It's crazy how we try to hold onto to fear like its our friend or something. We embrace it when we are supposed to reject it. Fear causes us to stay in places longer than we should or avoid certain things even though we desire it. It causes us to live a life that is filled with anxiety and worry and can just turn our world upside down if we let it. If you find yourself battling anxious thoughts, definitely check out my blogpost How to STOP anxious thoughts. Even if you google the word fear there will be so much that comes up in your search results. Why? Because the topic of fear is not only real but it's pretty prevalent. We definitely see this in the mental health community and others alike.Fear has crippled so many of us and it is time that we realize that fear is not our friend. It is time that we learn how to overcome fear. To move in boldness that not only causes a shift in our lives, but inspires and frees those around us as well.
lets pause really quick.
Ok first things first, I want you to know that I am writing this blog not from an "I have arrived" place, but from a place of conquering fear. As a reader of Purity Vanity, I want you to know that blogging isn't just something that I do just for the fun of it. Yes it is fun for me, however I want everything that I write to have purpose. I want to encourage everyone who reads my blog to leave better than they came and to realize that I am not only talking to them but I am talking to myself as well. We are in this together. ♡ Just like you I encounter fear a lot and I have to get myself together. It's a daily process to be honest. But I can be encouraged in knowing that the processes the Lord takes us on have greater purpose than what we can see or think. He doesn't just want us to learn when we get to the destination, but during the beautiful journey as well. His intent is to not only grow us, but to most importantly show us who He is.
my experience may be your experience.
Since I can remember I have seen how fear pretty much controlled a lot of my decisions. all the way back to my childhood. I honestly can't pinpoint a specific incident or experience that invited this, but I seen how it was prevalent. I can remember how would shy from doing things or not step out because I was fearful of this, that and the third. Can you relate to seeing fear being evident in your life as early as childhood? Well fast forward to my adult years, I seen how that same fear still prevented me from going after things I really wanted to do! And like the saying goes when you finally get sick and tired of being sick and tired you will do something different. Hence the reason why I am writing this post. See the enemy likes to whisper lies to us about how we are "not qualified" or some other nonsense when we try to step out and do something. Have you ever experienced that when you are trying to get out of your comfort zone or stretch your faith? Trust me even as I am writing this post, thoughts of fear are trying to come up. But you know what I am doing..yep I'm still typing lol. I am believing that whoever reads this will be encouraged in some way. The enemy will try it with his schemes and lies, however it is up to us on how we respond. In those moments, we have two choices, we can agree with the lie or speak truth with the word of God. But seriously,
what is fear?
I think we all have an idea of what fear is because we have experienced it. But what exactly is it?
If you have been a long time reader of my blog you will already know that I love the meanings of words. I truly believe that when we know the meaning of a word it really opens up another world of understanding. For me, once I learn the meaning of a word it truly brings it to life. It makes it easier for me to not only understand it but to be able to apply it in my life. So according to good ole Merriam Webster, fear can be defined as:
an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
profound reverence and awe especially toward God (the only time where God calls us to fear)
After reading the meaning of fear what are you feeling right now? Are you thinking of a time where you were fearful? Do you find yourself identifying more to the first definition or the second one? Don't worry I did a heart check myself with that question. I think if we really feared God we wouldn't let other fears rule our lives like we often do. See when we are in awe of Him and His reverence things change. We are able to see things in a different way. We see Him as being bigger than anything else.
It has been said that the Lord speaks about not fearing or being afraid in the bible 365 times! Can you believe that? When I first read that my mind was blown! What this showed me was how committed the Lord is about helping us with our fears. See God knows that we will come face to face with fear, and He knows that we will constantly need that reminder to fear not. Because let's be real, it's easy to forget to fear not when we are actually in that whirlwind fear creates. Within these "reminders" He often see how He is encouraging and reassuring us of who He is. One of the scriptures that we see this displayed is in Isaiah 41:10. In this passage of scripture,God reassures us with these words "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand." Reading this scripture we are able to see so many sides of God. We see Him not only telling us not to fear, but He adds a reason as to why we shouldn't fear. He lets us know that He is our strong-tower, our strengthener, our helper and sustainer. And I don't know about y'all, but when I am faced with fear those are the things I need in my life. In this world we will have trouble and there will be things that make us what to retreat in fear, but He is greater and bigger than anything that we may fear. (See John 16:33.)
Fear is not your friend, it keeps you stuck
Fear is not your your friend, it robs you
Fear is not your friend, it has you believe you are not enough
Fear is not your friend, it lies to you
Fear is not your friend, it make you believe things that are not yours to begin with
Fear is not your friend, it can't be trusted
Fear is not your friend, let it go
it's got ta go. but how?
So how do you overcome fear? Well the strategy to overcome fear is to remember the words of the Lord. I know you probably have heard that plenty of times. Well I want to reiterate it, because honestly I thought the same things when someone would tell me to apply the word to my situation etc. For some reason I heard them, but this principle just didn't click for me. Well you wanna know what made it easier and for it to actually click for me? Meditating on the Word. When I say meditate I am talking about the process of repetition. I don't know about y'all, but for me that's how my brain processes and understands information. Studies on repetition even prove how it's such a great tool. When I began to meditate more on the word, I seen it's power on a deeper level than I found when I just read it. This time I was "eating" the word not just reading it. Because honestly I would read it and forget what I read the next day. I know I know, but I am just being honest here. However, when we meditate on the word of God things shift, because we are planting those words into our hearts. Not only are we speaking the word of the living God, we are reminding ourselves of His nature and goodness. So when we read His word telling us to "fear not" and that He is with us, we can actually believe Him. We will know that the words He speaks are trustworthy, because we know His character. We open ourselves to actually believe that He has our best interest at heart. The more we do, the more we believe it to be able to use it as your defense when fear comes. See the Lord is so amazing because He gives us the tools to succeed in all battles of life. With that He gave us the Full Amour of God. In that Full Amour of God, we are given the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of the God. (See Ephesians 6:10-18.) It is the only defensive weapon that we have in our spiritual weaponry given by God. So we have to use it as such. Like any good soldier, we have to learn our tools and be ready to use them whenever necessary. So whenever fear tries to keep us from being all God has called us to be we have to be ready to pull out our sword (Word) and get to slashing!
So you may still be thinking Shakiya I hear what you are saying, but letting go of fear is hard! Like I said I earlier, I'm not writing this blogpost from an "I have arrived status, so I get it.Yes it is hard especially if it has been apart of your life for a while. But, we cant stay in that place. I want you to be encouraged and empowered to know that you CAN overcome your biggest fears! Overcoming fear is a process, because some days will be easier than others. Know that there will be moments where your boldness surprises even you, and there may be times where you feel consumed by it. Remember you have the tools to succeed! You have someone on your side that is telling you to fear not, because He is with you. He is trustworthy and He is for you.
So what are those things that have you in fear, yet you are holding onto? Remember there is no need to hold on to it, its not your friend.
As always stay beautiful inside and out
Additional Scripture to meditate on regarding fear: