If someone walked up to me and asked me my biggest fear, I don’t know what the answer would be.
It depends on the day.
Maybe even the time of day.
Fear is an interesting thing.
Fear is a crippling thing.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve struggled with fear & anxiety.
I was terrified of the dark.
I was afraid of black widows getting into my bed.
I was afraid someone might look in my windows at night and scare me.
I was afraid of someone breaking into my house.
I wouldn’t sleep with my back to the room, it had to be against a wall.
I was afraid I was going to die…so much so I remember my parents taking me to the Doctor to see if something was legitimately wrong with me. I thought I was going to stop breathing in my sleep and die. There was nothing wrong with me. It was all in my head.
To be honest, now that I’m older, I really hope that’s how I’ll go. Now I understand and know more things and I fear a slow and painful death…hahaha…but doesn’t everyone? I’m not afraid of being dead. It’s the dying that gets me all riled up inside.
A few years ago, I had a huge battle with fear. It was crippling and terrifying. There’s a blog on here somewhere with a video of me sharing the moment that that particular battle with fear was broken and won in my life.
Last year, after my Great-Grandpa and my Gramma died 29 days apart, both completely unexpectedly, then my husband got sick and anxiety began to creep up on me.
Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, it’s hard to explain, because fear is an interesting thing and it makes no rational sense.
I can quote every scripture there is about how God is for me and love casts out fear and there is no fear in love and on and on they go…BUH-LIEVE me, I read and quoted all of them.
Do I believe God could just supernaturally heal me and I will never struggle again?
Do I also believe that sometimes we have lessons we have to learn and God allows us to go through things that make us stronger and more sympathetic to others he will bring into our lives???
And I believe with all of my heart that THAT is where I am at in my life in my battle with fear and anxiety.
You see, I can be super spiritual and tell you that God has my back and “I ain’t even trippin’!”
And that would be a lie.
God DOES have my back and I still allow myself to fall into the trap of listening to the thoughts in my head that scream louder than the calm He can bring me.
I choose that.
It is a choice.
I decide that I will let my fears take over.
I decide that my anxiety is real and I can’t help it.
I decide that my fears are real and legitimate.
Whether it’s true or in my head, it’s my choice everyday which voice I will listen to. Which thoughts I will allow to have power over my heart and mind.
The best analogy I ever heard was about a lion. It came from a friend who struggled with anger, but insert any battle you face in life and it holds a powerful truth.
Every morning I wake up and there’s a lion named Fear inside of my mind. Every morning he is lethargic and starving and wasting away. He feeds on fear. And every time I give into the thoughts of fear that come into my mind, I throw that lion a big juicy steak. And with every steak, he becomes more alert, more powerful and more life is in him.
And before I know it, I have fed that lion enough that he is up and about and roaming around freely. He has more and more power in my mind. Before I know it, he is circling me and I feel trapped and even more afraid than I was before, and that feeds him even more! And in no time at all, I’m trapped in a vicious cycle of being terrified of Fear and the more fearful I am, the more powerful fear becomes.
When I keep this thought at the front of my mind and confront the thoughts in my mind and call them out as stupid, untrue, made up and exaggerated, fear loses and starves to death.
But it’s a choice I have to make daily. Sometimes numerous times per day…even hour. I have to replace every lie with the truth of God’s word.
Lately, I have been struggling with one giant fear that is very new to me. It’s ugly and I don’t like it.
I hate it.
With everything in me.
And I thought I could fight it alone.
I thought I could just ignore it and pretend it wasn’t there, but it was.
And I was feeding that fear numerous juicy steaks at a time as I let my imagination get the best of me…the one thing I don’t lack is creativity and imagination. A fantastic gift that can also be a great curse.
I was allowing it to change my behavior and interactions with people around me.
And then, finally (he probably just couldn’t take it any more) Marcos gently called me out on it.
It was a painful and embarrassing conversation – not because he shamed me, but because I was admitting weakness and a battle I didn’t want to admit I had raging inside of my heart. I cried. It sucked.
But confession is cleansing for the soul.
Whether it be sin, fear, anxiety, depression, oppression…any number of things, 98% of its power over you is the secret of it all. Secrets bring shame and the feeling that you are alone and no one else battles like you do.
And that is the biggest lie of all.
When you are able to, in a safe place, admit what is happening in your soul, it is so freeing and what was meant to be ugly becomes beautiful.
Maybe not in an instant.
It’s all a journey, right?
The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.
I was fortunate enough to be met with love and understanding and kindness and the knowledge that my fears were irrational.
What was my fear?
It doesn’t matter.
What is yours?
What lion are you feeding in your mind everyday that needs to be starved to death?
“For the weapon of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge and the power of God, bringing EVERY THOUGHT into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”