It’s the week of Halloween, so why not unmask this bad boy… yep – fear.
I am not a scaredy cat, but I am realizing that fear dominates my life. I’m not talking about obvious fear like spiders (though maggots are way worse) or gremlins, I am talking about the deep-seated stuff that feels like it’s me. Fear that lingers and looms and whispers to me at every twist and turn. Fear that under cuts my confidence and lies to me on a daily basis. Fear that prevails at derailing me, despite my ability to succeed. Can you identify or am I just the only one that fear likes to pick on?!
I am way to old for this stuff. I am in the second phase of my life and burn the candle on both ends chasing kids and dust bunnies and spending more time in my car than in my bed (well, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea). I have to give the “fear” talk every night as I tuck 4 little faces into bed, confident that the dark is going to eat them alive if their eyes stay shut for more than 30 seconds. Fear and I are not friends and have been mortal enemies for some time…and yet, daily I give it my deepest secrets to it allowing fear to exploit and torment me.
I’m all done. I’m pulling back the veil and exposing this impostor.
Here are 3 things about fear that need to be unmasked
- Fear is not part of you.
That’s right, fear is not a part of you. Let’s look at fear like an equation. It looks like this:
You + Fear = False reality.
In the core of who God made you, fear was not there. Fear feels like it is a part of you, or at least for me it does, but fear is an additive – something added after the original design. That’s radical, right. Step back and think about that for a minute. Fear is NOT a part of you. You can separate yourself from fear (You – Fear = Empowerment).
I’m going to use myself as an example. My guess is fear is something that was agreed with one time many years ago, that once agreed with decided to make a home my life. Fear posed as a friend bringing me safety, but in all reality it is the great thief that desires to destroy every inkling of joy that comes my way. Fear wants me to think it is indistinguishable from me, but fear is a feeling, just a feeling. An emotion, a thought, often a lie – rarely the truth. I am not bound to fear because it is not who I am, it is a decision I make. Thus leading me to point #2…
2. Fear is a choice.
Yep, fear is a decision. It can be agreed with or disagreed with.
Fear is the voice that at every intersection of opportunity says, “but what if?” This is a deep thought (hold on tight, it could change your life) you have a choice! Let me say that again – YOU have a choice. When fear presents itself and expects that you quickly agree and hold its hand and pack it in your suitcase and take it on your adventure (so it can ruin your joy)- say no. That’s right, just say no. “No, thank you. There is no room in my suitcase for you to come along and ruin my fun.”
Fear is not a part of you! Fear can be separated from you.
Fear is a choice we make, an agreement we often don’t see.
3. “Fear and Faith can not coexist”.
I am not sure who originally said this, but this is a quote from the smartest man I know, my Dad. Fear and faith are opposites. There is no room in your heart and mind for both of them at the same time. Only one of these get to steer your ship at a time. You can not simultaneously believe you will succeed and at the same time fear you will fail. Faith will be building in your soul, excited to see you be victorious, and then here comes your worst enemy disguised as your bestie. Only one of them gets to imprint on your dream and take the lead. The other gets quickly ushered away to the back office where duct tape is fastened on their mouth.
Ray Edwards says these 12 words changed his life… “Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered and no one was there.” (Wow.) When fear knocks and faith answers, fear evaporates. Again, they can not coexist.
So, here’s my wrap up. We get to choose! We don’t have to be blind followers anymore – how liberating! This choice is like a muscle, so let’s start flexing it. Every time we catch ourselves agreeing with fear, just chose to flex your faith muscle instead. Eventually you’ll be bulging with faith and fear will be a skeleton, begging to be fed.
One or the other. It is a choice. And it is not who you are! So simple it’s hard.