Experiencing Fear

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Have you experienced fear or anxiety during this 2020 pandemic?

Fear and the Pandemic

Fear of getting sick with COVID-19? Fear of someone you love getting sick?

Fear of needing to go to the hospital for another health issue with so many others being treated there with COVID-19?

Fear of getting sick and not having family there to help in your time of need?

Fear of judgment and being ostracized because you’re sneezing, which is likely a reaction to pollen rather than a virus?

Fear of losing your job? or fear because you’ve already lost your job, and you’re not sure how you’re going to pay bills?

Many people have been sitting in fear for the last two months. But there is another way to experience the 2020 pandemic—and any other life test thrown your way: The Hope of Christ.

Agape Love Casts Out Fear

You’ve heard this many times before in church, I’m sure. But have you figured out how to practically apply this promise to your own life?

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 

The Apostle John (1 John 4:18 NASB)

God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). He casts out fear. Have you allowed God to cast out your fear?

I spent many years as a non-believer and as a believer worrying. For those of you who know my story, you know that a great deal of my worrying has been about my siblings’ schizophrenia and its effect on their lives, my parents’ lives, and my own.

Almost twenty years ago, I found and sought refuge in these verses:

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Jesus (Matthew 6:33-34 NASB)

“Seek first His kingdom”—at first, I didn’t know what that meant. I read this Bible verse every night and every other verse I could find about fear.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

The Apostle Peter (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

The more I read these verses, the more calm I was. Then I finally understood that to “seek first His kingdom” was to first seek God. So then I did more Bible reading and prayer.

But I was not consistent. And even though I learned that lesson while worried about my brother’s safety (because he was homeless at the time), I would not apply that same lesson to other situations, like moving across the country from the Midwest to The South or finding the right schooling for my children.

It wasn’t until just two years ago when once again I had the challenge of my brother’s mental illness that I figured out how to be calm in all circumstances. Now when I’m facing the unknown, the uncertain, I praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Worshiping through Every Battle

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him all creatures here below!
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Amen

(You can read my whole story in the book ReTested: The Story of a Post-Abortive Woman Called to Change the Conversation.)

I speak and write about abortion. Everyone has an emotional reaction to abortion. Not everyone responds favorably to what I have to say.

I am attacked spiritually all the time because clearly satan doesn’t like what I have to say. I’m pretty sure that someone who disagrees with me messed with my car tires.

My response? To praise God. Why? Because when I focus on Him and His love for me, my fear doesn’t have a chance to take root.

But I do not fear. I refuse to fear. I refuse to agree with fear. Because satan loves it when we fear, and God’s agape love casts out all fear.

I have made a choice—a choice not to fear.

Fear and Abortion

Women with crisis pregnancies experience fear. Their fears are not unlike the fears concerning the pandemic.

  • Fear of morning sickness or more serious pregnancy complications
  • Fear of the pain and potential complications of giving birth
  • Fear of the hospital
  • Fear of raising a child with disabilities
  • Fear of not having family there to help in her time of need
  • Fear of the baby daddy not supporting her (emotionally or financially)
  • Fear of being tethered to the baby daddy for the rest of her life
  • Fear of judgment and being ostracized
  • Fear of losing her job or fear because she already lost her job, and she’s not sure how she’s going to pay bills
  • Fear of being passed over for promotion

Often, the pro-life movement stands in anger. Yes, we should be angry about the slaughter of pre-born babies. It’s murder. It’s a holocaust.

But let us not forget that God loves these women just as much as He loves their babies. Let us be sure that we show God’s agape loves to the women (and men) who are making choices.

Here are four things you can do right now:

  • Create a new contact in your phone for your local pregnancy resource center so that you can refer women and men. Many offer pregnancy and STI/STD testing, parenting resources, and post-abortion healing. Find out what they offer. Take a tour once your state opens up.
    In the U.S., search Care Net for the center near you.
    Internationally, search Heartbeat International for the center near you.
  • Donate your time, talent, or treasure to your pregnancy resource center. Every dollar counts. If all you have is $20, then give $20. If you have 2 hours to collect diapers, then spend 2 hours. If you have time to share their social media posts, do it. If you have time to create social media posts, contact them!
  • Post on social media or in whatever groups you belong, saying something like this: “If you or someone you know has fear about pregnancy, please reach out to me privately so that I can help you find the support you need.” When they do contact you privately, refer them to your local pregnancy resource center, which you already have saved in your contacts.
  • Share this blog post with other pro-life Christians, especially those who are fearful or those who are angry about abortion.

Lord, bless every reader with the knowledge and acceptance of Your agape love, which casts out all fear. Guide them into believing Your love rather than agreeing with fear. Lead them from the temptation to give power to the evil one. May they glorify You in all things.

Worship to End Abortion: 40 Daily Prayers is a prayer booklet that leads you to pray and worship for the end of abortion. Later this year, I will release the full book. It’ll make a great study that you can do on your own or with a group. Stay tuned!

