August 24, 2012

I'm Horrible at Fighting Fears

When I was little I was deathly scared of the dark. Bedtimes were a nightmare for both me and my parents. I'd always find a way to get in one more story, a few more minutes of playtime, or more excuses to avoid actually climbing in bed. Two things did help though, the first: a stuffed animal littered bed. It was insane people... like Noah's ark was taking place on my bed every night. (Heaven help the person who tried to take any away or put them out of order.) The second was a music box. Not the fancy kind, but those little ones that you can fit in your hand that wind up. And boy did I wind that box up. Over and over again until sleep would finally evade me. And I use to think that someday, when I was "all grown up" that I would no longer fear the dark. That I would no longer fear anything. 

But that's not true. The older I get the more fearful I've become.

Sure I've grown out of my fear of sleeping in the dark, but new and bigger fears have replaced the small one from childhood. Now I get to worry over my insecurities, finances, college, career choices, jobs… and the lack of jobs, having enough time for myself... and for sleep, getting a car, family members and friends with all of their problems… whether or not I'll ever get married and have a family. I worry about how other people see me or how they react to me because like almost all oldest children I get to wrestle through this whole thing called "people pleasing." I fear being 100% honest with people about who I am... but I'm told everyone has that fear. I deeply dislike the unknown and feeling out of control. I fear making big decisions on my own. I hate crying in front of other people. I fear getting out of bed at night and walking in the living room because there are no blinds on the windows... and if there were ever a face on the other side of the glass staring at me I'd scream bloody murder. I fear that my wedding will have magenta as part of the color theme (it's legit, and it's a long story). And then sometimes fear about who God is rise to the surface.

That list is exhausting... and after putting it all out there I think I need therapy.

At the root of all my fears is a lack of trusting in God. THE Creator of all things who holds EVERYTHING in His hands.

Why does trusting have to be so hard? Why can't I let go of control and manipulation? That's what I do when I'm scarred... look for ways to control and manipulate. (And I think a lot of women are with me in that boat.) Even though it's an illusion... a mirage... and deep down I know that. I'm still wrestling with how to "fight" fear because I'll be honest: I'm horrible at it. I tend to be that person who thinks of everything that could go wrong in every situation in my mind (if I verbalized such things people would be really bummed to be around me). When the topic of fear comes up in a Bible study or small group setting I want to avoid it. "Could I get away with faking a migraine and taking a rain check here?" After all, isn't fear a sign of weakness and vulnerability? Two things society at large would say to suppress.

But then I remember: "perfect love casts out fear."

Is not fearlessness resting in God's perfect, peaceful love? When we forget His love fear is an avalanche. When we take shelter in His love fear is cast out of sight and out of mind. This is the only puzzle piece I have in fighting fear. But I couldn't think of a better place to start.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah ~Psalm 62:8 

5 comments :

  1. My devotion this morning was about fear and how only with God can we truly be fearless because HE is in control. He controls the tides each day and so we can trust him to take care of us!

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  2. i struggle with fear so much... its a lack of trust thing. thanks for sharing this!

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  3. I'm horrible at fighting fears, too. This post hit home! Thank you, Natalie! :)

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  4. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm pretty sure we all need some therapy :) Continue to trust in God...He's all you need!

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  5. So true! It seems like the older we get there is so much more to be afraid of since we are dealing with bigger things. I love your honestly as always! And I absolutely love that verse in Psalm 62!

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