Monday, July 11, 2011

31 Days of Victory:{Day 12} Shield of Faith

"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish 
all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
Ephesians 6:16

The more I seek to learn, the more I realize I don’t know. And this month, the more I write the more I realize that I might not have anything to say. I don’t know what to write about faith accept what I’ve learned through my experiences. Everyone’s story is different so, of course, I face the possibility of many people not being able to relate to this at all, but I’m going to step out anyway.

Remember how on day 1 I said that it’s difficult to share your junk in a culture that teaches us to pride ourselves in having it all together? Well… here I am getting ready to go out on a limb. Almost everything in me doesn’t want to talk about this except the side of me that believes someone needs to hear it—even if it’s just one person.

{… I’m sitting here staring at the blinking cursor on my computer screen, asking God to help me out with this one—I'm really not sure why my face is covered in tears. Totally girly moment, I guess. Your grace is appreciated.}

…This is the story of my fight with fear.

I can remember when the doubt began. I was driving to work and the thought came into my head, “what if Jesus isn’t the Son of God?” Time went on and one doubt led to another… “What if Jesus isn’t real? What if Christianity isn’t the Way?”

I passively let those thoughts consume my mind and before I knew it, it seemed like things around me confirmed my skepticism all the more. My faith faded daily until I felt totally disconnected from what I had been taught all my life.

That’s when the fear began.

At first I didn’t realize that faith and fear had anything to do with each other at all. {Like the fact that faith overcomes fear and fear can extinguish faith}. Little by little, fear crept in. It started with a nightmare. Then it grew and I was afraid to be alone. Soon, I dreaded being alone. The more I feared the worse it became. Before I knew it, it was an all out panic/anxiety disorder. Everything scared me and I literally thought I was losing my mind.

Nightmare, after nightmare, after nightmare…every night I woke up sweating, and shaking with my heart racing. Eventually, I feared the very thought of sunset because I knew it meant that bedtime was around the corner.  Fear had a grip on me that, at times, I could literally, physically feel.  I was a captive.  I longed for freedom but I felt that no one understood and no one knew how to help me overcome. On top of all that, I was afraid to find help. I felt foolish and alone.

At it’s worst, I was afraid of silence because it meant that I had to sit and listen to my own, dreadful, racing thoughts. Eventually, it all led to an awful depression. I thought my life would be that way until I died. {I’m so glad that’s not how the story ends.}

One day, as I sat in terrible darkness, I wept, face down, on our living room sofa. When I lifted my head I realized I had completely drenched the couch in my tears. It was soaked! Even though I had doubted the very person of Jesus, I didn’t know anyone else to talk to accept God. I reached for my Bible. Not knowing where to begin, I just opened it and continued to cry.

This is the first passage I saw:

“Turn, LORD and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love… I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears… The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.”

It was a Psalm of David [6:4,6,9]. That was the moment I realized that God had not forgotten me. He saw me—right there in the pit, sitting on that sopping, wet couch. And I realized for the first time that I was not alone. Even though I had rejected Him, there was a God in heaven who cared deeply for me—so deeply that he took the time to speak to me when I was in despair. {Remember Day 1 when I said God would pursue you in the darkness? That’s not a lie.}

My journey to freedom from fear {and depression} after that point was not an easy one. {In fact, sometimes fear still tries to creep in and convince me not to do things like publish this post.} Fear taunted me and contended with me often. But through that time, my faith began to grow. And God’s promises became real inside of my heart. I learned that I always have a choice to take my thoughts captive, no matter how controlling they feel to me. My pastor once said, “Either your faith will snuff out your fear or your fear will snuff out your faith. The choice is up to you.” The daily process of choosing faith over fear, literally led to salvation and liberty for me.

I have no clue who this testimony might reach, if anybody. But I do know that some form of general fear is universal. If you have suffered from any form of controlling fear, {fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of abandonment, fear of spiritual warfare, fear of man’s opinion, fear of confrontation or fear of anything else} will you take up your shield of faith today by laying down that fear and trusting God for freedom?

He is willing to give you His shield of victory. In Him, you won’t be disappointed.

Please let me know if I can pray for you regarding freedom from the stronghold of fear. You may email me by clicking here. As an encouragement, here is one of my favorite quotes:

“Faith is not believing in my own unshakable belief. It is believing an unshakable God when everything in me trembles and quakes.” – Beth Moore

Victory is possible,

Monique Zackery


  1. Amen, Monique! Awesome post. Thanks for your transparency. And thanks for moving beyond your fears and holding on to your faith in order to post your story. Your story is amazing and needs to be heard, because it magnifies Jesus! I love you, Girl!

  2. So good Monique! I think most who profess Christ have doubted at some point. It's then we choose to go deeper with Him or walk away. Thank you for choosing to share your doubts, fears, and victories!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement ladies!! xoxo

  4. Hi Monique- I found your post through the Bloom link and as I clicked to your blog, I literally looked over at my husband and said, "I can't believe I wrote that post today about my fear- it was tough being so vulnerable and putting it out there, and I guess I clicked "post" despite my nerves only in hopes of touching even one person out there" ...I followed that remark with reading your post and was encouraged by your courage to be vulnerable and put it all out there as well. =) Thank you for sharing and for encouraging others to be transparent in their faith and walk by modeling that transparency yourself!

  5. Wow, Brittany! What a testimony of confirmation. Thank you for stopping by. I'm going to visit your blog right now too. :)

  6. Thank you writing this post. It helped me feel not so alone in my worry as well. That is so amazing that you were crying out to God, soaking your couch in tears and then read that verse-wow!!


  7. What a beautiful and powerful testimony, thank you for sharing it!

  8. Sweet Stacy, and Simply. Splendid. Living, thank you for stopping by and for your encouragement. And Stacy, you're so right! We aren't alone! Thank God. :)

  9. Hey there sister:} thank you so for your sweet encouragement of ME today coming over to
    Fan the Flame and letting me know what I had written had blessed you. It means so much especially because of what you write here and how I was just struggling with being too naked, vulnerable and how everyone can misconstrue it and my pride raises up and wants to draw in. Thank you for your courage to share and be vulnerable and for your heart for Him perfected in the midst of your fear...blessings and a follow back to you:}

  10. Sweet Abby, thanks for following! Also, I'm so thankful that you were vulnerable in that post. Sometimes it's the scariest thing to be real with our raw fealings, but then we realize that we aren't alone. That's especially true when we share with a community of loving women (like (in)courage). Today, I'm thanking God for you! :)


"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." - Proverbs 16:24