Fear is such an interesting thing. It starts off so young and silly, with a fear of darkness, falling into the toilet, or…broccoli. You get over those fears, then before you know it, there are more fears. Except they’ve moved from toddler “so cute” fears to middle/high school heart fears, like the fear of not being liked, not getting good enough grades, not fitting in. You eventually get that college acceptance letter, and it’s like finally a fresh slate. You’re leaving behind all the crappy fears that chased you around for fifteen years of education. Except fear never actually goes away. You never say bye to fear.
As we get older, fear morphs its way into our hearts through the fear of not finding lifelong friends, fear of failing in a career, fear of being alone, fear of getting unhealthy, fear of never traveling, fear of discomfort, fear of change, fear of babies, fear of wrinkles, fear of different people with different colors and religions. Fear NEVER walks away; it is a silent, predatory shadow that closes in on every part of your life until you shut it down or it shuts you down.
I’m writing about this because I recently found myself in a very creepy situation that I’m not even sure I can fully write out because it only happened yesterday. It’s brought me to my knees in prayer and taught me a good lesson. No matter how much we believe all people are “good,” we can never pinpoint every instance of evil or danger that makes its way for us. But that doesn’t mean we need to live in fear. If anything, it means we’re doing something right and that the evil one out there doesn’t like it.
I fully believe there is a God; therefore, I fully believe there is a devil as well. AND I believe fear is his most powerful weapon. It can paralyze us from pursuing the passions God has put within us! It can stop us from taking a step and trusting! Whether that be moving to a new city or country, or marrying or breaking up with a specific person, or starting or quitting a job, or discovering more about who God is—whatever it is that holds you back from confidently following the words “Do not fear, do not be anxious,” it’s time to get rid of it for good.
Here’s what I’m thinking, and let me know how this works for you.
Write out your fears. Circle all the ones that you don’t have 100% control over. Examples of this are the world ending, Donald Trump being elected, international violence, a breakout on your wedding day, what other people think about you (!!), etc. These are the ones that are literally not going to change between today and today in ten years. These are the ones you need to eliminate and get past because they will walk in your shadows with you every day until you do. What that looks like is different for every person, but the point of this is recognizing those fears first.
A small fear I had recently was that it wouldn’t be worth it to cut my hair super short. I’ve grown it out for the past two years. After thinking about this for months, I grabbed a pair of scissors and just cut the dang hair on eleven inches off of my head. Then I went to a salon where sweet Pierre made it even (lol) and added some cutesy layers. He also thinned it out (because #thickhairproblems), and I loved it! I know that is on a smaller scale about fears, but it was still a victory nevertheless.
Since moving to London, a lot of fears have come up that I didn’t even know I had. It’s been interesting seeing these hidden parts of my heart. I’m trying daily to not live this life in fear. Why? Because fear prevents me from enjoying the fruits of creation, the people I’m around, the love I’m given, the opportunities I’m shown, and above all, the heart of my creator. It’s time to say bye to fear. What fears are holding you back from the life you want to lead?