“I’m afraid you’ll have to come home. You’ve been burgled.”
I listened as a replayed the last 20 minutes in my mind.
It had been a normal Tuesday.
I’d come home from church, and I immediately knew something wasn’t right.
The letters which are normally kept on the ledge on the side for us and our neighbours were strewn across the floor of the porch and it was then that I noticed the wood on the floor and slowly lifted my gaze to the broken lock.
My key wasn’t needed, of course. I hesitantly pushed the broken door only to look up and see the inside of my neighbour’s living room from the bottom of the stairs.
I didn’t dare climb the stairs to check our door.
“Is someone still here?” I wondered nervously.
I backtracked, retracing my steps through the littered porch and back through the main front door.
On the road again, I called my husband.
“I think we’ve been broken into.”
Only 5 minutes away at our church, he ran home.
He climbed the stairs as he called the police.
By the grace of God, our front door had been left untouched.
But what might have been the end was actually the beginning.
We live in a property which has two other apartments on the inside. Both of them had been broken into. The police confirmed that as they asked them to come home from work to check what had been stolen – bags, jewellery, laptops.
I was grateful, of course. God had intervened and spared our home. But I was scared.
“What if they come back?” I thought. In fact, I asked that out loud.
I mean, I work from home almost every single day. Now and again I’ll visit a local hotel lobby for a change of scenery. But my office is in my home.
And now this uninvited interruption had ruined my rhythm and my rest.
My peace of mind was in pieces – rational or not, I couldn’t relax. Every noise I heard from downstairs over the next couple days, even every time I heard the front door go, I convinced myself they were back and that we were next.
A few days passed and then a few weeks and while I mostly okay, I realised that there was something I still hadn’t done.
There was something which I was allowing myself to fear and I was justifying it too.
I’d stopped coming home on my own.
It was subtle – because that’s what fear does as first. It masks itself and creeps it’s way in, unlike a more obvious intruder.
I’d meet my husband and come back with him or I just wouldn’t leave the house so I wouldn’t have to come back alone.
Until I literally couldn’t remember the last time I’d left the house. Easy enough when you work from home, right? But something wasn’t right and I knew it.
As someone who previously suffered from anxiety, I knew what was going on and the truth of the matter is that I was playing into the fear.
I was allowing myself to stay scared.
And then I remembered… The workshop I’d planned on overcoming anxiety and overwhelm. The truth I’d be teaching about perfect love casting out all fear and the action steps I’d be walking these amazing women through.
And yet, here I was, scared to leave the house for fear of what I’d return to.
So the lies started pouring in. “Who are you to teach on this topic?” and “what do you know?” Because of course, that’s where the enemy likes to attack us – at our most vulnerable.
Well, anxiety and overwhelm doesn’t rule my life anymore like it used to and yet for a while it had begun to hold me captive again.
So I left the house.
And then came back again a few hours later.
Fear flees when you face it.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
I refuse to let my imagination and my thought life have more sway over my actions than the promises of God do.
It’s paths we’ve been down before which the enemy has a way of leading us back down.
The pity parties, the self-doubt, the fear, the victim mindset – all of it lies which have no place in the minds of daughters of the KING.
If you’re feeling fearful today, I encourage you to face it in prayer and power. If you’re overcome with overwhelm, take a step back and allow the Lord to bless you with a fresh perspective, no matter how busy you are. Those will be the most important minutes you have today.
The world is waiting for your work.