INTRODUCED TO FEAR

INTRODUCED TO FEAR

I vividly remember the day I was introduced to the fear of not being safe as a little girl. We were out of town on vacation with another family. My friend and I asked for money to walk down to the store. We laughed the whole way there and giggled the whole way back. We didn’t have a care in the world except being a child on a mission for candy. The next day we asked to go again, but this time our moms were hesitant, and you could feel something strange in the atmosphere. We continued to beg them to let us go, and finally, they shared with us that a man had done something really bad and that the police were still looking for him. They allowed us to go but firmly warned us to ‘be careful.’ Our eyes were as wide as they could be the whole way down. Fear had shut down our joy, and when we got back to the cabin, we sprinted the last few feet as if something was chasing us. I was introduced to fear that day, and it remained with me for decades. Did a man do something bad? Yes. Was he still at risk of harming others? Yes. Was there a real danger? Potentially. But what I needed as a child whose brain wasn’t fully developed was not the introduction of fear but to be empowered with HOW to keep safe. John 10:10 outlines that we all have an enemy wanting to bring harm, but the rest of the verse is how we should position our parenting. Jesus has tools to overcome every strategy of the enemy. We can camp out in fear of the enemy OR the strategy and tools of heaven – we pick. 

P.S. I am fairly certain my mom witnessed me partnering with fear in the days ahead but she just didn’t have the language or tools to help me. We can parent our children differently.

INTRODUCED TO FEAR

I teach a lesson to parents on being spiritually clean. 9/10 adults say they were introduced to a demonic spirit of fear through the TV shows their parents allowed in the home. Even if children didn’t ‘see’ the show, they felt the atmosphere down the hallway and came under the spirit of fear in their bedroom, which is still affecting them today. What you allow in your home today will reap a harvest down the road. It isn’t a matter of if you can handle it or not; it is a matter of whether it is in line with righteousness. If not, it will not produce the fruit of the Kingdom. We can’t feed our children with horror, fear, watching murder, violence, swearing, and unhealthy relationships and foresee it to reap a harvest of righteousness, peace, and joy.

I DECLARE…

I DECLARE we WILL receive the KEYS of heaven to help this generation navigate the sexual perversion attacking their future marriage bed, gender, identity, and purity. Jesus was in hell for three days collecting the KEYS we need for TODAY, and I am determined to hold them in my hands. The battle feels heavy for many parents in this area, but I DECLARE the keys will prove that HIS yoke is light. I DECLARE that this generation will come out from under the burden of sexual attacks and EXPOSE the spirit behind it for what it is. I DECLARE not only will they be victorious in their personal life but will rise up and defeat the enemy in the lives of those around them. If God created sex and called it GOOD, then He has a PLAN to help this generation steward it well.

FOREBODING SPIRIT

Oh my goodness. I went to Walmart with my daughter, and we laughed and smiled as we walked inside. I had a mental note of how much joy I was feeling at that moment. We grabbed a cart and took off for our items. I began to feel something, and it was starting to affect me physically, like a deep pit in my stomach. I noticed the empty shelves where cleaning supplies and wipes were supposed to be stocked. It was an eerie feeling. I walked away and felt gripped with a strong feeling. I finally stopped and asked my daughter to check her gut and tell me what she was sensing, and she said, “Oh, Mom. It feels scary, like we aren’t going to be okay.” I asked her if she believed that, and she said NO but was feeling it strongly. We realized it was not us but the atmosphere. We left and renounced the feeling of dread and fear and released peace. 

Parents, please be sensitive to your child. It may not be a character issue if they have random outbursts, but simply feeling the atmosphere of fear around them. Ask Holy Spirit if it is time for correction or to pull them in close and assure them Jesus is in control.

OVER/UNDER PARENTING

We can parent our children by standing OVER them and using our authority in a way that dominates and uses fear (of your disapproval, punishment or lack) as a motivator to control. We do this through scolding, yelling, harsh punishments, disconnection, ill words, anger, and withholding. OR we can use our authority to get UNDER our children and see their weakness as an area we get to empower them and help them grow and learn. We do this through teaching in the time of peace, connection, kindness, encouraging words, tangible skills and solutions, believing in them, cheering them on and expecting more of them.

