They Do Exist.

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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15 Responses

  1. Megan

    Leeann, thank you so much for this post. it touched my heart tonight in a way I needed so much. I have always struggled with fears like that, and I love what you said about “the fear of tragedy is just a lack of faith that God will see us through our darkest nights”.

    January 16, 2012 at 2:19 am

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  3. Raw and honest. So beautiful. Thank you for being so open about what we all experience. This really got to me, because I struggle with fear a good bit too. Fantastic read! God bless you!

    January 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm

  4. Lindsey W.

    Good post, I myself struggle with anxiety and have my whole life. I sometimes get so scared (of silly things my mind makes up or exaggerates making something seem way worse than it actually is) that I have really bad anxiety attacks that have caused me to physically get sick & unable to eat, made me feel as though I was unable to swallow or breathe and have hyperventilated quite a few times. I just felt completely hopeless. It's crazy what you can make yourself believe…

    It's something I have to battle frequently but sometimes it's a day by day struggle just to keep my head above the water. God has been showing me that "where fear begins, faith ends and where faith begins fear ends"–by giving into lies, I am putting my fears higher than God and saying my fears are bigger/greater than Him (which of course is not something I want to ever say because it's so false). So now if I feel the anxiety starting to wash over my body, I start praying immediately and just talking to God about what I am feeling. It's then best for me to shift my focus from myself and onto Him by praising or worshiping Him to comfort my mind knowing He is big & mighty and what I am afraid of is so small compared to our Heavenly Father.

    It's not something I can say I have overcome yet but I'm learning to block & distinguish the lies from entering my head and to lean on my faith in God when they do come. He is the Light in my darkness.

    January 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

  5. As a fellow "scared of everything" girl since childhood, this resonated on a deep level for me. I know that faith is the key, but the daily laying down of my fears and giving up that control (yes, fear is a control issue for me–incredibly irrational!) is a struggle. Thanks for the encouragement and speaking the truth!

    January 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm

  6. Wow, this is so relevant. Some of what you've said is an almost exact replicate of what I answered in response to "What are you afraid of?" just this morning. I have definitely struggled with the fear of rejection and it's something I've only been realising really recently, and very slowly learning to overcome.

    " 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."
    This is SO TRUE and it's so wonderful to hear it from you just hours after I explicitly recognised it today. It's so freeing to realise that your worth is not in what other people think of you. Seriously if you told me that a year ago, I don't think I'd ever have believed you. I'd have said "I know it SHOULDN'T, but it still DOES."

    But it doesn't. Not one bit.

    Thank you for this :)

    January 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  7. Sara

    I'd sure like to know what that bible verse was. … Anyone know or have ideas?

    January 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm

  8. kelsey6791

    This really hit home. I've rediscovered my relationship with Jesus lately and suddenly I found myself petrified. I was scared to move even one finger. Because I knew what God was calling me to do. And I believed that I would fail miserably risking my life for the mission and sacrificing everything for Him. I am plagued with guilt and anxiety over how not to disappoint God. I do feel like I was filled with the Holy Spirit at one point and became so overwhelmed that I just had to stop going to church and reading the Bible so much. I still feel that way. So many times I could be out spreading the Word instead of in the house sitting around and I feel so guilty and scared about what God will say to me at Judgement Day. But I keep doubting and questioning myself, "What sense does it make to give everything to God? You only have a little. If you give it all away, you'll have nothing. You'll be poor." And honestly, I know these are lies. But I choose to believe them. I honestly do feel like I don't have any guarantee that I will be okay if I give everything away. There will be no stability in my life if I have nothing. I know these are lies too. I just really need some faith and courage to accomplish this mission God has set before me.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:56 am

  9. Thank you so much for posting this. Everything you said here described me. I have been like that my whole life and am now in counseling which has helped me a lot. I realize that it's a daily giving it over to God. Having my Scripture verses that I recite whenever I start to worry or be afraid helps me as well. Thank you for sharing your heart!

    January 17, 2012 at 7:47 am

  10. Casey

    "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." –2 Timothy 1:7

    This is a verse I've had to cling to over the last year as I realized that fear was paralyzing me and controlling me. I'm thankful that God is Jehovah-Rapha, our Healer. It was quite a breakthrough for me to realize that He wanted to heal me from fear! He didn't just want to save me, He wants to heals me.

    January 29, 2012 at 1:18 am

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  12. Bianka

    This is exactly how I feel. I am afraid of planes, I am afraid of going away from home, I am afraid of being alone but also afraid of being around others I am 21 and I feel like I am going no where because I am afraid of life! I have extreme anxiety and I always feel sick…with headaches and nausea I just don't have quality of life. i am going to lose my job soon because I keep taking to much time off…I feel like I'll dissapoint everybody. Every body around me is happy and living life to the full but I know I'll never be able to do that. I think negatively all the time and think about suicide alot (but i would never killl myself) I like to believe that I am stronger then that. I keep telling myself that things will get better but it's been a few years now and i have tried everything :( I am lucky that I have the most amazing partner who comforts and reassures me all the time. He recently told me to give myself to god and ask for their help but I'm just not sure how to do that….I have been praying but I don't knoe if I truly believe?? how do i know Im so confused. I feel a bit better since I do not drink (gives me extreme anxiety) I gave up smoking and I am excersizning regulary. I would be grateful for any comments??

    September 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm

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