I struggle daily with fear. Fear of messing up. Fear of people finding out that I am weird (public declaration…I am). Fear that photos I take will be rejected. Fear that I will never be the best. Fear that others will succeed before I do. Fear that my friends don’t really like me. Fear that I will never be content with my body. Fear that my insecurities will be found out (like they are right now). Fear that my time is wasted. Fear that I am failing my children. Fear of when and how I will die. Fear that my marriage won’t last. Fear that my children won’t be healthy or safe. Fear of being vulnerable. Fear that I am not Christian enough. Fear that God can’t use me. Fear that I am just missing it.
Afraid, afraid, afraid.
Last year at a moms group meeting I am blessed to be a part of, we had a special speaker that spoke about fear and the debilitating effects it can have on our health, both physically and emotionally. She referred to fear as a demon and instructed that the demon needed to be called out and asked to walk out of our lives. It was something I had never done before. Physically speaking a demon out of myself. So I did it. I have to be honest, I didn’t notice much of a difference after I told it to get out. But I did walk out of there with a new outlook on fear and I have made a special effort to allow God to take over my fears when a new one begins to rear its ugly head. Just about the time I get one fear under control, Satan will whisper a new one in my ear. Someone or something unknowingly supports that little whisper and suddenly I am whisked away into believing a lie. Usually the lie boils down to how much I don’t measure up. When God is asking me to stand up and accomplish something for him, I tell myself that someone else is more capable, I take a seat. And fear wins.
In order for fear to hit the road, we need to call it out and tell it to get the heck away from us.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
One of the hardest things to do is to see everyone go one way, and to choose to go in the other direction. God often calls us to do just that. And it is scary sometimes, isn’t it? I have ideas that come into my head all of the time that terrify me. Ideas that would require me to do things that people around me aren’t doing. So why me? Can’t I just do what everyone else is doing instead? Go with the flow instead of swimming upstream? It is so difficult for us to comprehend the potential that He has for our lives. It is great and it is mighty. But it will most certainly require us to be different. And vulnerable. Satan wants to convince us that we are small and incapable. That we are dirty and ugly. He puts fear into our hearts. That fear is what stops God’s love and gifts from being released into the world.
Going forward I just want to clearly identify the lies that I believe, the lies that waste so much of my precious time by pouring worry into them. I need to believe that God has a better path for me, and it might be scary but wherever that path leads is going to be awesome and I just have to trust that. And you know what? I might screw up. But if I have learned anything from my past experiences, he is going to pick me right back up and restore me. My hope and prayer is that anyone out there that struggles with fear would have the courage to throw those fears and lies right out the window. God gave you passions to pursue and if you choose not to go down that path it will keep others and ourselves from seeing and knowing God’s goodness and love.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (one of my favorites)
Be blessed. And unafraid. We are in good hands.
Image credit: Modern Hepburn