Monday, January 30, 2012

Fear. An Ugly Four Letter Word.

It's the first blog post I've ever written. How is that possible? But yes, it's true. I've thought about it on many occasions and have written quite a bit for a blog through the years. I simply never took the time to actually do it! Well, maybe time really wasn't the reason I've never blogged. Maybe nobody really cares what I have to say. Maybe I'm too afraid to put my words out there for the whole world to see. 

Yesterday I read an article about how fear keeps us from fulfilling our dreams. It keeps us dreaming! It doesn't lead us to action! So, I decided it was time. Time to put my fears aside and start writing a blog. So what better topic to begin with than fear?

As a child, I was taught to fear a few things. Civil defense drills were part of our education in early elementary. I somehow believed that by ducking under my desk with my hands behind my neck or huddling in the hallway with my classmates would save me from a nuclear attack. But it also brought fear with it. 

Lying in bed at night, I would hear the engines of airplanes flying over head. They sounded like bombers. You know the ones you hear in World War II movies? I would be fearful that each night was the night my small world would be invaded. Of course, we lived within miles of an Air Force Base and Hancock International Airport, so the buzz of airplane engines could always be heard near my house.

Then there were the environmental fears. I specifically remember a man coming to our school and telling us that if we didn’t begin cleaning up the pollution in the world, as an adult, when putting on pantyhose, they would disintegrate in my hands because of the condition of the air. Pollution was a real fear for me and thankfully we, as a society, have used that fear to clean up the environment and make our world a better place for future generations. 

Well, I’ve managed to make it to adulthood without being attacked by bombers or without a single pair of pantyhose disintegrating in my hands due to pollution.

But as an adult, I have faced fear. Fear of terrorist attacks. A loved one dealing with serious illness. The death of someone I don’t know how to live without. Unemployment. And the list could go on. But, if I don’t learn how to deal with fear, it can immobilize me.

Fear can be crippling. We've heard that before, but let's break it down. What is fear? states that fear is "a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined." 

First of all, to think of being in distress stirs up emotions for certain. We feel as if we have lost all control. It leads us to believe that there is nothing we could do to get out of the situation. But is that the truth? In some cases, yes, but if truth were told, there might be something that could be done to get out of the some distressful situations.

The second part of this definition states that it doesn't matter whether the threat is real or imagined. Boy can my imagination think up some pretty threatening things. I can watch an episode of Leave it to Beaver where the boys order a baby alligator and that night dream of monster alligators chasing my family through swamps! What is up with that? Well it would be my imagination. Maybe it is easier to deal with a threat if the threat is real. But if my imagination conjures up something to be fearful of, you can bet it will grow out of control pretty quickly.

But I must admit. I have never been in a truly frightening situation. Like a robbery, or a house fire, or a position where my life was in danger. The fears that I have faced as I’ve mentioned, were very frightening to me and in these cases, I could only do what my heart led me to do. Run to God. Cry out to the One who was able to get me through each fearful situation.

So what does God's Word have to say about fear? It’s hard to say how many times “fear not” or its equivalent can be found in Scripture, but there are over 100 references on this topic. God knew fear would be an issue for us and He gave us plenty of material to guide us through each step of fear. On multiple occasions, Joshua was told not be afraid and trust God. He was told to be strong and courageous. God gave Joshua all he needed. Including confidence to go forward and win the battle.

Perhaps you are asking yourself, "Can I trust and have confidence that God is going to lead me into my own battle and that I can go without fear?" Please know that the answer is yes! God is right by your side in each battle. If I hadn't experienced this personally, I could not be so confident, but I know for certain that God has shown me how to overcome fear.

David found himself fearful on occasion and in Psalm 34 he expresses his plan for overcoming fear. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Kind of sounds like my plan! 

David also gives encouragement with his words in Psalm 27:1. “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” What do we have to fear? Only fear itself. Even FDR believed that “the only thing to fear is fear itself.” 

With God on our side and His Holy Spirit within us, we can live lives where fear cannot cripple us. We can live strong and courageous lives.

So what is my plan for conquering fear? I spend time in God’s Word. I listen to what He has to say to me about it. I spend time in conversation with God. I tell Him about my fears. What is truly making me anxious about the situation and release those fears to Him. Then again, I listen to what He has to say. 

I’ll be honest. Sometimes it takes more than one time to put these fears aside, but at the end of the day, I know that God is with me and because of that, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

I’ve conquered this fear of blogging. You may not agree with me. You may not like my style of writing. You may never return for “Day 2” of this blog. But I know that whatever tomorrow holds, my God will be with me. And because of that truth, I have nothing to fear.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


  1. Conquering fear is liberating. Liberation means we are better able to live out God's great plans. Happy blogging and thanks for sharing your insight.

    1. Thanks Chris Ann! I'm glad you found the blog and read it. Hope you're doing well and hope to see you around soon.

  2. Hope to see more blogs from you! The one on fear is so real.

    1. Susan,

      I appreciate your comment. I hadn't read that post in a while, so I just re-read it. It's still a good reminder for me. Yes, fear is real, but we, as Christians, have the means to overcome that fear. And I praise God daily for that. I pray that you do as well.

      There are more blog posts. I hope you enjoy more of them and you can subscribe by email to receive my post daily. I'd love to hear from you again!

      Grace and peace be yours in abundance,