Each month, you’ll hear from one of us on what we’re reading and a little bit about the book. Enjoy!
I’m currently reading Afraid of All the Things: Tornadoes, Cancer, Adoption, and Other Stuff You Need the Gospel For by Scarlet Hiltibidal. I’ve been anticipating this book since I heard about it. I follow Scarlet on Instagram and recommend you do the same if you love adorable children, hamster adventures, and laughing. When I found out she was writing a book—a book about fear, nonetheless—I couldn’t wait to read it! Can we also take a moment and admire that title? Afraid of All the Things. Yep. Check.
I’m only a couple of chapters into this book, but I can already recommend it. Scarlet grew up on the set of Saturday Night Live and on airplanes to L.A. Her childhood was a little different than mine in those respects, but we both harbored unhealthy fears about everything. Appendicitis? Yes. Tornadoes? Yes. Not being the best at everything? Yes.
This book has already made me laugh (out loud, I might add) and has already brought hope to my fears. Scarlet’s writing style perfectly conveys the humor of being Afraid of All the Things (note: this humor is best seen in hindsight because as ridiculous as your specific fear may seem, it is still very scary at the time.) with the hope of the gospel. I love this quote from the early pages of the book:
The gospel tells me I can’t fix myself.
The gospel tells me I can’t protect myself.
But the gospel tells me I can rest, knowing that Jesus walked into this broken, sad, scary place to rescue me and love me and cast out my fear. And He did and He does and He will.
This is Scarlet’s story and my story, and chances are, it has echoes in your story as well. Maybe your fears didn’t cause you to collapse in aisle six of a Winn Dixie because you knew for certain your appendix had burst like Madeline’s, but I imagine we have all had moments where we felt like we couldn’t escape the very real and very painful fear casting a shadow on our lives. And we all have a Savior who sees us and loves us in the middle of those aisle sixes, no matter where and what we fear.
I love how quickly Christ enters the conversation in Afraid of All the Things. Scarlet found hope and peace and love in Jesus. She found identity in Christ instead of her fears. Another favorite quote (so far) came from a section on the fears of motherhood and how, for much of her life, Scarlet had let her fears define her as a person. She writes,
My fears, my failures, my phases, real and imagined and everything in between, do not get to say who I am. They can’t. Because Jesus already did. He rose from the dead with new names for me. Forgiven. Approved. Loved. Daughter. Heir. Friend.
She goes on to write, “Fear can’t name you if, through Jesus, that job has already been filled.” Because of Jesus, we don’t have to be the person who is Afraid of All the Things. Instead, we can be forgiven, approved, loved, daughters, heirs, friends, and so much more.
I can’t wait to dive in deeper to this book. No matter our fears, they all fall into the category of “Stuff You Need the Gospel For.” Afraid of All the Things officially releases on January 15, but you can go ahead and preorder a copy here or wherever books are sold!
Elizabeth Hyndman is a Content Editor and Social Media Strategist for LifeWay Women.