For as long as Scarlet Hiltibidal could remember, she’d been afraid. Anxious about many understandable things, like natural disasters. But also some pretty unlikely scenarios – like fire-nados! She battled anxiety and fear for so long – knowing God was bigger than her fears, but finding it so difficult to hold onto the truth day after day.

Then came a conversation with a wise woman of God that brought home the truth she knew in a way that changed her life. It took place in a group discussion at a retreat for pastor’s spouses.

“This woman, Elizabeth, I didn’t even know her. She just said, ‘My goal is not to raise perfect kids. My goal is not to be a perfect mom. That’s impossible. My goal is to just live the gospel out in my home, and practically what that looks like is, if I snap at my kids – or if I fight with my husband – I don’t hide from my children. I apologize to my husband. I apologize to my kids. Then I pray, and I apologize to God, and turn from my sin. So my kids can learn what repentance looks like. Because that is the whole thing that I want our home to be about. That’s what I want to teach them. That we’re weak, and we need Jesus.'”

This remarkable message was just what Scarlet needed, just when she needed to hear it.

“I had grown up hearing the Gospel, but something about the way she explained it practically in her home just kind of made it go from my head to my heart. And it changed everything about my life.”

She’s quick to explain this doesn’t mean she never experiences anxiety anymore. Just that her entire outlook on fear has been transformed.

“I still battle anxiety. But now I’m not a slave to it, because I learned that I was making every decision with kind of this protective, defensive stance. ‘How can I protect myself, and my family?’ Instead of  waking up and saying, ‘Lord, how can You use me to serve You, and love the people in this scary world?’ I just realized I don’t have to strive to be perfect, because Jesus was perfect in my place and the gospel is powerful enough for every failure of every day.”

On the Road with Scarlet Hiltibidal


Scarlet Hiltibidal authors the new book, Afraid of All the Things: Tornadoes, Cancer, Adoption & Other Stuff You Need the Gospel for.

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