Fear. I’ve talked about it before, but I think I need to get a little bit deeper, a little bit more personal, a bit more vulnerable, especially after Julia shared this post, in which she talked about being REAL, sharing who you really are. And you know what that means? That means that although I write posts of encouragement, posts in which I’ve talked about faith and courage and hope (which I truly am learning and growing in by God’s tremendous all sufficient grace) , I do struggle with fear.
What do I fear? I fear:
Going on trips: It gets me out of my routine, and that throws me into anxiety.
Sometimes I still fear gaining weight.
I fear my family members dying.
I have feared going to hell and being separated from God forever.
I fear the unknown, not making enough money, not being good enough or a good enough writer for this blog.
I fear people’s praise, because I fear my own pride.
That doesn’t even get to the bottom of it, but the point is: I fear.
And I praise God so much that there are so so many commands in the Bible not to fear, because I think He knew that His children were going to struggle with fear.
One of the passages that has often come to me when I am struggling with fear that almost seems to overcome me is Isaiah 43:1-2,
‘But now thus saith the Lord who created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.’
Another one that has continually lifted up my soul after really coming to understand that spiritual warfare is real and that I’m not just fighting against my own sin but against the world, the flesh, and the devil is Ephesians 6.
Ephesians 6:10-13, ‘Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Therefore, take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and, having done all, to stand.’
Now, I could inundate you with a lot more AMAZING powerful Scriptures from God’s Word on fear, but I just want to let those ones soak in so you can meditate on them for a bit.
A very real opportunity for paralyzing fear or trust in God came my way this past weekend.
This brought up all the fears that have come along with traveling for me since I started really struggling with idolizing my body and food.
But then I did write this post about ‘Why We Should Travel.’
I absolutely think we should travel, but there were some powerful lessons I needed to learn before coming on a small road trip with my sister.
The lessons were these:
#1) No matter what God will take care of you. Jesus promised that He will be with me, be with His disciples ALWAYS. (Matthew 28:20)
#2) When I’m fearing, I’m not trusting that God has an absolutely perfect plan that will always work out for good (Romans 8:28)
I’m not just using that phrase as a cliche phrase, because I truly know it and believe it. In 23 years of my life, I’ve never ever seen a situation that may have appeared bad or hard or difficult or absolutely despairing that God has not taken and turned and used it to work beauty out of my life.
I have determined before to be anxious or have done TERRIBLE things, yet I am constantly humbled at how my loving Father takes me, sets me back in the right path and teaches me that trusting Him is always worth the cost.
So what did this little trip teach me about fear?
‘By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
Yes I did have a very real terror of eternal separation from God, and it was a real, not unfounded fear, but now in Christ, at the foot of the cross, all that fear is and has been done away with forever. Now the only fear in my life that God commands is godly fear, holy, reverent awe at a merciful God that would save a wretch like me!
#2) Terror paralyzes but courage, the courage I have in Christ, spurs me to action. It spurs me to love, to joy, to hope, to peace, to patience, to kindness, to compassion…
‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.’ (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Courage spurs me to not worry about not being politically correct on the blog and just sharing out of the abundance of the heart like I am right now. I haven’t said some of these things before, because fear has held me back. Yet right now I am realizing more and more that I can not fear, because I am set free from guilt!
Courage spurs me to love and to eat icecream without worrying about the calories.
Courage spurs me to go to a buffet and talk about Jesus Christ with my cousin and not spend time over focusing on the calories I’m ingesting.
Courage spurs me to admit that I’m tired and go to bed, spend quiet time, instead of always talking, because I need time for rest and refreshment too.
And you are probably wondering, ‘Why in the world did she just stick a picture of a random turtle in there?’
Well, this is not just a turtle. It’s a creature that God has made; a creature that God takes care of. Matthew 6 and Matthew 10 remind me that I’m worth way more than sparrows, than animals; so why would I fear or worry about what I’m going to wear tomorrow or the road trip I’m going to go on?
Why would I fear death because Jesus has conquered the sting of death? (1 Corinthians 15)
Why would I fear people knowing that I struggled with an eating disorder when Jesus Christ has healed my broken heart, cleansed me of my sin, and set me free from walking in darkness?
Romans 11:12, ‘ The night is far spent; the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.’
So, does this mean that I won’t ever fear again after this night? No, but I can come back to these truths everyday and remember that is no reason to live in paralyzing, deadening fear anymore, because God is in control; and He is an AWESOME Father!
Last of all, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen in my future. I don’t know whether I’ll die tomorrow or in 80 years or in 20 years, but I’m not going to fear that. I know that God holds my future, that He is a Good Father, that He will always be with me. I am confidnet that His love will never fail and that His tender mercies are always new and precious to my often fearful and weak heart.
To Him be all the glory!
‘“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” saith the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.’ (Isaiah 55:8-12)
Now we need to get into the favorite links from last week.
This is something I usually do on Friday, but I could not conscience skipping a week of sharing the links; there are just so many good reads from my thoughtful sweet blogger gals. I could not ‘not’ share them!
Unapologetically You – It is okay to be you and to open up; it is often where the healing begins.
Am I Doing Enough – This question runs through my head a lot, and Lyss answered it in such a wonderful way.
Why I Was Scared to Start a Blog But I Did Anyways – If you want to, DO IT! 🙂
How To Stay Sane After Getting Married – Loving Megan’s series. Kristy and Jesse are hilarious!
Dealing with Loss – It is so hard.
This WIAW was so encouraging! – Thanks Kat! 🙂
7 Tips For People Who Eat Alone – These are so good, especially if you struggle to eat enough! 🙂
BMI Isn’t the Ultimate Indication of Health (Evangeline really HITS the truth home!)
Staying True to Yourself (Blogging Thoughts, Life Thoughts)
So tell me:
Where do you find your courage?
What are some fears that you have a hard time sharing with others?
What are fears that you did have that you no longer have?
What has courage spurred you to do?
Linking up with Lori for Moments of Hope and Amanda to Think out Loud! 🙂