EXPOSING FEAR 2/3

Shock and Awe

Shock and awe (technically known as rapid dominance) is explained as a tactic based on the use of overwhelming power and spectacular displays of force to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy their will to fight. This is true in the natural times of war and how the enemy works. The enemy takes situations (opening a bill in the mail, news of a death, low grade, car accident, trauma, etc.) and uses this shock and awe tactic on people, including children. Their entire being is on alert, much like a hand where all the fingers are flexed simultaneously. The brain, mind, emotions, and nervous system are overwhelmed, and in that split-second moment before logic and coping skills kick in, the enemy whispers his lie (“You are all alone,” “No one cares,” “Your God is not powerful,” etc.). When the body, mind, and emotions begin to calm down (like fingers that go back to a relaxed state), the lie remains because, at that moment, the lie FEELS true based on the evidence. The enemy then gets to influence us because we partnered with the lie.

Here is an excellent example of how this plays out. Many in the world are beginning to calm down from the shock and awe over recent events and are overcoming this tactic of the enemy. “No, no, no, I will not be influenced by fear. I do not partner with the idea of doom or lack. I will not bow down, lie down, or shrink back. I am a child of God with a Father who has defeated the spirit behind this attack. I will cling to Him, His Kingdom, His power, His voice, and His resources in this hour.” I WILL arise!

JUST SAY NO!

Years ago, I had my second lump removed from my breast. I scheduled my follow-up surgery on the same day my insurance expired. My doctor ran the test and told me I had a 65% chance of getting the most aggressive form of breast cancer within five years and suggested I go on a low-dose cancer drug. I told her my insurance ended that day, and she said, “Well, you better hurry up then and make a decision,” assuring me she could give me an extended prescription to cover me for a while. I was barely 40 years old, a single mom, and had four little babies at home under five. Flashbacks of losing my mom to breast cancer poured out of my eyes as I wept, sitting in my car in the parking lot. My ability to think and make rational decisions became paralyzed in fear. I was gambling with my life, and it was not something to take flippantly. I called some friends who had their journey with cancer and strongly suggested I take the drug. I cried out to God (literally), telling Him how scared I was (not just for me, but how this would affect my children), and asked what I should do. Suddenly, I got this overwhelming thought, “Why would I treat a cancer I do not have?” The doctor said I had a higher percentage that I COULD get it, but I currently did not have cancer. The tornado of chaos and emotions gave way to deep peace. I attempted to clean up the streaks of black mascara that stained my face and, with bold confidence, went back up to my doctor’s office to tell her, “Thank you, but no thank you.” I was fully aware that fear would knock, wanting me to play the What-If game.

I made an agreement with God that day. I reminded Him that He is my great Physician (years earlier, I was scheduled for a double transplant – until God stepped in). I already had faith in what He can do through my body, so I turned the issue over to Him and told Him, “I am not going to pay attention to this report. This one is on You, and You can alert me if something is wrong, but I will not let fear talk to me.” Over the years, I have had to remind myself of that agreement on a few occasions, and when fear knocks, I answer by blessing my body and cursing cancer. Fast forward to one summer. We have always spent our summers on the road doing family ministry. That summer, we had our trip all planned down to the details, but the more things came together, the louder my lack of peace became. I finally laid it all down as I no longer wanted to fight for peace. A week later, I found a mass in my breast. Between swinging from one doctor appointment to the next and waiting for appointment day to arrive, we spent our summer walking out the reality that a tumor was found. I got the call while standing in the swimsuit section of Target and would be lying if I said the room didn’t spin a bit when I hung up the phone. But I asked God, “Is this my time?” and clearly, I heard, “NO!” My mind never played the What-If game, and I kept my peace all summer.

It doesn’t make it true just because someone speaks a word over you. Just because the odds are against you doesn’t mean you have lost. Just because a doctor says so doesn’t mean you have to partner with it. Just because fear speaks to you doesn’t mean you have to listen. I am happy to report that I am okay, and we are on the other side of this journey.

