There’s a new author in Dodge!

Her name is Maria Furlough, a mom of five (5!), who wrote Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for Your Anxious Heart. (The title alone had me.) It’s a wonderful read, filled with thoughtful moments from Maria’s own journey to freedom from fear and anxiety. Keep a tissue handy! And prepare to feel empowered as you finish this memorable book.

Here’s the backstory: Maria Furlough is a wife, a mother of five, and the head of women’s ministry at Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, North Carolina. She has been writing and teaching Bible studies for 14 years and currently writes on the blog True Worthat

Despite it being release week for Maria, she made time to answer a few questions for my blog. Read on!

Q: What’s something hard you’ve learned so we don’t have to?

A: I’ve learned that fear is an important habit to kick. I often thought that I did not have a problem with fear. I saw my fears as part of life, almost welcomed at times as feigned protectors. I allowed myself to be tricked into the thinking that if I feared something enough maybe God would not allow it to happen to me. Lies. Fear lies, it steals joy, and it impacts decisions. I wish I had known this all along. I wish I had mustered up the courage earlier to conquer it in my life once and for all. The freedom on the other side of fear is a magnificent thing, it is a joy that I pray that many will experience. Not only that, God has important work for us to do on the other side of fearful living.

Q: How has your own life changed since you broke your own fear cycle?

A: My life is wide open to God. Before, there were parts closed off. Parts of my life I said I trusted Him with, but deep down fear still gripped control. Things like my children, my marriage, my family decisions, travelling, work, ministry. It all wound up so tightly around what my fear of the day was. Now every morning I start palms open with a small prayer on my lips, “Lord may your will be done in this day and may I have the courage and strength to serve you in whatever way you most desire.” It doesn’t mean life is easy all the time. Pain is still pain and trials still come. But the in between moments of the sufferings live a joy that will no longer be stolen by the fear filled lies. I’ve said “yes” to things I never imagined I could. When fear takes a hike God has so much more room in you to work!

Q: Why are so many Christians constantly plagued with fear?

A: Because we are smart. We know the word of God never promises us “easy” and we know that we live in a pain-filled fallen world. It makes complete sense that we fear for the truth is we are not yet truly home. But in John 14:27 Jesus says, “I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” God left behind in us a super power called the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus speaks of when he says, “I do not give to you as the world gives.” Yes, it is clear, the world around us quantifies all the things that we should fear. Yet we have been give this supernatural gift. It lives inside of us and it beckons us to not be afraid. We need to close our eyes to all the reasons to fear and instead trust fall into the presence of God within us.

Q: How can we put our trust in God when facing our fears?

A: Baby steps of faith. It doesn’t take much, but it does take our effort to make a change. When I was struggling through carrying my baby boy Gideon, whom I knew would soon be ushered into heaven, I did not have a whole ton of strength or faith. I had a little mustard sized seed within me, I just had to keep moving forward. Towards God, away from the fear, in small ways each day. By the end of the journey I looked back to see how far I had come! In Breaking the Fear Cycle I like to answer the question “how” in each chapter with a tangible step forward. For example in chapter 1 the call is hard but simple: write them all down. Each and every fear you have, in gruesome detail, bringing it all out into the light where God can minister to it fully. Baby steps, one chapter at a time, with my full fledged heart’s prayer that when you close the book you will stand free.

Readers: Leave an encouraging comment for Maria if you’d like a chance to win a copy of Breaking the Fear Cycle: How to Find Peace for Your Anxious Heart.

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