The reality of this current Covid-19 life is that we are all in the grips of fear.
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We all have fear of disease, death, financial loss, job loss, etc. Life has changed in every possible way. Kids are home from school, all activities cancelled, stores have experienced shortages and lets not even get started about “distance learning” (that is painful for most parents and kids alike)
So, I thought that maybe you would like a glimpse into my personal life….. we all share similar fears and concerns. How am I feeding my faith to starve fear?? To learn more about me I recently wrote this post.
The Bible Study: God is BIGGER, Feed Faith, Starve Fear, is based on the 5 ways God taught me to feed faith in his power. He taught me these strategies over the nearly 7 years our son battled leukemia. I learned these in the trenches, with disease and death always staring us in the face. These same strategies work no matter what kind of HARD circumstance we are going through.
I’m going to share with you the things I am currently doing in each of these 5 ways to feed my faith to starve fear in the midst of this Covid-19 life we are all living.
1) Praise and Worship.
Praise gets our eyes off our circumstances and on our Savior! Battles are raged and victories are won as we stand in praise of our God. GOD is BIGGER than anything we face. We feed our faith by praising our BIG God. Praise keeps us centered with the proper perspective… GOD is GOD and we are not!
So, how have I been intentional about praising God? I have a Bluetooth speaker that is easily connected to my phone and I have Bluetooth earphones. On my phone I have the Klove radio app, the Moody Radio app, Faith Radio app, Pandora, Apple Music and the Tunein Radio app. I use Pandora the most, but have used all of those apps this week. I really like Pandora because I can search for specific songs.
I make sure to turn on the music as I do housework. Praise helps keep my mind from wandering and centers my heart on truth!
We have had a few BEAUTIFUL spring days this week. I made sure that I went outside each day. I have been able to open the windows in the house. We live in the country and we have lots of birds. Our youngest son is a “birder”. He keeps our bird feeders full and over the years we have been intentional about planting trees and bushes and flowers that the birds like. We keep our eyes open for the return of the different species of birds. God’s creation worships him! Listening to the birds sing has been its own praise song.
As I type this I am sitting at the kitchen table in our 1911 Indiana farmhouse. I can look out the windows and see the clothes on the clothesline fluttering in the spring breeze. I can hear the song of several different types of birds. I can see my youngest son (Nate, age 15) shooting hoops out by the barn. The sun is shining. It is a gorgeous spring day and I choose to praise our God who created all this beauty!
We were blessed with a GORGEOUS sunset this week. It felt like a love letter from God. Even though the world
feels out of control right now, God is faithful. He reminds us every morning as the sun comes up and every evening as the sunsets that HE is faithful! His love for us never ends. His grace and mercy are new everyday. I took this picture of the sunset. My view standing outside my back door. I used the “Bible Lens” app to add the verse to my picture. It is a fun app. I like to add verses and text them to friends. I have also printed them off.
We have 3 sons and 1 daughter. Our daughter joined the Air Force and left for BMT (Basic Military Training) on March 17th just as the COVID-19 was really ramping up in the US. I told her when she left that I would be setting the alarm on my phone for 7am, noon and 5pm. These daily alarms are my “calls to prayer” for her. Now, I also include praying for our president and our nation. Side note: I am one PROUD mama to have a daughter serving in the Air Force!!
I pray during other times of the day, too. However, these alarms help me to pause from my activities and to center myself before the Lord. I generally start out by saying the Lord’s Prayer and then follow with prayers for our daughter, Robyn, and other requests.
Because Robyn left for BMT right as our nation began to “shelter in place” her BMT experience has been a bit different so far. One difference is that she has been allowed to call home a few times. We do not have an address for her (at this time they are not allowing us to send them mail) so they are allowing them at least weekly phone calls. It has been so wonderful to be able to hear her voice. Equally wonderful is that we have been able to pray together over the phone! She can also share with me specific prayer requests.
We all think nonstop, and our thoughts can take us deep into fear really fast. Turning those thoughts into conversations with God is powerful. We are transforming our bids by turning to God. Instead of letting our thoughts lead us into dark territory we turn to God and seek His light.
3) The Word of God
To feed our faith and starve fear we MUST be in the Word of God. We must know the Word. We must feed our spirits with the truth of God’s Word. We must fill our hearts with His truth otherwise we are filling our hearts with our human emotions.
The news on tv and the internet feeds fear in my heart. I choose to keep the news off most of the day. I have a couple of news sources I will check each day but otherwise I stay off and away. A little news goes a long way in kicking up the fear factor. While I don’t want to put my head in the sand and act like nothing is going on outside the four walls of my house, I also must be careful about what I allow into my heart and mind.
The Word of God, the sword of the spirit, is what we use to fight away fear. It is the only weapon in the armor of God. We speak the Word of God over our circumstances. We tell ourselves what to think and what to believe based on the Word of God, not our feelings. God’s word declares over and over again that God is BIGGER than any circumstance we can face!!
In addition to reading the Bible, I recently finished re-reading the book “Praying the Bible” by Donald Whitney, and am currently doing the lent devotional, “Uncovering the Love of Jesus”, by Asheritah Ciuciu. Both are excellent!! I highly recommend them both. These books help me to feed my faith and to help me learn the word of God.
I am a huge fan of audiobooks and podcasts. I really like them because I can listen and DO tasks around the house or while I’m driving (pre- “shelter at home”). This week I listened to a special dramatized series about Judas Iscariot created by Unlocking the Bible. WOW. Just WOW! I had to text it to some of my friends. It is so worth the time to listen to it!