FREEDOM FROM FEAR

When Hudson was six years old, he came to me after we were all in bed and said there was fear in his room. I asked what he wanted to do, and he said, “Mom, we need to go up and tell it to leave.” YES! He gets it. Fear doesn’t chase him out of his room. That is HIS room, and fear is the one that has to leave. When we KNOW fear, we need to say NO to fear. If they do not have a junior Holy Spirit, they don’t have junior authority. When my children saw ‘bad’ stuff, I asked if they wanted it to be there because respecting free will is how the Kingdom of God is established. I would then help them to pray using this outline.

The Bible instructs us to command whatever is NOT in heaven to go in Jesus’ name and to invite in whatever IS in heaven in the name of Jesus. COMMAND THE BAD TO GO: “Fear/anger/strife/chaos/, I see you, and you need to leave in Jesus’ name.” INVITE THE GOOD TO COME: “Peace/love/joy/comfort/, I invite and welcome you in Jesus’ name.” There is no rule on how to do it, but this outline helps to teach them. I love the expression, “I see you,” when speaking to the fear/anger because it helps us to FACE the issue head-on rather than ignore it or feel paralyzed by it. The greater point is that children need to be intentionally TAUGHT tools to use when fear comes. They do not need to be harassed day and night endlessly with fear. Jesus trumps fear… Always!

DEPRESSION VS. OPPRESSION

Do you feel depressed? Years ago, I plopped down on the chair and began to tell my mentor that I was depressed. I felt heavy. My mind was like a thick fog, and my heart felt like it was carrying around a bag of rocks. Little brought me joy and being motivated to do basic daily chores was hard. We began to ask Jesus about what was going on in my heart, and within a few minutes, I said, “Oh, the depression is gone.” She replied, “That is because you weren’t depressed.” Confused by her reply, I asked for understanding. She began to tell me that depression is rooted in our body and has to do with a chemical imbalance. Depression is real and affects many. But she went on to say that OPPRESSION is the pressure the enemy puts on us that feels, looks, and sounds like depression but is rooted in the spiritual realm. Oppression feels like a python snake squeezing you. True chemical imbalance depression is cured by medication to regulate the hormones in the brain. But oppression is cured by taking authority in the spiritual realm, aligning our thoughts with His, and declaring truth. When we do those things, the oppression flees. If you are feeling a heavy weight of ‘depression,’ try moving into a place of intentional worship, declaring out loud, commanding it to leave in Jesus’ name, and worshiping! If you feel a shift, it was oppression. This goes for adults and children!

DON’T MESS WITH MY KIDS

One night we went to the playground with some friends. They were all playing ball nicely when three boys entered the scene and joined them. The boys left early, and my kids came to tell me how mean they were and the awful things they were saying to them. I told them to shake it off and go enjoy the rest of the time at the park, but apparently, one of the boys said upon leaving that they would be back to beat them up. I could tell the kids were partnering with intimidation, so I asked them to ask Jesus if He would show them a picture of the boys’ hearts. All of the kids heard really big stuff. I then asked them to ask Jesus what the name of the KEY is that He wanted them to use with their hearts. They went off to play, and sure enough, the boys came back. I walked over to them, and this love just fell in my heart for them. It was so easy to see these boys were not bullies but treasures! I asked if they wanted to play ball with the other kids, and one of them confessed they didn’t know how to play the game the way they were playing it (aha, perhaps he wasn’t a bully, but feeling inadequate and afraid to admit his weakness). His eyes locked with mine, and I told him that I could see he was a strong leader and that I believed he had the skills to work it out and encouraged him to try again. They ended up being a friendly group of boys playing a mean game of ball!

FLIP OF A SWITCH

If you have a child who can ‘flip like a switch’ out of nowhere, it could be that they are very sensitive to the atmospheres around them. I was this way as a child, and it brought about a lot of conflict because no one, including myself, understood why I could be perfectly fine one moment and angry or filled with anxiety the next. In my mind, nothing was bothering me, but it was like something had come over me. Once I realized I was coming into an atmosphere of ‘stuff,’ I began to learn how to take authority over it and flip it.