In June, I finished reading through the Christian Bible in order to study, in their context, 365 verses, which encourage Believers to "fear not."
I realized quickly the passages include a "why not" or "how not." That pattern continued for all 365 verses I studied. Each one provides a way Believers can fear not -- most often by recalling a past miracle or provision from God, or a reminder of His nature.
While not at a conscious level, before this study, I suspected many fear-not passages chided readers to have more faith -- "You should trust more." "Just do it." "Why is your faith so weak?" It was encouraging to again see the true nature of God as Loving Father -- always providing the means for us to do what He calls us to do. We can fear not because time and again, He has shown Himself to be good.
This study and revelation came in handy in January, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In February, when I had a double mastectomy. And this week, as I start the reconstruction process.
As I've navigated this journey, Isaiah 26:3 has served as my "weather-vane." It promises that God will keep in perfect peace, those whose hearts are set on Him -- because they trust Him.
Gratefully, through most of this process, I have experienced a peace that passes understanding. At other times, especially before the tumor was removed, it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest.
Gratefully, each time I felt fear, I knew my heart's focus had drifted … to the diagnosis of cancer … instead of God's faithfulness -- to me personally and to so many throughout all of time. And I knew I didn't have to fake it until I made it. I didn't have to chide myself for lacking faith. I simply needed to refocus on His goodness, and peace returned.
I am excited about this week's surgery -- and the opportunity for my body to return to it's pre-cancer form. I'm even more grateful to know -- beyond a doubt -- my God is good. He is with me. He is for me. He is faithful and true. And because of that -- only because of that -- I may truly fear not.
I am so very grateful to my friend Alyson, who introduced me to Scripture journaling and created the Fear Not study I used. She is a gifted artist, who creates beautiful journals and other works of art, to encourage our walk with Jesus.
She also painted the Scripture below -- just for me. A beautiful depiction of my testimony: God has healed me. To Him be the glory, honor, and praise. Fear not!
Posted July 16, 2023