Fighting Fear with Faith – Alli Worthington

for me I’ve realized I had a call from a
good friend who and I was going through a really stormy season of life my
husband was battling a chronic illness and she called me out and said I know
what all you’re going through but the way you’re living your life trying to
manage this fear it’s as if you’re trying to make safety your god welcome to the focus on the family
broadcast helping families thrive welcome back to focus tell me five boys is that why you wrote
this book on fear and anxiety I think with five boys I should write a book on
how to just keep the house clean and that’s the other chapter but a lot of
moms and boys do panic absolutely because they’re doing things that are
frankly quite stupid right absolutely jumping off things climbing
things all that stuff happen nothing bad could happen with five boys I feel like
I’m out of some of the woods cuz my baby is ten and then the oldest is 19 so
they’re not constantly trying to look for poison to eat that is funny
I mean we’re we have that with just two boys so all of our admiration Falls your
direction there that’s incredible five boys hey one of your goals seriously is
to charge women with a call to arms when it comes to how they approach fear now I
just want to say I’ve noticed that too for some reason moms particularly do
have to battle this fear factor it comes with marriage it comes with parenting
first of all why and what is it the core of a woman that the enemy of her soul
can trigger this fear pretty much all day long well I think as women and as
mothers as soon as that first little baby is put into our arms we realize oh
this is this is on us to keep this little soul alive and it’s such a great
blessing but it’s intimidating too and then as kids get older we enter this
marathon of fear you know it goes from trying to keep them from eating dog food
to not jumping off the couch to not you know taking their coaster car on the
roof is dr. bad for you I just wanted I think my older sisters used to feed me
those milk bones on occasion that’s what older sisters do to their little brother
yeah terrible and I read this really interesting statistic when I was
researching for the book that men and women go about handling their feelings
of fear in a different way where women tend to internalize it men turn to X
tend to externalize so a woman is more likely to kind of pull back from
friendships get a little more depressed where a man is more likely to have anger
or to have you know so its outward face outward face let me read a quote from
your book page 15 I thought this and I don’t do this very often but I just
thought for women listening moms particularly this is it
you said the reality is that for most of my life I avoided what made me feel
uncomfortable and ran away from what made me worry I lived my life frozen in
fear weighed down by worry and absorbed in my anxiety exactly it’s that pulling
back from relationships and and kind of holding and holding it all into myself
and trying to manage it I wasn’t willing to to take steps to live the life that
God wanted me to live and to live as a brave mom and a confident mom because I
was so worried all the time you know Ally Jim asked about the call to arms as
you were describing the difference between men and women that that feels
kind of aggressive and and I wouldn’t think of most women wanting to run to
the battle but what do you mean by that well one of my good friends
when this book came out she said it’s so funny because you’re this sweet Southern
woman that wears polka dots but she wrote a battle plan that I love it’s
such a it’s such a strange mixture for me I realized I had a call from a good
friend who and I was going through a really stormy season of life my husband
was battling a chronic illness and she called me out and said I know what all
you’re going through but the way you’re living your life trying to manage this
fear it’s as if you’re trying to make safety your God and she said you have to
learn how to fight this guess you’re in a storm of life yes things are scary but
the enemy is coming in and trying to take you out using fear you’ve got to
learn how to fight back Wow and that was a huge wake-up call for me because I
knew things were difficult and knew things were scary but I never thought of
the idea that the enemy is going to come in and these storms of life and use
fear as a weapon against us what a good friend what were what was your reaction
to that after the conversation ended you’d walked away what how did you say
okay what’s the first step well I remember I sat on the edge of my bed
stared out my bedroom window and into my backyard and thought I don’t even know
what fighting looks like you know I’m not a fighter and as I started studying
I realized just like we live on two levels we live in the physical and the
spiritual to fight fear and anxiety we also have to fight on two levels we take
the truth of Scripture but then we just need practical step by steps of what to
actually do you know when you wake up in the morning and your stomach is tight
with anxiety yes we know to pray but what what else do we do to overcome it
so I went on this journey of going okay for each individual fear what do we
actually do right yeah that’s good let’s get to the practical nuts and bolts you
talk about the five bad bees busy blame binge bury and brood let’s uncover some
of those starting with busy so a woman that’s feeling fearful or anxious how
does that play out we all have a habit to when we’re when we’re feeling worried
we want to fix things we go into like control mode I’m gonna take care of this
and this and this and I’m going to keep myself so busy that I don’t have to
worry I mean we look at Scripture martha’s the perfect example of this I
mean I don’t blame Martha because Jesus was coming over Mary wasn’t helping and
that chicken wasn’t gonna fry itself but Martha’s worried that Jesus was going to
be disappointed kept her away from really enjoying Jesus so busyness is
something that we use off wowthat’s yeah that’s a great example really the blame
