It has been incredibly busy week. We have packed up our lives, and moved lock, stock and dog into my parents’ house, so that the builders can start the much anticipated reconstruction of our home. It has been stressful, and exhausting, and frustrating at times. There have been moments of hilarity and also the odd raised voice. We are so grateful for the use of the self- contained flat at the top of Mother’s seafront Victorian house, but that means stairs – lots of them – and that is a challenge for both me, with my limited mobility, and for the old, confused, arthritic dog!
The feeling that has been there in the background, for me, during the whole of this process, and finally came to the forefront last night, is fear. I know, as a ‘good’ Christian I shouldn’t let fear overwhelm me (I even wrote about it in my book!) but honestly, it does sometimes. Before I had ME I was pretty fearless about most things, but one of the by- products of my condition is fear (mostly irrational). In the early stages of my illness I became hypersensitive and had strange reactions to things like shampoos, body lotions and some foodstuffs. It has left me very careful and controlling about what I use on, or let into, my body! It is not as a controlling fear as it was – it is one of the things God has been working on with me. A couple of years ago I would not have contemplated the huge changes that are happening in our lives right now. So that is good! Really good.
So what got me so fearful? The jab. Yep, the Covid vaccination. Not facing the needle – as an ex- nurse, they don’t faze me – but actually having a foreign substance injected into my arm. The rational me knows the facts – how safe and important the vaccine is. The irrational fear panicked me about what effect the vaccine might have on my body – would I have a severe reaction, or long lasting side effects? ‘You may feel tired, experience headaches, have flu-like symptoms’ – well that just about describes every day living with ME! I don’t need any more of those type of symptoms, thank you!
Fear is real. Even irrational fear. And it can very easily overwhelm our minds, hearts and emotions. It is not wrong to be fearful. It is a natural human response and I refuse to be condemned, as though experiencing fear is some sort of sin or failure. Instead I need to learn how to respond to that fear. I knew that I needed to get some God truth in me to build my faith and fight back. Funnily enough I was prompted to read something I had written myself…
It’s amazing how the things around us can either make us feel at peace inside, or can steal our peace. Storms without can cause storms within.’
‘It is true,’ Hywel replied. ‘The kind of peace I want more and more is the kind that Jesus had, that He promises can be ours. A peace that stays true despite our circumstances.’
‘The peace that Jesus experienced during that storm; how do you think He came by that?’ Philip was keen to know the answer. Was that a kind of peace available to him, he wondered?
‘Several things, I think. It was a gift from God, obviously, but I believe Jesus accessed it by His own will. He trusted God to protect them. He knew enough about God’s plan for His life to know that it wasn’t His time to die, and also that God had a reason for wanting Him on the other side of the lake. He had a God-designed destiny, and a God-arranged destination, and an appointment with a demon-possessed man needing to be freed. He also knew who He was, and that He had the God-given authority to calm the storm. He chose to believe in those things, and not the evidence to the contrary that the storm seemed to present.’
‘So,’ Philip thought out loud, ‘inner peace comes from faith in God.’
‘Yes, I would say so. We choose to have faith in who God says He is, and what He is capable of. We can also take courage from who He says we are, His sons. We can trust that He has plans for our lives, and He has the power to accomplish those things for us.’
‘Were you afraid on the ship?’
‘Honestly? Yes. Fear in itself is a normal human reaction. You would expect to feel fear every time you entered a battle?’ He glanced over at Philip who nodded in response. ‘I was afraid, but I have learned to do the things God requires me to do, even when I feel fear. He promises to ride the storm with me, every time.’ He continued, ‘I prayed the whole time that God would help me, to not let my fear become greater than the faith I had in Him to keep us safe. My mind was eventually able to find a degree of peace, unlike my stomach.’ He smiled wryly.
The Healing , Chapter 7, pp 94-95
I wrote that because I know it is the truth, but it is a truth that I am still learning! Sometimes I get it right, sometimes I don’t. Today I read it again before we left for our appointments, and His peace went with us. We got our jabs, all is well, and even if it gets a bit rough over the next day or two, I know that He will be with us. That fear thing? It’s not going to win.
The Healing was published by Instant Apostle on 19th March 2021, and is now widely available in both paperback and kindle format.
Signed paperback copies are also available direct from me at www.joymargetts.com for £9 including UK postage.
The website also has more about me, the story behind my books, and some historic background which you might find of interest.