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Free From Fear

Jesus said to them, "You are truly my disciples if you live as I tell you to, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8: 31-32 (TLB)

Cheryl Esper Balcom lives in Michigan. Cheryl cried for the first five years of her daughter's life. She had been alive for only eight months when she was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by growth delays. Though not life-threatening, the disorder can manifest in a spectrum of symptoms that range in severity. Her unknown future was extremely frightening for Cheryl.

At first, Cheryl let her fears overwhelm her. Lies and assumptions took root in her mind and grew ferociously. Their new reality was choking her even though Cheryl claimed to trust God. Finally, a Bible study at church showed her how to counteract her fears with the truth of God's word. Cheryl listed all the lies she had been listening to and then replaced them with the truth. For example, when she wrote, "The future is too overwhelming to think about," God led her to Jeremiah 29:11. Or when she worried that she wouldn't be able to be a good enough parent, this fear was answered by 2 Corinthians 12:9.

As Cheryl meditated on these truths, her fears diminished. As she continued to study more of the Bible, God's word gave her not only freedom from fear but also perspective and hope. We don't have to let fear consume us. When we put our fears into words, God's word answers us with truth and hope.

Prayer: Dear God, by your grace open our eyes to what is true. Give us hope as we look to the future, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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