I lost my husband 7 months ago. Thankfully, I’ve learned over years of being a military wife how to not freak out at night alone. BUT can I tell you about this last week?
I have never felt so afraid and pumped with cortisol in my life.
I was actually shaking head to toe in fear.
And let me tell you, I have had a full on battle with fear and anxiety for most of my life.
That is until Jesus delivered me from it a few years ago.
Even in all the hell and heartache of my last year, fear no longer has it’s grip on me.
Though fear has come to call just about four times. Here’s two of them…
I went to get the mail one night. Its about a block down from our house. 9pm with a shih tzu with an overactive bladder and no cell phone. A man dressed in black from head to toe with a hoodie covering his whole face began to approach me in the night. The ONLY way home was past this guy. And he was clearly on meth or something pretty intense by his demeanor and jittery movements.
I froze and asked God what to do. I heard, “Wait until that owl flies away.” Not kidding. There was a huge bird on top of the pine tree behind this dude, and so I obeyed.
A couple minutes went by and the guy went back to sit on an electrical box, facing the street.
Ok. Jesus. Be my shield and rear guard.
I started walking home, he on one side of the road and me on the other. It’s a sleepy neighborhood where everyone is in bed by 8pm, so… I was feeling on my own. As I passed him and he was now behind me out of line of sight, I walked briskly and saw a man opening his garage door just a few houses up. PRAISE GOD! If anything happened, I could cry out to someone.
That week, I found out from a text thread from neighbors that there’s a drug lord a few houses down as well. And then there was a shooting at a nearby intersection.
In the last month, I have driven home from church to see cops wrestle a guy to the ground 5 houses down. Listen. We live in a nice part of town. But.
House locks would nice. Don’t you think?
Two weeks later, I was able to get to bed early for once and in a deep sleep when the house phone goes off ringing.
At the same time, the door bell was ringing. After a while, the door bell rang again. I got up, heart beating, kids sleeping (PRAISE JESUS!), and grabbed my phone.
The door bell rang again.
I called a friend and whispered a prayer while the phone rang.
My friend works nights (PRAISE GOD!) because everyone else I know keeps phones on silent in the middle of the night. So in an emergency, who can we really even call? I didn’t know if this was an emergency or not and decided my friend could call cops for me if needed while I gathered babies into a safe room?
He answered, I explained and slowly left to check things out.
Approaching the front door, I see a shadow of a man.
Oh no. I think I see two of them. They seem in a panic. I feel the panic too.
Do they need help? Or am I in trouble?
I kept taking deep breaths and giving a play by play to my friend on the phone.
I approach the window, trying to stay out of line of sight, trying to see what’s going on. The house phone keeps ringing and the door bell goes off twice in a row.
Dad? Is that my dad? (The one who lives across the country?!?) He wears Scottish looking golfer hats… it is dad.
I open the door and let him in from the blustery winter night that he thought he might get stuck in.
I wasn’t expecting him until Saturday! It’s Wednesday! Apparently, all us grieving people don’t communicate very well.
By this time, I was shaking head to toe. My whole person was shaking back and forth in fear.
By this time, I let my friend go and almost started helping dad fix up his room and change sheets… but I heard Holy Spirit whisper to me, “FIGHT OR FLIGHT.”
I knew exactly what that meant. If I didn’t get out quickly and go calm down, I was about to fight my dad.
I told him, “Sorry, I can’t help. I need to go calm down.” Or I knew it was NOT going to be pretty.
I went upstairs, and I spoke to my cortisol (the stress hormone, the fight or flight hormone.)
“Cortisol, I command you to come under the authority of Christ. I command you to stop and calm down in Jesus’ name!”
My violent shaking and overwhelming fear settled and you won’t believe this. I laid down and went back to sleep!!!
So. When you are FREAKING OUT, these three things work:
1.) Say a prayer. Even if all you can whisper is, “Jesus.” He’ll come running.
2.) Phone a friend. A calm friend who might actually have their phone on!
3.) Take deep breaths. For real.
4.) Tell your cortisol what to do in Jesus name. You have authority in Christ!
5.) Get some rest. Sleep does the body good.
Miraculously, the children slept through it all. Miraculously, I didn’t fight my dad out of my panic that night. Miraculously, we all were able to get a bit of rest after that.
Long story short, YOU HAVE AUTHORITY IN CHRIST.
In the midst of ALL THE PANIC that is globally felt right now, YOU HAVE AUTHORITY to tell your cortisol what to do. And you can also take authority over the fear you see in people’s eyes at the grocery store and on the road. Be Ambassadors for Christ.
Peace be with you.