Joy Thompson Sander describes herself as a follower of Christ, wife, mother, and writer with over 30 years of teaching experience. If Joy isn’t standing at her desk organizing home-school lessons for her two teenagers, you may find her scribbling thoughts for her next story, or gesturing wildly at her computer screen — Joy teaches English as a second language to Chinese E.S.L. students via an online platform.
As our guest at Cache of Grace, Joy shares about how she deals with the fear of not measuring up to expectations.
During a time of increasing stress and intense upheaval in the lives of my family, my brother Joey asked me a crazy question (I thought it was crazy at the time). He asked, ” Joybeth, WHAT are you afraid of?”
He didn’t ask the question in an everyday, monster in the closet, bills to be paid, physical adversity to overcome — NORMAL way. Oh nooooooo. Not MY brother. 😊 He had to go and ask me in a SPIRITUAL sense: “WHAT are you AFRAID of?”
My first thoughts (as well as my first words) were, “Nothing. I have God on my side. I can make it through anything.”
But, while this was true, my answer felt shallow… I DO have God, the Almighty, All POWERFUL, omniscient, omnipresent CREATOR of the Universe in my corner. He loves ME! But…I am afraid. Still…
I am fearful of not being enough.
I am afraid of not living up to my potential.
I am fearful of not doing, being, becoming what I need to do , be and become.
I am fearful of being asked to be more transparent than I am comfortable being.
When the winds of CRAZY blow and my world is turned upside down, will people still want to be taught by a teacher who is hanging onto the robes of her Savior, tossed back and forth by the turbulent gale forces of life?
God’s word answers my fears:
Romans 8:31-39 states (in the Good News Version):
” In view of all this, what can we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? Certainly not God, who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son—will he not also freely give us all things?
Who will accuse God’s chosen people? God himself declares them not guilty! Who, then, will condemn them? Not Christ Jesus, who died, or rather, who was raised to life and is at the right side of God, pleading with him for us! Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? As the scripture says,
“For your sake we are in danger of death at all times;
we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below—there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
WOW.! That is a powerful PROMISE. How can I fear man (or myself AND my shortcomings) if I have the PERFECT LOVE of the Father, the PROTECTION of the Son, and the PRESENCE of the Holy Spirit?
Even though I am so very fallible (and not everyone’s cup of tea), I have victory over all fears!
“No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!”
Isaiah 41:13 says “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
James 1:2-4 encourages us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Verse after verse reminds us that in our weakness He is made strong. Through adversity we learn. Through imperfection we can grow.
Our job is not to be everything for all people, but rather to be who we are in Christ — THROUGH the STRENGTH of Christ — and allow Him to lead the way, even when we are hanging onto his robes and being tossed around in the storms.
What winds are tossing you these days? Do you have peace in the middle of YOUR storms?