4) Renewing my mind
What we think about ends up being what we say. What we say we believe! It is easy for one thought to follow another and suddenly our minds have taken us to all kinds of fear and wrong places. We can “worse case” scenario things in the blink of an eye. Panic and anxiety are often the result.
We have the POWER to choose our thoughts! It takes determination, awareness and perseverance, but we can control what our mind thinks. Feeding faith in God requires us telling ourselves what to think in accordance to the Word of God. Therefore it is so important for us to know the word of God.
I pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help me be aware of how I am thinking and to help me see when my thoughts are NOT truth and are taking me to bad places of fear and anxiety. I have to put the brakes on my thoughts and literally TELL myself what to think about. I tell myself the TRUTH that is based on God’s word, rather than the lies of fear that my brain wants to naturally go with.
I help myself direct my thoughts by giving my brain the truth to think about. I have to be intentional. Again, I really like audiobooks and podcasts for this reason. Since we can’t GO to church right now we can listen to lots of church services online. This past Sunday I “attended” 5 online church services. Throughout the week I have been able to “attend” a few more! There are blessings to be found and this is one of them.
These messages have helped give myself things to intentionally think about. The messages help me so much!
Last weekend the new movie about Jeremy Camp and his first wife, Mellissa, was released to rent online. WOW!! We watched it as a family. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it, please do! You will be encouraged by this story of faith. I will admit we were pretty emotional throughout the movie and even talked a lot about it the next day. There were several parallels between their story and our leukemia journey with our son, Wesley. The movie hit home in a way that was extremely personal to our own life, but I know it will also be encouraging to those who have not journeyed with cancer.
The “I still believe” movie was extra emotional for us because the Jeremy Camp album, Stay, that he wrote after his wife died, is the album Wesley listened to on repeat during his first bone marrow transplant. That album is all about the truth of God in spite of the hard we face in life. That album has had a huge influence on our life. Also, side note: Jeremy Camp is from our area. I have never met him. However, his Dad is a pastor and 19 years ago his Dad, Tom, baptized my husband and me! I’ll have to share more sometime about how that happened to be since we didn’t go to his church. Also, my sister was married by Tom 23 years ago. Her husband’s family knows them all, including Jeremy.
5) Speak Life
This one is so huge!! We are all stressed right now and the words we say to our people really matter. I have messed up this week. In my frustration of being WITH my family all the time I hurt my youngest son’s feelings by telling I’m “I just wish I could have a day alone!” UGH…. not helpful to speak those kinds of things!
I have also seen so many meme’s and Facebook posts of parents complaining about being home with their kids, about homeschooling, about the stress of dealing with children. I get it. We are stressed right now. However, our words have power and we can build up or tear down with our words.
So, I am praying that the Holy Spirit makes me very aware of my words and to help me be extremely intentional about speaking encouraging, life building words. Also, apologizing for any hurtful words… so important for me to repent to both God and my family!
Right now we are NOT allowed to mail letters to our daughter at basic training. So when she calls I have to fill her up with words of truth. Strong encouragement doses. Truth from God’s word. I pray over her and remind her that God is our daily bread, and that through Christ we can do all things! Build her up in the few minutes I get to speak with her.
Whew! If you are still reading you deserve a virtual high five!
Here are some other things happening in my life and ways we can use this “shelter in place” intentionally to feed our faith!
I have been choosing people to reach out to every day. A text, an email or a phone call can go a long way to be a mutual encouragement. This is another opportunity to speak life.
I’m using this time to learn some new things! I have my first sourdough starter going! This is something that has been on my “bucket list” for a long time. Now is the chance.
Since we have had some beautiful spring days I have been getting outside each day. Fresh air and “dirt therapy” (working in my flour beds) is so good for my soul! Even deep cleaning our screened in porch was wonderful. I LOVE hanging clothes on the clothesline.
Yesterday evening my husband and I went on a “date”. You know you are a country girl when you so enjoy an outside date more than going to any restaurant. What did we do? We went for a two hour hike in the woods to scout for the upcoming Turkey hunting season.
I received the SWEETEST letter from my
Nate’s girlfriend, Corrie. I couldn’t have picked a better girlfriend for him if I could have been the one doing the choosing! He has good taste! Anyway, she sent me the most encouraging, life building letter and also sent my a key chain. She set a HUGE example to me about the power kindness can have. She is inspiring me!
Family dinners have always been so important to me, but with busy sports
schedules they were fewer and farther between. However, dinner every night around the kitchen table has been a wonderful thing the last few weeks. I’m glad I like to cook, but even if you don’t, frozen pizzas and sandwiches are extra special being enjoyed together! It is the relationship part of family dinner that is the most important thing.
I want you to all know that I am praying for you all. I do not believe it was by coincidence that God led me to write this Bible study and I believe he wrote it for YOU! We need to all feed our faith and starve fear. Our GOD is SO BIG and he is definitely BIGGER than Covid-19.
I would be more than happy to pray specifically for you…. so please comment below or send an email to heatherfoxcorbin (at) gmail.com. I will pray for you!! Also, share how you are being intentional about FEEDING Faith to starve fear! GOD is BIGGER!!!
Until next time…. Stand on the truth…. GOD is BIGGER than any hard we can face in this life!!
Again, If you haven’t gotten your own FREE copy of the Bible Study: God is BIGGER, Feed Faith, Starve Fear, go grab it now!