I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. ~Nelson Mandela
Fear-- a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. How many of you struggle with fear? I'm not talking about the healthy kind of fear that protects us and keeps us from harm, but the fear that can rob you of the freedom and the peace you were meant to walk in, the kind of fear that consumes your thoughts and steals your dreams, the kind of fear that seems to suffocate you and paralyze you.
I have had my fair share of struggles with this monster. Growing up in an abusive home contributed to a life consumed with fear. I was fearful of everything as a child, and this unfortunately carried over into the majority of my adult years. Here are a few examples of how I struggled with fear: When I was newly married, I was so consumed with fear that many mornings when my husband would get up to go to work I would cling to him and cry, fearful of letting him go, because I was afraid that something would happen to him and he wouldn't come back home. I loved him so much and I was afraid that he would be taken away from me because of the insecurity and fear I grew up with. I would also cry and cower in fear each time a severe thunderstorm would come. I literally feared for my life at times like this. When I was a child, my mother was so fearful of storms that she would take me and my brother and sit with us inside a closet until the storm was over. She would jump and grab a hold of us each time the thunder and lightening clapped. Sometimes she would take us and ride around in the car until the storm was over because she was so afraid that the storm would destroy the trailer we lived in. Her fear of storms was passed down to me and it consumed me each time one came up.
The fear I felt living in a home full of physical and emotional abuse was carried with me as I was growing up and into my adult years. After I had children, I decided I would not pass this fear on to them. I decided it was going to stop with me. The journey to overcome this fear has not been an easy one by any means, but the freedom that I have now has been well worth it. Fear is not something that goes away by itself. It requires determination and diligence to overcome this battle. It requires a power greater than anything this world can give us.
God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. The combination of God's power and God's Word helped me overcome a life filled with fears. I had to constantly speak God's Word aloud, many, many times over the years to get to the place I am now.
My younger daughter had a season, when she was younger, where she felt fearful about some things.....the house catching fire, someone breaking in, sleeping by herself in her room. I decided that the best way to win this battle was to attack it head on with the Word of God and prayer. We wrote Scripture verses down on paper and taped them all over her walls. Each time she felt fearful about anything, she knew to speak those verses aloud, as many times as she felt she needed to, until she felt that fear leave.
If you've ever struggled with fear, you know it is not an easy thing to live with. The good news is it can be overcome. God has given us everything we need to be victorious against the spirit of fear. He is greater than all of your fears. Until next time my friends, be blessed!
*The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control. ~2 Timothy 1:7 (ERV)
*Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world.~ 1 John 4:4 (CEV)