In Christ,

Cheryl

What the Pandemic Can Teach Us about Abortion

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

How did you feel when we first received “shelter in place” orders? Fearful of getting sick? Afraid you would lose your job?

Fear

Welcome to the world of fear. Very real fear.

Fear in the Pandemic

  • Who will be able to help you if you were to get sick?
  • How will you get critical supplies, like toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels?
  • What happens if your car breaks down, and you aren’t able to get to the store?
  • If you lose your job, how are you going to pay for your home? for whatever groceries you can find?
  • Are you separated from those you love? parents? grandparents? children?
  • Or are you in an abusive relationship and now stuck at home with this person?
  • Who are your true friends and relatives who will see you through this challenging time?

Fear in Crisis Pregnancy

Welcome to the world of crisis pregnancy. A world full of very real fear.

All that fear and anxiety you and others have had about the pandemic are very much like what women feel when they are facing single parenthood or having a child with special needs.

  • Who will be willing to help them?
  • Will they have the money needed to buy diapers, food, and clothes?
  • Will they be able to work with morning sickness or extra weight on their feet?
  • Will they lose their job or their promotion?
  • Are they in an abusive relationship and now feel even more stuck with this guy?
  • Who are their true friends and relatives who will see them through this challenging time?

Fear of Separation

Some of you may say, “she should put her child up for adoption,” but women intuitively know how hard it will be to separate from their babies. Many mistakenly think it’ll be emotionally easier to abort than to put their babies up for adoption.

Fear of Being Alone

And, frankly, more than anything, they don’t want to feel alone. They feel isolated, cut off from society. They feel like others shy away from them like they are contagious.

Your focus is on the baby rather than on them, and they know it.

Profiteering

Profiteering in the Pandemic

Two Tennessee brothers, foreseeing the demand for hand sanitizer, drove across Tennessee and Kentucky buying up all the hand sanitizer they could find. Why? So that they could resell it at higher prices because of the COVID19-created high demand.

Until ebay and Amazon refused to partner with them and the Attorney General shut them down, they intended to profiteer from people’s fears.

Profiteering in Crisis Pregnancy

Planned Parenthood, in 1969, had no plans to get into the abortion business. NARAL invited them to partner in campaigning for the legalization of abortion, but Planned Parenthood said no. Then in 1970, New York legalized abortion and women flooded into New York because the free-love movement resulted in crisis pregnancies and because women did not have equal rights to work or the right to demand child support. (See History of Abortion on my website.)

Planned Parenthood saw the money and partnered with NARAL and then got into the abortion business. Planned Parenthood profiteers from people’s fears.

Which companies partner with them? So, so many. And, of course, the government doesn’t shut them down, but at least the federal government—which is in debt—is reducing its financial support of this non-profit that plans to spend $45 million to back pro-Roe candidates in the 2020 elections.

Social Distancing

But would abortion really even be an issue if people were social distancing?

You can’t kiss with a mask on.

Agape Love vs Fear

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18a NASB)

Agape love casts out fear.

Agape love is different than making love. Making love is eros love—you know, the Greek word that is the basis of our word erotica.

But agape love is different than eros love. Agape love is the desire to do good to others.

God is agape love. (1 John 4:8, 16)

Love Is Patient. Love Is Kind.

  • God is patient.
  • God is kind.
  • God does not envy.
  • God does not brag.
  • God is not arrogant.
  • God does not behave rudely.
  • God is not self-seeking.
  • God is not easily angered.
  • God keeps no record of wrongs.
  • God does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth.
  • God bears all things.
  • God trusts.
  • God always hopes.
  • God always perseveres.
  • God never fails.

Let’s be like God.

I Am Patient. I am Kind.

Lord,

You are love. Thank You for loving me through all things and all circumstances. Fill my heart with Your love, which casts out all fear. Give me peace in the pandemic.

Make me the hands and feet of Your love here on earth—on earth as it is in heaven.

Lord, introduce me to the crisis pregnancy center near my home and near my work so that I know where to find help for women and men in crisis.

Introduce me to organizations like Embrace Grace, which provides support to women through local churches so that they are not alone.

Show me how you want me to use my time, talent, or treasure to support women and men in crisis.

Make me brave enough to share on social media my willingness to listen, mentor, and support women and men in crisis.

Fill women and men in crisis with Your love, which casts out all fear. Give them peace in their pregnancies. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!

In Christ,

Cheryl

Pray Now—No Joke!

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

Let us all pray—right now—that love casts out fear throughout the world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love (1 John 4:18 NASB).

Here is a sample prayer:

prayer

In Christ,

Cheryl

 

Peace in the Pandemic, part 6: What’s Inside of You?

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

When life tests squeeze us, something comes out of us. With the pandemic, we’re all feeling squeezed. What’s coming out of  you?

