Fear, Lies, And Being Scared Of Everything
Editor’s Note: Thank you for being so patient with us as we adjust to big changes in the new year! Have you met our new team yet? Go say hello to them! Today’s post is by Leeann. She blogs here and tweets at @leeleegirl4. – Lauren
When I saw the topic for the month of January, I immediately thought about fear.
I have learned how to deal with happiness, sadness, anger, and jealousy – but fear has always been a problem of mine. I have let my fear control my life.
When I was a kid at school, I would think about every possible worst case scenario and be absolutely convinced that they were all going to happen to me. For example, I was afraid to sleep over at my grandmother’s house because I was convinced that lions were going to get me. It made absolutely no sense. There were no wild lions roaming in New Jersey! There were certainly no lions that knew how to unlock doors. And yet, inexplicable relief came over me when I learned that the scary noise was not lions, but just the heater turning on.
One might think that as I realized these outrageous scenarios were not going to happen to me, I would be okay. Fear is not an emotion that can be controlled by reasonable thought. I had hoped my fears would lessen in number as I grew up, but my fears only grew deeper as I matured. Instead of scary lions and loud noises, I was afraid of the dangers of the world.
It wasn’t that I didn’t try to overcome my fears. But did you know that no shortcoming can be overcome by itself? It needs something greater and more powerful than itself. I found the greatest tool ever when I was twelve, but I did not yet understand how to use it. I chose to personally believe the faith I had grown up seeing, but I did not understand there was more to ‘faith’ than a simple prayer.
My parents had taken me to church pretty much every Sunday. I chose to believe in God before I knew what else was out there. I did not understand that God wanted to change me, to challenge me, to force my faith to grow. As a freshman in high school, I found the first key to unlocking the puzzle of fear. I found a Bible verse about defeating fears. I immediately adopted this as ‘my’ verse.
I thought that praying one time, at church, would eliminate all my fears forever. Words cannot describe the disappointment I felt a few days later when I realized that was not the case. I hated it. I didn’t want fear to rule my life. Fear took the fun out of everything.
I was scared of new opportunities. I was scared of failing and ruining my perfect image. I was scared of being forgotten. I was scared of rejection. I was scared of missing something great. I struggle with fears of potential car accidents and being hurt by my friends. I am scared right now as I write this post.
I was jealous of all those who looked like their life was put together. I was jealous of their confidence. I was jealous of those who got what I wanted. I felt like a total mess.
Remember the tool I mentioned earlier to overcome fear? Faith. But a tool is only as good as one’s knowledge of using that tool. It has taken me years to understand just enough about the nature of God to use my faith as a tool. And it is more of a weapon really. Faith comes with great power, if we can only learn to trust beyond what we can see.
Fears come mainly from the lies we believe. We could choose to give in to them or see them for what they really are. That fear of rejection? It is really saying that I don’t think I am important unless you say I am. The truth is, our worth does not depend on a single other person.
The fear of missing out on life? That is saying that I am being ungrateful for all that I do have. Lies. I don’t have to believe these lies and neither do you. The fear of tragedy is just a lack of faith that God will see us through our darkest nights. Saying that we don’t believe God will be present through the potential worst.
These fears did not develop in a day, and it takes a long time to come to terms with unreasonable fear. There are indeed some things in life that should rightly be feared, but they are far fewer than we think.
It is a daily struggle to choose God’s truth over the world’s lies. If it was up to me alone, I would fail. I am not alone and neither are you. Part of being a community is sharing our weaknesses and learning how to be strong together. Together, along with some faith, we can beat our fears.
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