game uncovered this one and speak to the woman who doesn’t see that she does this
if I could set that up well with blame if you spend any time around small
children you see it you know one of my boys could stub his toe and the Lego
table and yell that it’s his brothers fault from across the room and I caught
myself doing this with my husband so if I was anxious about something and there
was anything I was feeling stressful about immediately I would decide that it
was marks fault what Mark’s fault marks just living his life
you know doing this thing it’s not his fault that the kids are stressing me out
or I’m worried about something and he’s in the garage working on something right
so I had to really go okay I am nervous I’m anxious right now I’m not gonna
blame anyone else for this let’s get down to the root of the matter to pull
that trigger off though to hold back from doing that because I think a lot of
couples and this really undermines in marriage in your parenting effort
together oh yeah when you say things like it’s your fault you know you don’t
you should have all those kind of comments how do you do that more
productively I mean it’s fair to say you know constructive criticism but what’s a
healthy way to go about doing it mark and I do this thing where if one of
us says something to the other that you know kind of triggers you because you’ve
been married 20 years you know your triggers one of us will look at the
other and go oh is is this is this the game we’re playing today this is the
game we’re playing we can play by those rules but do we really want to go there
and that kind of a light-hearted way for us to bring it all back in line but it
feels to me like some couples it’s it perhaps goes kind of serious pretty fast
yeah I mean what kind of a script do you offer a husband who’s seeing his wife
busy and blaming to deal with fears that she can’t quite identify or doesn’t want
to that is a hundred percent holy spirit because when when I’ve been in the
situation or when I talk to other people have been in the situation it always
comes down to praying and going Lord you’re going to need to guide this
before things spiral out of control because things do spiral so easy yeah so
a husband just needs to pray and be quiet okay we got that instruction it’s
all over whether it’s a husband or wife okay when thinks when things are tense
when things could escalate the best thing to do is I think just be quiet
until she calmed down a little bit yeah I think I’m learning that more and more
but I’ll have to ask Gina boom and so we got busy blame we’re not going to go
through the others binge berry or brood I think they’re self-explanatory but you
have a funny story that kind of bundles these all together you call it the great
beaver T incident any title like that it’s got to catch everybody the great
beaver T incident what happened well in our house we have
this second-story area with spindles cast iron spindles and my boys will take
a thread a spool of thread and tie it for the top and connect it down to the
first storey doorknob and they’re making a zipline so they take their stuffed
animals and they do ziplining lovey’s where they zipline them down we were
about to go out of town we could finally go on vacation with five boys we never
go on vacation because there’s just so many of us we were going to Disney the
next day and I’m trying to get everything ready I have a cup of tea
because I’m trying to calm down because I’m a mom right I’m doing everything and
I put this this basket of clean laundry in the living room where they’re playing
ziplining lovey’s it’s a fine game nothing wrong with it no one gets hurt
it’s safe for all those boys and I put my tea on the table and they manage to
knock my tea and to the clean launch which was going to be packed for the
trip correct and I just I’m livid I you know yell at everyone I do the thing
that all moms do do you know I’m trying to get us ready for the trip do you not
want to get on the trip well that’s fine we don’t have to go on the trip and I
marched in my room and I slammed the door and of course being the mature
woman that I am I lay down on my bed and cross marks marks in the living room
just trying to avoid me the teenage boys are kind of hiding out in the room and
nobody knows what’s going on and the thing is I was angry because I was
scared that I was going to fail everybody that I was gonna forget
something Wow I’m telling you husbands do not connect those dots there’s a newsflash for everybody maybe
say what what do you think what is going on with her like mark knows me well
enough not to go into the bedroom and try to rationalize with me because I
just I wouldn’t have heard it but I was so stressed that we would forget
something on the trip or that I wouldn’t do a good enough job and I would forget
to pack something all of that reaction just came from me being worried and
anxious about the trip yeah and I so appreciate that openness it’s so true
this is life isn’t it and you’ve got to be able to cope with those things in
your book for your faith you go through the most common fears and I think for
moms again not just physical fear but developmental
fears for their children spiritual development emotional development moms
can be really grabbed by those developmental shortcomings you know
especially with boys I mean the science now the brain science says their brains
are fully formed until about 25 in the frontal lobe which is the area of
judgment you that’s why kids do what they do especially boys because they
just don’t have the mental capacity say this is dangerous how does a mom try to
pull back on those fears where they’re helicopter parenting they’re protecting
them wrapping them in bubble wrap metaphorically and not letting them
experience some valleys I was that mom with my first son 19 years ago that cut
the grapes into 16 different pieces I was totally that mom for me I’ve had to
learn to step back and examine my fears so I’ve had to go okay this one thing
that I’m afraid of right here is this a real fear that that could happen or is
this something that I’m just perceiving because if it’s likely to happen then I
