We are trying to get our house organized in order to put it on the market. Going through some books, I found a bible study that I started three weeks after Ethan's death. I looked through it and found something that really stood out to me. I am going to try and post it here without infringing on too many copy write laws. The bible study is Hope for the Home Front by Marshele Carter Waddell and it was written for military wives.
In the second week, she had us read Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." She then looked at the meanings for some of those words in the original Hebrew lexicon. Terrified (NIV) or afraid (KJV) means to awe, to be in awe of, to dread. And discouraged (NIV) or dismayed (KJV) means to prostrate, to break down by confusion or fear. She then asks if we are terrified or discouraged, then 'whom or what are we worshipping? Bowing or being in awe of or prostrating ourselves to anything else but God can be only one thing'. And that one thing is an idol.
WHOA! Let me tell you that when I did the Bible study, it hit me so hard that I have notes all over the margin of that page. Going back and reading what I had written just five weeks after Ethan's death has me again thinking on the subject. If your fear or discouragement becomes so all consuming that you can think of nothing else then that is a form of idolatry. Of course, the point she was going for was the fear that we have for our husbands during deployments. But coming so soon after Ethan's death, that was the only thing on my mind. The thing that I wrote that struck me the most was this: "I will not make an idol out of death. Death took Ethan from me, but God rescued Ethan from death. I will worship my God, who now holds my baby safe." Oh, my goodness. "Who now holds my baby safe." I will say honestly that over the past 16 months I have at times forgotten that. How special to be reminded by my words that Ethan is safe, being held in the hands who made our universe.
It can be so easy to let our fears rule our lives. After Ethan died I was terrified for everyone else in my family. When Andy would deploy I would be overly anxious. I barely slept because I was too busy going and checking on the boys to make sure they were still breathing. I hated for them to be out of my sight. It has taken a lot of time and A LOT of prayers to not let that fear rule my life. I'm not going to say to get rid of the fears because they are still there. But I have tried very hard not to make an idol, to not let fear rule my life.