In his first inaugural speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt told the country that "...the only thing we have to fear is fear itself..." I guess in reality that's true. Fear is a powerful, horrible, crippling thing. Fear motivates our baser instincts. Fear prevents us from doing things we should and often causes us to do that which we should not. Probably every mistake I've made in life's root cause was fear of some sort or another.
Every day I fight battles with fear. I constantly fear I'm not a good enough mother for Firecracker. I fear that something will happen to her. I fear something will happen to B or to me, and that she'll only have one parent. I seriously fear being remotely the kind of mother my own was / is.
Every time B comes in from mowing or running all purple from overdoing it, I fear he'll fall over dead, because I have vivid, almost twenty-two-year-old memories of my Dad mowing the yard on a hot September evening, having a heart attack, and dying. His moans, his gasps for air will haunt me for the rest of my days.
Fear prevented me from being more aggressive during the three years we tried to have a baby. First I really was afraid of getting pregnant. Then I lived with the fear of losing my first pregnancy the entire time I was pregnant. Then after the miscarriage I was deathly afraid of having to experience it again if we were to get pregnant. I was very happy yet still not happy the year or so we did but didn't try to get pregnant.
Fear keeps us from saying the things we need to say, both good and bad. Sometimes when we're afraid of hurting someone, we do more damage because we allow fear to regulate our actions.
I'm not going to say that I didn't have any fear when I was pregnant with Firecracker, but I had a peace about me before I got pregnant with her, throughout the pregnancy, and after her birth that could only have been from God. B and I both always just knew things were right this time. Prayers were answered and still are being answered. I have never felt the prayers of others so much as I did when Firecracker was born.
The only antidote to fear I've found is faith. Faith in God has carried me through both my darkest and lightest days. According to Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." That confidence and assurance are what chase away the fear. Without them, I don't think that I could face some, if not most, days.
As stated before, fear can be crippling. However faith is empowering. As B would possibly post on Twitter, Faith > Fear.
"The Lord is my light and my salvation;whom shall I fear?The Lord is the stronghold of my life;of whom shall I be afraid?" - Psalm 27:1 ESV