Let us just admit for one second that this little word has a huge impact. Some of us let it defeat us. Some of us let it drive us. Others of us wallow in it. Some of us allow it to paralyze us. Whatever your situation, it is likely that fear has some sort of power over you. Friend, fear is not of God. We should fear God and His commandments because we know that He disciplines those He loves. But, even here we see that God disciplines out of love. God never responds out of fear.
It took me years upon years to realize this simple fact and it changed my life. Fear used to rule me. And I mean it ruled me. Fear stole my thoughts and my dreams, my prayers, and the discipline of my children. Fear also stole my security and my voice.
Then I named it. My eyes were open to the reality of what was fueling my everyday life. My children started displaying behaviors that stemmed from fear. Fear of the dark, of mommy leaving, and of bad people and bad things happening to us or to our home. It bothered me so much to see them so full of fear. I knew something had to change but I didn’t know what.
Until I came face to face with fear itself. See, first of all, I had to look at the root of my problem. I’ve had multiple things throughout my life that drip by drip added fuel to the flame of fear. It is reasonable sometimes in life to fear. Sickness, death, loss, violence, abuse, pain all of these things are so real and hurt so much. We don’t want to experience them and we pray for these things to stay away from us and from our loved ones.
But, they don’t. Not always.
They come crashing, big powerful waves of indescribable pain and destruction. My brother died at the age of 6. My father became an abusive drug addict. We lived in poverty. My nephew was diagnosed with Leukemia at 2.5 years old. My uncle and my grandfather were alcoholics. Just by telling you this, my palms are sweating. Pain is no stranger to me and my family. In my late 20’s I became determined to live a different kind life but it wasn’t so easy to face all the pain of my past. Pulling out roots is painful. Fear knows how to grow deep, deep roots.
What I can tell you is that I prayed and prayed for a different outcome for my children. They would be a brand new shoot on the family tree. A line was drawn in the sand and the Lord gave me these arrows on purpose, to honor and love him with all their hearts.
Then fear. Every action and every step I took was taken with fear as the driving force. I labeled it God, people. I convinced myself that this
was me honoring God. It’s painful to write that. The words I spoke over my children, rooted in fear. The prayers I prayed over my family, rooted in fear. You get the point. Fear was my fuel.
The thing about fear, though is that it doesn’t have the same power as love. Love overcomes fear. And I’m so thankful for the choice made to let love win.
Here’s what you need to know;
Fear is a natural emotion, a normal reaction to life’s challenges. Allowing it to control you is a choice. Love comes from God. God is love. Accepting love is also a choice. Choose wisely.
Here is what you need to do;
Recognize the source of your thoughts, actions, and prayers. Are they coming from a place of love for God, regardless of the outcome? Are they rooted in fear? You can easily tell the difference. Love will say, “it is well with my soul.” Fear will cause anxiety, depression, maybe even anger. Look at the fruit of your life and you will easily determine the source.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galations 5:22
Friend, with all my heart I hope you choose love. Fear has no power, except the power you give it.