Facing Fear When Your Husband Is In the Line of Fire

It’s been a rough week for law enforcement. Five officers have been killed in the line of duty in this past week.

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Maybe you’d think that a law enforcement wife gets used to the news of officers injured or killed (250 officers shot and 59 deaths this year alone), but you never do. At least, I never have. I avoid the news because my heart can’t handle the constant bleeding. I see the black band over my husband’s badge (I don’t think it’s been off more than one day at a time this year). That has to be enough for me.

This last week though, it hasn’t just been rough nationally. It’s been rough locally.

A couple Sundays back, we woke to news that the local black lives matter movement in our city had used social media to get an officer’s address. They looked through pictures of his family and the places they frequent. They did this in an attempt to protest in front of his house and, well, harass him and his family. (By the way, I have no idea if this was officially or even unofficially sanctioned by the chapter, but it happened nevertheless.) We were advised to remove our names and locations from all social media.

Later that day (in an unrelated incident), we got the news that a deputy was slain one county over. He was ambushed while alone and executed at point-blank range. Executed.

My heart doesn’t even know what to do with that kind of hatred. But I can tell you these stories cut my heart right open.

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A few days ago, Mike took an overtime shift. I couldn’t shake this overwhelming sense that I needed to pray for him. I pray for him every night he’s working, usually with my kids at bedtime. But on this night, I just knew I needed to pray. Like pray, pray. You know?

The next day after he’d slept the long night off, he told me about his shift. He was involved in a situation that could have gone at least ten different ways—none of which would have been good. But it didn’t turn out any of those ways. It was fine. He was fine.

In a moment where he had seconds to make life-altering decisions with limited information, he used sound judgment. He made the right call.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. Thus far, every time I have felt that call to pray over Mike, the next day my husband has a story for me. One where he’s fine, but he faced some kind of situation that could have gone so wrong so fast.

Part of me rejoices. I mean, I know that God is actively watching over my family. It’s like God is saying to me: “See, Amanda? I am with Mike. I watch over your family. I know your comings and your goings, and I will be with you.”

But there’s this other part of me that feels vulnerable.

We use the phrase “hits close to home” when tragedy strikes close. Maybe it misses our home, but it hits our faith anyways. It’s this moment where we are looking pain and loss right in the face and realizing our faith doesn’t keep us from hardships, it preserves us through them.

Can I be honest? My gut-reaction is that I straight-up want to pluck myself right out of God’s hands in an attempt to save all I hold dear. It’s okay, God. Thanks for trying. But I got it from here. {As if. Oi.}

Really, those “close to home” events challenge us to mature our faith. It calls us into the realization that God’s goodness doesn’t equal comfort and safety and homes filled with stuff. But His goodness is still good. And we can trust Him.

Fear’s aim is to sweep away the nearness of God with the nearness of death. It can get us to ignore the very present Emmanuel—God with us—for all the it-could-have-been-me’s happening around us.

Listen: it’s not about whether it could have been you or not, it’s that God is with you.

God is with us through abundance and happy times. And He is with us through storms and loss. {And he is with my husband and all the law enforcement officers holding the thin blue line.}

These hits and near-hits are where our faith matures. These are the places we learn to trust.

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5 Ways to Grow Your Faith When You Are Afraid

Having walked through anxiety attacks, post-partum anxiety, and a season where tragedy kept striking, God has cultivated in me five ways to grow faith instead of fear.

1. Keep up your courage. Addy has been reading The Courage of Sarah Noble. It’s about this young girl who is faced with difficult circumstances and keeps reciting the words her mother gave her every time she feels afraid: Keep up your courage, Sarah Noble. I think there’s something to that phrase. Courage is facing your fears, even while afraid. And courage is something that must be kept up, regularly maintenanced. I love that Sarah recited it with her name in it. It’s important to remember who we are; moreover, WHOSE we are. You are a child of God. You are seen. You are held. You are dearly loved.

2. Small Victories. While in therapy for post-partum anxiety, my therapist advised me that when we encounter harm whether real or imagined, our natural response to try to avoid it in the future. But avoiding actually gives fear ground. It’s like we are agreeing with fear. The only real way to fight through fear is to face it. When the fear feels overwhelming and debilitating, we need to face it in small baby steps, celebrating each small victory. Can hardship strike? Yes. Can I control that? No. The only thing I can control is how I handle fear. I can be afraid and live brave at the same time. I can see my husband off to work. Maybe I kiss him a little longer, live like my goodbyes could be my last words to him, but I send him off nevertheless. I pray. I work at getting decent sleep. Small victories.

3. Give yourself grace. Perfect love casts out fear. So don’t go berating yourself for how you shouldn’t be afraid. Full on embrace the love of God. The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Psalm 145:8

4. Recite Scripture. The way to expel fear is to recite the truth of God’s love for you {and believe it}. In those moments of panic, take your brain power away from the worry and use it to remember what God says. Because you can’t both worry and try to remember scripture at the same time, you cripple fear (and squash a panic attack. amen.) My go-to’s are Psalm 23, 139 and the Lord’s Prayer. I made this list two years back when I first found out I was pregnant after 4 miscarriages in a row. I placed it on my bathroom mirror and referenced it often in those first months. (It’s not fancy, but it has a bunch of fear-busting scriptures all on one sheet if you want something to print and hang up in your house today.)

5. Pray. I think this one scripture sums up this whole point: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7


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Amanda Conquers
Amanda Conquers is a cop's wife, mom to 3 kids, and a cheerleader for weary women. Most days, she wants to hide in her closet with her secret stash of chocolate because she feels like she's not quite enough. But Amanda lives holding on to the hope that in spite of all her failings, God grace is sufficient for her and she shall be called an overcomer yet. You can find her writing her broken stories on her blog, instagram and facebook.