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss. Fear and greif are both hard to overcome. Will be praying for you, I am sure there are hard days, I hope the memories you have are positive as you look back ❤️

  11. It’s always so hard to let go and let God. My husband lost his job before Christmas due to health reasons. I fear not having enough money, not being able to pay bills and just struggling…but I know God will provide and he doesn’t close a door without opening another. Fear gets in the way so often. Gods got this, Gods got us!!

  12. One fear that I want to overcome is the fear of failing at being a writer. I feel as though God has put this calling on my life to do in blog form, for now, and in online articles. But fear enters my mind about whether it will be good enough or come off the way I mean it to.

    1. I have the same fears! When I start to get insecure in my writing skills or artwork, I always go back to the scriptures that remind me of who I am in Christ ❤️ Thanks for sharing!

  13. I find myself getting caught up in my fears quite often. Especially when I can’t sleep at night. I have many years of losing my children or them getting hurt. But the one tangible fear I feel I could work on overcoming throughout this year is I have a fear of praying in front of others. I’m an introvert & I pray often to myself & with my family at home. But I don’t like attention in many other settings. And I know during prayer the attention isn’t on you and your words are to Jesus, not out there to be judged but it sure feels like it sometimes. I had fear in my heart one day over a situation and the “Breakup Song” came on Klove. It was meant for me to hear right at that moment! “Fear you don’t own me, there ain’t no room in this story, I ain’t got time for you telling me what I’m not like you know me well guess what, I know who I am, I know I’m strong, brave, and I am free, got my own identity, so fear you will never be welcome here.”

  14. I fear something happening to my children and grandchildren. Are there cars in good working order, do they drive safely, are they aware when the kids are out of sight. Not sure why I worry and am fearful. I pray for their safety and protection but sometimes it gets me.

    1. I can relate. I am constantly praying over my kids when they are not with me. Especially while they are in school. Thanks for sharing ❤️

  15. I will push myself to pursue dreams that I fear are beyond my abilities. I will trust God’s plan to use me in a different area of my work and know He will provide me with the knowledge I need for the job.

  16. I suffer from panic attacks and extreme anxiety at times. They are typically just out of fear of having a panic attack itself. It is somewhat of a vicious cycle. I would love to say that in 2019 I overcame my panic attacks and anxiety through my faith. I firmly believe that God will take this burden away, and I will strive to make my faith bigger than my fear.

    1. That is definitely a great goal! I have anxiety in crowded public places, it’s not fun. I have to sit on the end of a row always because I get anxious sitting in the middle of a bunch of people. I feel like I cannot breathe. I will be praying you can gain control over your anxiety. Thanks for sharing ❤️

  17. Amen about Faith over fear.. with fear we can build up our faith by knowing God is with us and we can over come our fear thru Him..

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