My friend Maria was told her son Gideon wouldn’t live more than a few minutes if he survived his own birth, and she was terrified. She knew what the bible said, that God draws near to the brokenhearted, but had no idea how He would do it until she and her family lost this tiny baby boy.
I’m thrilled you get to meet Maria today and read her story. I know it will encourage you whether you’re living through your own broken heart or are walking with someone else’s pain in the palm of your hand. Maria’s written an amazing book, Breaking the Fear Cycle and I’m giving away a free copy. You’ll find the details at the end of the post.
If I tell you a secret, do you promise not to make fun of me or secretly judge me?
So, there is a picture of myself that I absolutely love. It’s not because of how I look or how lovely my makeup was put on that day. Its because of the story that it tells. Its because in my eyes I can see the work that God was doing in me.
When this picture was taken I was pregnant with a child I knew would not live. At my 18 week ultrasound appointment my baby boy Gideon was given a fatal diagnosis. Once born, if he survived delivery, he would have only minutes of life in him.
For awhile I thought I was a walking symbol of death. I know it sound cruel, but that’s how I felt.
I was terrified. Utterly terrified.
What would it be like to hold a baby as they died?
How would my older children survive this tragedy?
Would the fear paralyze me, destroy me?
This picture reminds me of hope amidst the fear and living proof that God draws near to the brokenhearted.
Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Yet, oftentimes I think we don’t actually know how God will do this. Especially since we are not necessarily spared from the pain we wonder what does this verse actually look like in our lives?
It looks like this.
It looks like smiling in the middle of your hardest days.
It looks like laughter even when you are not sure how to survive.
It looks like hope when circumstances look bleak.
It is the supernatural given to us in powerful ways, mysterious ways when we need it most.
I promise you it is true, God’s word always is. The Lord does draw close to the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit and therefore we need not fear. We need not despair or worry because God remains good even in the worst.
So many parts of me wish I had known this before. Before Gideon I was too often downtrodden with fear, always worried that disaster was right around the corner. Never fully embracing the now because I just knew somehow tomorrow would carry hurt. I ignored the power of God’s word, the truth that even when disaster comes it doesn’t unfold like we fear that it might.
I wish had I known and I pray that together we can make up for lost time.
Fear doesn’t need to take up one more moment, we can look at testimonies of brothers and sisters gone before us and see the power of God that resides in the hard times. I look at these pictures because I never want to forget this promise.
What about in your life? What picture or mental picture can you draw from? A time in your life when God came in close? When God’s hope and joy were present even in the middle of the hard?
May you identify this memory and may it give you strength. May it be for you as altars were in the Old Testament, a reminder of what God has done.
My personal favorite, of course, is the altar that Gideon put up. In the book of Judges it says this, “But the Lord said to him [to Gideon], “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.”
Through my time with Gideon God whispered similar words to me, “Peace be with you my daughter! This is not going to kill you.” And so, in my own life, I have built in reminders that the Lord is peace, I need not be dismayed, or troubled, or fearful. My prayer for you sweet friend is that you too might remember that this peace is available to you.
Then, in our freedom and in our hope we are unleashed to do the fearless work of God!
As we part, may I leave you with these questions and may you know that on your fear fighting journey you are never alone?
What worry or fear steals joy from your days?
Do you trust that God’s word is true?
What reminds you of God’s faithfulness?
Where your fears once were, what “altar of peace” can you put up instead?
Maria Furlough is a proud Momma of 4 kiddos on earth and one living in the arms of Jesus.
Her greatest joy includes loving on women with the comfort and the power that God has given to her.
Maria has been writing Bible studies for over ten years and now enjoys shepherding women at her home church in Huntersville, North Carolina.
In her new book, Breaking the Fear Cycle, Maria shares that there is a way to live free from fear. Using her own story as a catalyst she shows readers how to overcome fear for good. She shows readers how to step out in bravery and name their fears out loud, choose to bring them to God first before acting on them and to trust God to be the only planner of our future.
She shows what it looks like to finally give God full control over our lives and choose His sovereignty over our own ability. We can break the cycle of fear, grow through our suffering, and finally learn how to fully rely on God’s promises of protection and peace.
I know, I’m the best! I’m giving away a copy of Maria’s book for FREE!! Just pop your email in RIGHT HERE and not only will you be entered to win a copy of Breaking the Fear Cycle, but you’ll get access to all my free resources.
You can’t lose!!
(The link says it’s for the resource library but it will also enter you to win the book!)
Pop your email in here and I’ll make sure you’re entered to win the book and I’ll also send all the goodies and resources my band of BBF’s (Best blog Friends) get.