It was late, I was getting around for bed and heard one of my sons cry out, so much fear in his voice. Grandma (my awesome mother-in-law who’s visiting) had intercepted the cry and was there, listening as my son explained the spider he’d woke up to right above his head. She was on it, because that’s what grandmas do, and she followed him into his room to kill the bug.
A few minutes later she was back. There was actually no spider. They hunted and searched, but turns out he’d only dreamt about it. So after a few minutes of realizing his room was safe, his little heart rested and he went back to sleep.
It grips us, doesn’t it?
We are in Week 2 of our Untangled Summer Study, and we are looking at those big ways that life tangles us up. Last week we talked about SHAME, how it sits on you and continually tells you that because of all that’s happened, you’re just a bad person.
This week we’re unpacking FEAR, and fear is different than shame. Shame reminds you of your past. Fear, on the other hand, makes you afraid of your future.
As little girls, nobody had to teach us how to be afraid. There were plenty of opportunities, whether it was spiders, or snakes, or a brother hiding around the corner just waiting to scare the tar out of you. For me, I was deathly afraid of thunderstorms, and specifically tornadoes. We didn’t have a basement when I was growing up, just this creepy crawl space. So whenever there was a tornado warning, I would cry and beg my mother to take me to our next door neighbor’s house, to the safety of their basement.
As we grow up, though, we learn how to hide our fears, don’t we? We aren’t often found weeping and pounding on a neighbor’s door, begging for someone to let us in. But we do fear, yes? We fear so much.
There are three key areas we are so often fearful for, if we’re honest:
1. Ourselves. We are afraid of things that might happen to us, including,
- Getting hurt emotionally – we fear others will hurt us, leave us, or betray us
- Failure – we fear we’ll fall flat on our face, that our dreams will not turn out like we’d hoped
- Making the wrong decision – we fear our choices will not be the right ones
2. Others. We’re afraid for those we love so much, afraid,
- For their safety – we fear they may be hurt, physically or emotionally
- For their decisions – that their choices that will negatively impact their lives and futures
3. The Unknown. We are afraid of all the “WHAT IF’s” …
- What if I can’t make ends meet?
- What if I lose my job?
- What if I am never what I want to be?
- What if I am never good enough?
- What if ____________?
The list goes on and on.
Fear weaves its way into our thoughts. Fear twists around and stirs up all sorts of stories. Stories blatantly filled with horrible outcomes, others just subtle enough to predict certain embarrassment and failure in front of others.
Every story, filled with just enough fear to keep us tangled up.
Every one, used by the enemy to falsely predict our future.
Every single one, keeping us from the life of freedom God promises us.
Time and time again, we see in scripture that God tells His people to not be afraid, to fear not. To be bold and courageous. Yet we stay…stunted and gripped, and remain… afraid.
Why do we do that?
I came across this definition a while back:
FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.
Fear tells us that what we’re imagining is absolute truth and we should absolutely be afraid of it. It tells us that
- We will never be enough
- The future will go all wrong
- We will fail
Oh, my friend, THAT is not God’s heart for us. At all.
What if we decided to believe God’s Word on this whole thing? What if we decided to stand on the Truth of God’s Word and allowed Him to untangle us from the fears that have gripped our lives for so long?
FEAR: NEXT STEPS
1. Take Intentional Time in God’s Word.
These verses speak directly to this idea of fear. Take time in each of them. Read through them slowly, asking the Lord to reveal His heart on each one. Write down verses that stand out to you.
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but whoever trust the Lord is kept safe.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
I cannot tell you the number of times God’s Word has healed my tangled heart. However, do your own study, look into God’s Word for yourself. Here’s a great place to start: www.openbible.info/topics.
2. Be Real and Call It What It Is.
Maybe nobody else needs this one, but for me I cover up my fear with more sanitized words and phrases:
- I say “I’m really concerned for them” when in reality I’m freaking out on the inside and trying to control the future.
- I say stuff like, “I want to weigh my options” when I’m really scared that God might be asking me to move out in bold faith.
- I tell myself I’m just quiet around certain people, when in reality I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing they won’t like me.
Ask God to show you ways that you might be unknowingly calling fear by a different name.
3. Tune into Life with Lisa Williams for More with Carey and Me.
Today, we’re over with our friend, Lisa Williams (former morning show host for K-LOVE), talking about what it looks like to be tangled up in fear.
4. Join Us In Community.
We will be on our Untangled Women Facebook Page today, our virtual coffee shop, asking questions throughout the day, encouraging you to trust God in this journey to get untangled from fear. Join us, we would love to hear from you.
My sweet friend, you are not walking this journey alone. Let’s do this, let’s allow the Lord to speak to our hearts today about our fears. Then, let’s meet back here on Thursday, where we’ll hear a story about Carey’s journey through fear and go deeper into what God’s Word has to say about it all.
Let’s be women who are believing God on this whole thing. See you on Thursday.