There’s only one effective way of letting go of fear and that is to go through it.
Here are a few things to remember about facing what frightens us:
1) You don’t have to pretend to be brave. That is society’s preference in dealing with what frightens us — that you hide your fear, lest you show us ours, and mainly the voices in your head demand you be strong. This idea, of standing up tall and barreling down toward fear, has no spiritual basis and is also not good for your heart. A part of being human is accepting that some people and situations scare us. It’s for this reason that many turn to vices and other modes of busyness to silence the fear within.
By accepting that we are afraid, we release expectations over how we should be or should act. There are no rules to facing scary situations, and considering we’re all built differently, there isn’t a set formulae. I take great comfort in reading about some of the greatest people to walk this earth – the men and women of the Bible. There is a constant Word from God to these people that warms my heart – “Do not be afraid.” God said these words so many times in Scripture that I’m glad He knows how afraid we are. Me, I’m afraid all the time.
Sometimes I wonder how I’ve done the things I’ve been able to do when I consider just how afraid I am. Everything and everyone scares me – but it doesn’t stop me. Fear is not, and should never be a reason not to try, to care, to give, to live, to die. Fear should be acknowledged for what it is – a human condition. When you pretend to be brave, you deny yourself a great learning tool in accepting fear, and then watching how you walk through it. You also deny God a role in fighting for you when you tell Him that you can handle the situation by yourself.
2) Conquer one fear, release yourself from many others. Each time I’ve faced one fear, I’ve let go of many others. It’s almost as though the first fear is a door to a room full of inferior fears. This is a liberating thought when you consider how quickly you’re able to clean up house. Face each fear as it comes, accept all the others that disappear because you were bold enough to go through the first major huddle. This is one of the chain reactions I love about facing fear because it pushes me each time in what I’m able to carry out for myself.
3) God conquers fear. You know what I do with my fears? I straight up dump them at my Savior’s feet. I look at the situation, cringe, and say, “Lord, this one belongs to you.” I don’t even dare touch it because I know that I’ll fail. It’s a fear right? And my job is to walk through it. That’s the only effective way to shake off fear. And I hang on to God’s promises. Never will I forsake you, never will I leave you – Deut 31:6 is one of my favorite. Some moments I’m fine, others I’m not, but peace is given to me because I lean on the rock.
Fear teaches you to be compassionate, bold, and mindful. If not conquered, it enslaves, crucifies and kills. Every moment you live in fear, you miss out on freedom. And that is a waste of life.
This week, go through your fears. And come out stronger by what you learn. Victory may not be immediate, but one day your experience will come in handy.
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