Unfortunately, this is a word that I am all too familiar with. It’s kind of funny that such a small word can hold such a significant meaning in so many different ways and in so many different aspects of life. For me, personally, there are many things that I fear. I fear not being good enough. I fear disappointing others. I fear not being wanted. I fear failure. I fear being laughed at. I fear aspects of the future. I fear speaking my mind. This list could honestly go on and on.
The reason I have chosen to write this blog post is because I know for a fact that I am not the only person who struggles with fear on a daily basis. I’m writing this in hopes that at least one other person will be able to know and be comforted by the fact that they are not alone in the battle against fear. It’s ok to not always have it all together. It’s ok to be a little afraid sometimes. It’s ok to be a little broken. We are only human, and we aren’t expected to be perfect. Fear isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, for there is most definitely such a thing as healthy fear, but not all fear is healthy, and it can quickly become a serious problem when it is not held on a tight leash. For me, personally, I’ve let fear run wild in my life for far too long, and if I’m being completely honest, I still sometimes struggle with ridding myself of certain fears.
Fear has been an issue for me for as long as I can remember, but going to college changed a lot of things (some good/some bad). I have never really been one to be afraid of becoming more independent, and moving away from home was never a true fear of mine, but there were unfortunately still other fears that I continued to battle that went along with going to a new place. There were the fears of being rejected, the fears of being seen as unintelligent, the fears of having to meet new people, and so many more. In some ways, I was able to let go of some of the fears that I had held on to for so many years, and I was truly able to begin branching out. In other ways, however, I became even more held back by the tight grip of fear within new areas of my life, and it became almost too much to handle. The funny thing is that I know exactly why this happened. I let myself get way too carried away in all of the exciting things that were happening around me as I moved away to college, and I chose to handle everything on my own, which was probably the worst thing that I could have ever done. Not to mention, I also wasn’t leaning on God near as much as I should have been at the time. When things started to get too overwhelming, fear found a way to creep in and steal most of my joy away. The heavy toll it was taking on me was way too much for me to bear alone. In a sense, it honestly felt like I was drowning in different fears, and I’m sure some of you have felt the same way before. What I kept forgetting to remind myself of amidst all of my struggles is that God is not a God that wishes to invoke unhealthy fear upon us. Yes, we are supposed to fear the Lord, but that is a fear of an entirely different nature, for that type of fear mentioned in the Bible is healthy. There is, however, another type of fear mentioned in the Bible that is unhealthy, which would be known as a spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 states, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” That simple verse gave me an entirely new perspective on my situation. I really hadn’t been going to God for help and guidance like I should have been doing all along. I was attempting to carry all of the weight on my own, and eventually I began to feel like I was breaking beneath it all. What I didn’t understand at the time is that all of that bone-breaking fear was completely unnecessary. God doesn’t want us to be filled with fear. He is a God of love.
The biggest problem that I can see with fear is that it restrains people, and it keeps people from being the best version of themselves that they can possibly be. It also works hand in hand with insecurities, which never makes for a good combination. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have let fear hold me back from pursuing something that I truly wanted. Fear has also kept me from building strong relationships with people that I would really love to know, as well as kept me from showing people my real, true self. Sometimes fear can be such a silly, frustrating thing when simply thinking about it, but it can easily become paralyzing when in the crucial deciding moment of whether or not you will let the fear overtake you and make your decisions for you. That can be a very difficult spot to be in. Believe me, I know that spot all too well.
1 John 4:18 tells us, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” This is such a powerful verse for those struggling with fear. It truly holds a great significance in my life as I work to overcome fear. To the person who struggles with fear, know that God is a stronghold, and His love holds us steadfast. God is our perfect love, and His love can block out the fear that so many of us face in so many different ways.
I hope that these words were able to provide comfort and encouragement to at least one of you reading it. Voicing my thoughts on something like this has always been something I have wanted to do, but I have always let my fears get in the way, so it never actually happened until now. So, what better way to start off this blog than by talking about overcoming fears? 🙂 Now, I challenge those of you who struggle with fears as I do to begin breaking free of them with the help of God. Trust me, it’s a process, but it can become the most freeing experience of your life. Always remember that there is a powerful God who loves you, and He can drive all of the fears away. You are never alone in fear when you have perfect love on your side.
Until next time,