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It’s ironic. Fear can be a great motivator in some instances, yet more often than not, it paralyzes. It holds us to a spot, daring us to move.
A couple of weeks ago I heard my 2 year old scream in pain at a public park. I knew where he was, but I couldn’t see him for the bushes. The fear of what may have happened motivated me to get my 32 week pregnant self up and running towards his cries! (He was okay, but it was a scare!)
Fear — an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Fear can be crippling, keeping us from doing any and everything. It holds us in our comfort zones, often keeping us from amazing experiences and blessings. Many times we let fear keep us doing the same old things, never taking steps of faith or trusting our Father with our whole hearts.
not measuring up
- Not being smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, successful enough.
- I think this is what makes us indecisive so often; we don’t want to be wrong and make our lives or someone else’s life miserable.
looking or sounding stupid
- No one wants to appear to not know what’s going on. It puts us at a disadvantage, and we don’t like it.
not being accepted
- We all want to be accepted, liked, and loved by someone. Not being accepted makes us lonely, and we don’t want that.
- Yikes! Maybe I’m the only on who is afraid of what I might miss out on if I don’t do or buy a thing. Many a marketing company plays very well on our fear of missing out!
- We don’t want ourselves or our family to be hurt.
- As women, I think many of us fear in some way betrayal. Perhaps it’s from our friends, family, or even our husbands.
losing children and/or husband
- Ahhh. What wife/mother hasn’t at some point been afraid of losing her family? We fear the loss of those we love so dearly.
- We just don’t know what might happen, and that scares us.
An Honest Confession
If I’m honest, I’d have to admit that I struggle with every single one of these fears from time to time.
I’m always having to remind myself that it’s okay for my kids to climb trees and be…well, kids. I have to resist the urge to follow them around all the time and keep them in a bubble.
One of my goals for the summer was to take the kids to the beach. It didn’t happen. Why? I was afraid of not being able to keep up with them all, afraid of the water and current, afraid of the creatures that may or may not be lurking nearby. Granted, it may be a warranted fear since there’s one of me and lots of them to keep an eye on. Nonetheless, I let fear keep us from experiencing what may have been an amazing time…and now? Summer has passed, and the opportunity has passed me by.
What Fear Does
So often, fear keeps us frozen. Crippled. Staying the same, unwilling to live, to trust, to love. Most fears stem from our lack of ability to control and foresee an outcome.
It’s like trying to see in the dark with a flashlight. You can only see what is right in front of you, but nothing to the right or the left or behind you. It’s a chilling feeling to be so completely vulnerable and unable to control what may or may not be out there.
Therefore, we anticipate what’s coming, making us anxious and scared, vulnerable and weak. The truth is that fear is not from God. Fear is a liar!
**If you haven’t heard this song by Zach Williams, go listen. Right now. I’ll wait.
How do I get past this?
All my life I’ve been told that a “healthy dose of fear” is good. I’m not sure I agree. Discernment is good. Caution can be good, but fear? Do I want my children to follow in my footsteps as the proverbial ostrich with her head in the sand? Or do I want them to be free to trust God completely?
If you are struggling with fear, like I so often do, be sure to run to God’s Word. It’s truth, and it’s comfort. If you aren’t sure where to start, here are two of my favorite verses on the subject. But if you need more, I found this amazing blog post with 33 Verses about fear and anxiety to be very helpful!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
My hope is that we can call fear what it is, and trust our Heavenly Father with our lives, in every situation.
And sister, He is a good, good Father!