In Christ,

Cheryl

Pray that Love Casts Out Fear

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

Wednesday at 12 noon in whatever time zone you’re in, pray that God’s perfect love casts out fear throughout the world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. (‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

Put it on your calendar right now!
Wednesday, 12 noon

Here’s a sample prayer:

Lord, maker of heaven and earth, open our hearts to trusting Your love, which casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Christ was sent by You for the whole world (John 3:16). Remind the whole world throughout every day to social distance out of love, not out of fear. Show us how to reduce our fear in practical ways, starting with me. Lord, thank You for giving us peace because we worship the Prince of Peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

In Christ,

Cheryl

Peace in the Pandemic, part 5: Getting More Fruit of the Spirit

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

We’ve all learned that asking God for patience results in a test of our patience!

We’re already feeling tested enough with the pandemic! So, how do we ask God for patience without getting a test?

Listen in on my secret to having peace that passes understanding.

Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13 NASB)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NASB)

Or should it be punctuated like this?

The fruit of the Spirit is love: Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Peace in the Pandemic, part 4: Restoring Your Own Righteousness

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Having coffee with God can be uncomfortable because He is holy and righteous. That can feel intimidating. But God agape loves you. He made you. He wants to have a relationship with you—whether coffee is involved or not. So, how do you get rid of that uncomfortable feeling?

In Christ,

Cheryl

Peace in the Pandemic, part 3: Worship-Based Prayer

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

You can have peace in the pandemic! Here’s how…

 

What time is coffee?

In Christ,

Cheryl

Peace in the Pandemic, part 2: Choosing

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

Do you have peace in your heart despite the pandemic? Here are more ways that you can feel at peace despite the chaos all around you.

For more on my life tests, check out ReTested: The Story of a Post-Abortive Woman Called to Change the Conversation.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Worshipping thru Life’s Challenges

Dear Christian Sisters,

How do you handle life’s challenges?

If you’ve read my testimony (see the links on the “About” page), then you know that both of my siblings have schizophrenia. The first time schizophrenia affected my life, I turned away from God and made bad, life-changing decisions, including abortion.

The second time schizophrenia affected my life, I pressed into God and learned how not to worry.

Thirteen years later—one-and-a-half years ago—my brother disappeared from his apartment in the Twin Cities. My mom and I live on the east cost. My dad lives in Minnesota. But we were on the phone together, heartbroken.

I wasn’t worried. Honestly, I wasn’t. I remember taking an inventory of my feelings because I can still today be detached. I was heartbroken. Just heartbroken. I guess I truly did learn not to worry.

“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”
Matthew‬ ‭6:27‬ ‭NASB‬‬

We searched. We followed paper trails. We contacted people. But we couldn’t find my brother.

What could I do but praise God?

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalms‬ ‭118:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Hebrews‬ ‭13:15‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I praised God by singing the “Doxology”:

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Praise Him, all creatures here below!
Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Amen.

I remembered the “Doxology” from my church upbringing. Singing it brought me peace. I made it my go-to praise song.

I was still crying. I would sing while crying.

Then I remembered “The Lord’s Prayer” in song. My dad used to sing it. He really likes a version with an African beat, but I like Malotte’s, which is what I remember him singing when I was young.

I found a phenom, Jackie Evancho, on YouTube who sings “The Lord’s Prayer’ beautifully and pretty much in my range. I listened to it over and over. And when no one else was in the car, I sang along with her.

While crying.

Can you guess what I felt?

I felt peace! Peace that passes all understanding.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I was still sad. I was still heartbroken. But I trusted that the Lord was watching over my brother.

In the last year-and-a-half, the Lord has called me into His plan for my life. It was if the Lord said, “Okay, good. You understand how to respond to life’s difficulties. Now, pick up your cross and follow me.”

God sent me to Uganda on a short-term mission trip. While there, He convicted me that I needed to change the conversation about abortion.

In the last year, He has sent me to speak on abortion and sex outside of marriage both here and in Uganda.

Then He gave me the name of His new ministry: MybodyMyworship and told me what it’s to look like. (Find @MybodyMyworship on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.)

I learned to obey Him in this last year-and-a-half. I learned to worship him in all circumstances.

Honestly, I am on fire for the Lord. I’m so on fire for the Lord that I am annoying to my friends. They are going through difficulties, real and big difficulties. My encouragement? Sing a praise song.

But guess what? Life is still difficult at my house, too.

So, I have to take my own advice and sing a praise song. Sometimes I turn on Christian radio in every room of the house to shower my house with praise.

And the atmosphere changes.

Then three weeks ago, something amazing happened. I got a phone call from a psychiatric hospital that is an hour away from me here on the east coast. My brother is there!

My brother left the Twin Cities on his own accord and ended up one hour away from me.

God.

God did that. Only God could do that.

Things are not perfect. It’s not like my brother is suddenly healed of schizophrenia. But he has a roof over his head, he has clothes, and he has food for the time being.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

I continue to pray for my brother’s complete healing. I praise God as we wait to see if my brother will make good decisions or become homeless again.

I praise God because it’s good for my soul.

What’s your go-to praise song?

In Christ,

Cheryl