Pastor's wife: God gives us strength to face our fears


The day began with her puking in the bushes.

Macie, who is nine, had a dental appointment to have a filling. She dreaded it like crazy and hadn’t slept the night before. When she and her mom got to the office, she didn’t even want to come in.

Her mom called to tell us they were there, but were waiting in the car because Macie was so nervous.

It had started to rain. When I heard she was in the parking lot and scared, I grabbed an umbrella and hurried outside.

Macie’s mom smiled sympathetically and said, “She’s really nervous today.” As they got out of the car, I held the big umbrella over us. “You can do this, Macie. We will help you,” I encouraged.

She got to the sidewalk and threw up. Her mom told her to breathe. (Sometimes when we’re stressed, we forget to.)

When she gagged again, I told her to go to the grass. But there wasn’t any, so she threw up on the first bush she got to in the landscaping.

There we stood in the rain, under the umbrella, with Macie puking in the shrubbery. Her mom kept reminding her to breathe.

“Let’s go ahead and get this over with. Then you can get something to eat.” I told Macie, still bent over.

Like flipping a switch, she stood up straight, wiped her mouth, and walked into the office.

Smelling laughing gas and prayer put her at ease. I teased her that some wild flower or weed might grow out of the bush where she threw up and I would need to watch for it. She giggled.

It didn’t take long to get the job done. After we were finished, Macie said it wasn’t as bad as she thought it would be.

I mentioned several times how proud I was of her for doing something hard. I told her that sometimes we just have to do things even when we are scared.

If I’m honest, most people feel the same way when it comes to dental appointments. We can do crazy brave things, but mouth stuff can be our kryptonite. We tend to overthink, making it way bigger in our minds. We focus on the bad and our fear gets the best of us.

Mark 4 tells of a time when Jesus’ disciples were not only scared, but terrified. They got in a boat and He told them, “Let’s go over to the other side.” He did NOT tell them, “Let’s go out in the boat and die.”

A storm came after they obeyed Jesus. Obedience does not mean easy.

Like we do today, they overthought their situation. Fear crept in where their faith had been. Matthew 8 tells us they yelled, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Luke 8 records, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” Mark 4 reveals the most dramatic response, “Teacher, don’t you care if we perish?”

Of course, He cared. He always cares. Their cries moved Jesus into action. He got up and rebuked the wind and the waves. “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” He asked.

Countless times in the Bible, we are reminded to not be afraid. God knew we would need to hear it over and over. He is with us and will help us. Even when our heart races, our knees knock, and we want to puke in the bushes, He gives us strength to face the day, the crisis, and even the dentist.


Dawn Reed is a pastor's wife and newspaper columnist. Reach her at