Monday, November 3, 2014

Fear: The Other 4 Letter F Word

Yep.  I went there. 
Fear is a liar and a foul word.  It's used by Satan to bring us to paralyze or put us in a corner of solitude and shame so that no one and nothing can encourage us.  It's something that brings pain in every outlet because of how much we want to hide what we are afraid of.  We limit ourselves because of our fears all too often.  Think about it...we don't say things in relationships because we are afraid of how our significant other will react.  We don't do something we are called to because we are terrified of failure.  We choose to move forward half heartedly living our lives because we are afraid that we will let someone down or that we won't meet their standard of approval.  Think about the things you have wanted to do and felt like God was calling you to but were too afraid to step out into.  See, it's paralyzing and flat out sucks. 
What's the common denominator here?  It's the fact that we're looking to other people for that affirmation, approval and encouragement.  I will be the first to admit that I am guilty as can be with this.  The older I have gotten, the more I've realized I fear more than I used to.  There's a fear of growing old all by myself and let me tell you, that's the worst nightmare of an extrovert who has the top love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch.  I am also terrified of failing at anything I set out to do.  College wasn't my strong suit and from that, I have developed the mindset of thinking I won't be able to finish I try...again.  Then there's the fear that my past and the decisions I still fall prey to at times will prevent me from truly moving forward and becoming the woman God created me to be.  Again I say, fear is a liar.  It shouldn't define us but push us to the foot of the cross so we can rest in truth.
All of that fear is a result of not trusting God with each and every part of my life.  I'm broken, sinful, and absolutely terrified of screwing up, especially when I leave for Italy but the beauty of this's not up to me.  It's up to Christ to continuously redeem me from who I once was to who He has planned for me to be.  Yes, sins have consequences and those stay with us but thankfully there's nothing that we do that screws up God's plan.  He isn't surprised or caught off guard by our failures and we see that in Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  He loves us and created us to walk in confidence that He will provide, redeem, restore and save.  There's a freedom in that.  Oh what joy! The following verse is something I've been trying to dwell on these past few weeks and my prayer is that it encourages you like it has me.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).  He guards our hearts and minds and gives us the peace that we so desperately long for. 
What is it you're afraid of?  As cliché as it may sound, ask Christ to show you how to move forward and break away from the bondage of that fear and to stop using the F word.  Walk in the light of the beautiful cross and the salvation of who God is.  Is it easy?  No way but it's worth the journey because we are not in it alone.  He's on our side.  Look back at your life and see that He's never let you down.  He's protected, provided and consistently forgiven and restored.  No need for fear.