can continue thinking about it but if I’m just perceiving something if I’m
making something up in my head I need to let it go huh that’s good
and then the second part of that is if I find that I am afraid of this thing that
it is real is it likely or not and if it’s not likely then again I need to let
it go but if it’s likely I can continue examining the fear do you have a
real-life example to help us get our hands around then oh yes
so for me my my 17 year old wanted to wanted to go on a car trip with a friend
a friend from school from youth group fine boy nothing wrong with it
but I was afraid to let him go he just wanted to drive to his parents house a
couple hours away and had to go okay is this is this a real fear that something
bad could happen or am I just perceiving a fear well a few hours in a car with a
16 year old boy at the wheel no I think that’s real so again I went for it is it
is it likely that something bad could happen a couple of teenage boys behind
the wheel yes and then the third step if you have
a fears do you have any control over it so if something is likely bad to happen
can you affect it or is there no control well with my seventeen year old we had
to go you know what we’re happy to help you get there but we’re just not ready
to let y’all take the road now on the other side of it I have an eleven year
old who’s about to go to church camp for the first time now could something bad
happen yes do I have any control over it no you
know am I afraid that the the world is just gonna open up and swallow him in if
I let him go to church camp maybe and can I control it No
so then I’ve got to give it to Jesus so if it’s a real fear if it’s likely to
happen and we don’t have any control over it that’s when the Lord has to step
in but for mom’s examining our fears and going okay this could happen and I can
do something that’s where we step in and we try to do what we can as mothers but
if there’s nothing we can do the Lord’s got to take it over because he he
created our children he planned all the days of their lives he knows exactly
what’s going to happen and what will happen is the Lord know and it’s so
important to know your child you had to know the maturity level of your child
some seventeen year olds would be okay you probably have a greater comfort
maybe I mean I’m not trying to say your child’s not mature but no for a reason
yeah in there you know we would say no as well
but that’s part of it is knowing your child well enough but there is that
tension between letting go at that moment there will be that moment whether
it’s a teen or whenever it happens and it I guess the question is how do you
know when it’s time to actually let go I think for for me the 17 year old is a no
the 19 year old has gone into a sophomore year in college it’s a yes
because it’s just time and maturity and there’s something something in us where
after we pray about it we’ll know we’ll have peace about decisions if it’s the
right thing to do yeah Ally many of us fear of the future it’s kind of natural
human beings I think that’s just part of our sin nature not too trustful even
though the Scriptures remind us Oh and over again not to fear you had a
story of losing everything financially I mean that that is a weight for many
people many couples how did you have hope for the future and what happened
and had a God pull you out of that it’s a great question for us we I like to
joke that we lost everything before losing everything was cool
that’s right at the beginning of the recession everything with with the
recession it happens to people but in 2007 it was relatively shocking now
because of real estate and everything else it can be very difficult God with
my husband and I he took us on a journey of learning how to put him first and
really put him first in our finances and follow great biblical teaching with our
money and we were able to climb back out of it and I still I would I wouldn’t be
honest if I said I still don’t sometimes go is everything going to fall apart
again just because we know how to battle fear anxiety and worry doesn’t mean that
it won’t continually come up but once we have a plan we can squash it that’s
that’s the key part you know let me ask you this when it comes to the valley
experiences in life because you said it so well right there that God had some
things to teach us he he usually doesn’t have our attention on the mountaintops
nope but he does have our attention in the valleys why don’t we run to the
valley then we scramble up the wall of the canyon because we don’t want to be
down there but that’s where God teaches us isn’t it
every time and when I am afraid of something bad that can happen in the
future what I do is I think about my stones of remembrance you know in the
Bible the Israelites we’re told to stack up their stones of remembrance and I
think for me I even have stones in my garden that I use I have physical or I
have photos in my house that remind me of God’s faithfulness I have jewelry
with words on it that I wear that reminds me of specific stories and I’m
constantly surrounding myself with little triggers that will remind me of
how God has come through for me every single time
even when I thought things were falling apart so when I’m scared something’s
gonna fall apart in the future I just look at my stones of remembrance and
remember how faithful he’s been in the past and know that he’s going to be
faithful in the future yeah that’s a creative way of doing a journal right
it’s a different way of doing it what are some of those practical ways though
for the the woman caught in the what-ifs I mean and again this is not
condemnation I think all of us human beings have what if issues but some
people they overplay that it’s just constantly going on especially for moms
again I I just think it’s a natural thing for moms to have that what if real
going on and you know what if they get hurt what if they don’t do well what if
they become a prodigal what if they don’t know the Lord they what if they
marry the wrong person what if they never move out of our house there’s a
