Paralyzed By Fear


There is a stunning river waterfall where I live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  The water rushes over the rocks and creates a strong foamy current.  A current that has killed multiple people who have fallen in.

A few years ago, a little boy fell into the river around the falls, his sister and a stranger jumped in after him in an attempt to save his life.  The little boy survived.  His sister and the kind stranger did not.

I allowed this story to feed my biggest fear: losing my child.

For years I would not let my son near Falls Park, my city’s most beautiful landmark.  I refused to take him and I forbade all of my family from taking him.

I let my fear consume me.  But eventually God opened my eyesThe emotion of fear was not meant to paralyze me, but to help place healthy boundaries in my life.


I found peace in this Psalm:
“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4.

Eventually, I realized that someday my son would go home to be with God.  I could do my best to protect him from this happening untimely, but it wasn’t fully in my control.  Instead of not allowing him to see the waterfall, I placed safety rules on our visits there: no climbing on the rocks, you must stand at least 2 feet away from the edge, etc.

Are you allowing your fears to paralyze you?  Is there something you can take from your fear to place healthy boundaries in your life instead of allowing them to control you?

God says in Isaiah 41:10: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”


God wanted us to live a life of safety and dependence on Him.  Together, with prayer and our powerful God, we can overcome the fears that paralyze us.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me fear to use as a trigger to put up healthy boundaries in my life. Please help free me from my fears and no longer allow them to paralyze me.  Help me surrender my complete trust in You and Your perfect plan.  In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Discussion:  How have you found ways to overcome your fears?

IMG_0125_editedMy family and I at Falls Park, March 2016

This post is part of my series for April called “Evolving Emotionally”.  We will be spending the month of April taking an emotion and seeing what God has to say about it.  Join us on Tuesdays and Fridays as we go on the journey of emotions together. To see previous posts in Evolving Emotionally click here.  If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe via email!



Add Yours
  1. Laura Longville

    Losing my children is my greatest fear too. My oldest daughter at 25 yrs old had a stroke. She lives in Sioux Falls and we live in Rapid City The drive across the state was excruciating! So many wild thoughts jammed my mind.

    I kept calling out to Jeses, “please don’t let her die before I get there”!

    Thankfully, God answered my prayer. She’s had a full recovery .

    I know others prayers are not always answered. Painful beyond imagine. Yet, we are so fortunate to have a personal God that meets us in the midst of our pain!

    I would love to meet in person some time when I’m in SF. I have a grandson ( and a daughter) who live there.

    Thanks for the encouragement today

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsey Coffey

      Laura, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so glad your daughter made a full recovery. I would love to meet up with you some time when you are here visiting your family. I’ll private message you my contact information. 🙂


  2. Jamia

    Chelsey you offer a great perspective here! Fear has been an issue for much of my life. Within the last few years God has been helping me to overcome by holding my hand as I face anxiety producing situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chelsey Coffey

      Oh Jamia, thank you for sharing. I know I just touched on fear here – I feel like I could write a whole series on it. I’m so glad God is helping us both overcome our fears. Have a blessed week, my friend!


  3. Marlene DeForrest

    Chelsey, this is a wonderful post! I love it when God uses what is usually the enemy’s strategy to bring about good things in our lives!

    When my daughter, Hannah, was about 20 months old, we took her to the emergency room for one thing, but while we were there, she stopped breathing. She was actually having a seizure, but we didn’t know it at the time. I thought she was going to die right there in my arms. They brought in the crash cart, resuscitated her, and then called to have her airlifted to another hospital. I was absolutely terrified, but as the helicopter was taking off (we had to drive to the other hospital), I was amazed by how much power was needed to lift it off the ground; and I felt like God spoke to my heart that He has much more power at His disposal and He would use it in Hannah’s behalf. It was strange, because even though I was still overcome with emotion, deep inside I suddenly had peace that somehow it was going to be okay. She continued to have seizures for quite awhile, but she’s been seizure free now for years. God is SO good!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carolina Cisneros

    This is such a good post and a fear I e had myself. Of losing them in a store or in a crowd. I think the deeper I sink my roots into God, the more it helps me to understand that my children belong to God. He trusts me to protect them in the flesh, but he has their soul covered. ❤️ Great post. Thank you for your encouragement this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. merrycarr05

    Oh friend, I definitely identify with your fear of losing a child–I’m amazed at how God uses our children to get our attention! Thank you for this reminder that God is the one ultimately in control of their lives and mine…and thank goodness He is! I hope you’ve had a blessed weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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