Fear, Monday Mayhem, Vanessa

Monday Mayhem Living Fearless

Welcome to Monday Mayhem!  I couldn’t think of a better word to describe this post than MAYHEM!  I have written, erased, rewritten, scribbled, thought, prayed, written, and rewritten more times than I’d like to say.  When Stephanie fist suggested we write about fear, I said, “NO!”  Of course God immediately laughed at me, and I knew it.

The truth is, I could write a book about fear.  Fear has been a recurring theme in my life from the time I can remember anything.  In fact, my very first memory is filled with terror, a special kind of fear that goes to the extremities of the topic.  It’s a memory that grips me beyond words even to this day, even after much counseling.  Just to think about it, I can feel the trembling rise up inside of me, although I’ve grown quite skilled over the years at remaining calm on my exterior.

Fear is such a frustrating emotion to me.  You can’t just say the right thing to make your fear go away.  How do I know?  Well besides personal experience, I have my children to thank for that.  Anyone ever tried to tell a fearful child that there is nothing to be afraid of so they’ll go to sleep?  It doesn’t really work that well.  In our home we’ve tried many different techniques on this particular topic, ranging from night lights, checking the room, monster spray (lavender water), and prayer to the less inspiring techniques like yelling and threatening. I know, I know, I shouldn’t yell at a scared child and increase their fear level.  Let’s just say I’ve come a long way in my parenting journey and learned a few things NOT TO DO along the way.

Fear once it is with us, just doesn’t disappear.  Unchecked fear is worse than the energizer bunny.  It truly keeps going and going, until it even creates things that are untrue.  When I was a young girl, I would lay in my bed at night absolutely scared to death.  I was of course more fearful of my parents than any hypothetical circumstance, so I stayed in my bed.  I remember laying there imagining what my life would be like if my parents died.  Would anyone want me?  Would I have to take care of myself?  Would my brother and I be split up into different families?  I would think through various scenarios and imagine the ways my parents might die until I was crying.  It was an absolutely awful habit, that I carried with me into much of my adult life, although the topic of my scenarios did change as I got older.  I’d envision problems with friends or co-workers, the death of my children, spouse…..  Honestly it’s a really long list.  I’m pretty sure I’ve hypothetically lived through every natural disaster known.

One day I found my way to a Celebrate Recovery Step Study.  It was in that first step study that I began to deal with my fear issues.  I opened up and shared with others about the fear I was battling in my mind.  I learned that others had similar fears.  More importantly, I learned about my God and his plan to help me live a FEARLESS life.  It was in this season of my life where God really increased my faith.  Faith my friends, is the antithesis of fear.

Fear and faith are both hopes in what could possibly happen.  Faith however is founded in truth and love.  Fear is founded in lies and worry.  If you’ll join me back on Friday, I’ll share with you the details of how God moved in my life to teach me to live in faith not fear.  I still stand back in awe today when I remember everything that He has done for me.  If you’re struggling with fear, I want to point you to your bible.  There truly is no better way to combat the lies of Satan than with the truth of Christ found in His word.

Consider starting in the Psalms.  There could not possibly be a more faith building recipe than reading through the Psalms!  Here’s one of my favorites:

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

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