lot of what-ifs that have a lot of fear how do you deconstruct those what-ifs
and live in a healthier place saying okay God whatever is is it’s it’s simple
but it’s difficult ready and it goes to examining your thoughts when the
what-ifs happen we have to go okay this is this is the thought that I’m having I
need to step back and really examine it and go is this real or perceived again
is it likely what can I do about it and give it over to the Lord every single
time we have one of these thoughts that get stuck on a loop when you were
talking about the five bad bees before the last one is brooding and brooding is
another word for rumination and that comes from how a cow eats not to be
gross but they they chew the grass and they throw it up in their mouths over
and over again that’s gross but John were you going come back and that’s what
we do with our thoughts so we throw up these bad thoughts in our head over and
over and over again and researchers said that for people who are depressed they
have a lot of their thoughts that are focused on brooding and even if we’re
not depressed if we get stuck in a cycle of just thinking about the what-ifs we
can get depressed so we have to take each thought we have and examine it and
replace it with truth talk that yes I may be afraid that something bad is
going to happen to my child but I know in Scripture that my child is fearfully
and wonderfully made and that God has has designated all the
steps of his life yeah it’s it’s a healthy place to be where you can let
life to a degree happen because you cannot control it but but there is that
overdrive I you know it’s almost like the thyroid that’s overactive right it
causes harm when you have that worry gland overactive it causes you to create
circumstances that are very difficult for yourself and for people around you
especially in marriage where you’re worried about everything your spouse
will start to be concerned about how do we live as a couple and when we do that
we catastrophize everything right I like that word catastrophize and what happens
is we become the false prophets of our own bad future and if we’re not careful
we can create bad situations in our life just because we’re worried about them
potentially so true turning a little bit of a corner what does that feeling of
not being adequate not being enough what does that feel like it feels heavy and
lonely and painful I think for most moms that that feeling of I’m failing my
children I’m fiha I’m failing my husband I’m
failing everyone I’m not doing a good enough job but I believe that that
feeling is something that the enemy comes in to try to keep us depressed
discouraged and derailed that’s not the way the Lord wants us to view ourselves
we need to look at ourselves the way Jesus looks at us I think that there is
this idea that if we’re hard on ourselves we’re gonna do better but
jesus never tells us we need to do better Jesus says we need to love him we
need to love other people I think that self-criticism can actually be sinful
and that what the Lord would want us to do is have a more healthy self
compassion ya know I so appreciate that I think that that yoke that he says he
gives us is light and sometimes I think we put it ourselves in it it makes it
feel heavy especially in that area of recognizing that you will fall short as
a mom oh sure he has a wife as a husband too but because we’re not capable of
perfect right and God gave us those children for
a reason God gave mark and I our five boys knowing where our strengths were
where weaknesses were and God is enough to make up for all the ways that we fail
our children because we’re going to yeah you know to end on the best of all notes
as our Heavenly Father looks at us through the lens of Jesus what does he
see in his children how does God see us God sees us as perfect in him we are we
are made perfect in him all of our our human failings and and difficulties are
wiped away by His grace he has redeemed us and when we learned to really accept
how he sees us and how we are in in his eyes we have no choice but to accept
ourselves we have no choice but to go this is how Jesus sees me and if Jesus
says this about me I’m gonna be good to myself yeah and this is beautiful I
would like to end with that practical advice I mean twice Johnny but the the
for good oz we talked about the bad B’s let’s
just hit the four good A’s so people can walk away obviously your book fierce
faith has all this enumerated but what are the four good aids the first one is
aware we need to be aware of what we’re feeling we need to be aware of when
we’re dealing with fear because what we don’t reveal to ourselves we can’t take
to Jesus and be healed we’ve got to reveal it to be healed the second one is
to avoid the five bad B’s we keep our five fat B’s up on our refrigerator at
home because there’s nothing more humbling than going to get milk and
realizing oh I’ve been blaming someone else because I’m afraid and then the
third is the most important and that’s ask Jesus for help we need to go to him
and say this is what I’m struggling with Lord take this over and help me help me
manage this well and then the fourth one is attack which again sounds funny
coming from a southern woman wearing polka dots but we need to learn how to
attack our fears and my my favorites are through scripture through prayer and
then through worship I will turn on worship music every morning and attack
my fear that way and just remind myself that God is good he does
good he’s gonna take care of me and he’s going to take care of my children hey
Ali there’s got to be a little room there for blame when there’s no milk in
the fridge doesn’t that work it just caught my attention you know when you’re
going for milk you don’t want to play the blame game that really cut me I
actually do want to play the blame game right there you know who forgot no
that’s just personal responses okay this has been so good your book fierce faith
thanks for being here thanks for having me hey I’m John fuller and thanks for
watching get more info about focus over here and
more from our guests over there and be sure to subscribe to our channel as well you


  1. Amen.. Fighting back, OUTLOUD in prayer..definitely a learning process and praise God for those who identify when someone needs guidance in this area and step in to lead them🙏 thanks for sharing!

  2. They are not "OUR" fears!!!!!! We are called to fear God, study that out. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. Fear is a spirit an evil spirit at that, so quit entertaining this evil spirit. God's Word tells us how to live our lives, in fear is not part of it.

  3. Let our Lord lift us, strengthen, and help us uphold The Truth.
    Jesus is The Word, John 1:1-5
    The Word God spoke: Exodus 20:1
    The Word God wrote: Deuteronomy 4:13
    and The Word God made flesh John 1:14. He is our example of The Trinity, He is The Truth.

    Yes, those Ten Commandments is Jesus. When God tells us in Deut.6:8-9 to bind and wear His Word He is placing us in His Son, Jesus.

    Jesus keeps the custom by asking those who love Him to "keep" His Words even as He kept His Father's. So if you obey God, and love Jesus, one would "keep" both the law (Ten Commandments) and the testimony (Sermon on the Mount) as instructed in Deut.

    God will preserve life, Jesus protects it. They will keep all evil from you. Put the armour of God on all those you love. May the Spirit/voice of both The Father and The Son go with us all, for from the heart the mouth speaks.

    Let the Law that hung on the cross and the Law written in your heart not just guide you, but lead you and your loved ones. As Paul would say, put on Jesus.

    Psalms 40:7
    Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

    Hebrews 10:7
    Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

    May we learn to do God’s will with the help of Jesus. Obey God, love Jesus and may we all stand in His Day. If you believe in Jesus, put Him on. His words are spirit and they are life. Choose life. It is important that those who love Jesus receive the law and testimony before the wrath of God, or judgment comes to us or our homes. What harm can come of showing God we know His voice? Prepare your family, home, your land, fear God!!! Protect all that is precious to you. Stay in Jesus, every morning, all day, and every night in Him and trust in God, both The Father and The Son. Give Him your heart, mind and soul. Not just your heart. Know Him (Jesus) as He is today and put Him on. Resist not The Lord.

    Set your borders, protect your family, times are getting touchy, hold your ground and trust in our Lord. Be prepared both the physically and spiritually. Build up the body of Christ by 'putting on' The Lord. He will do all He says He will do, when you do what He says.

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