Pretty sure I came out of the womb afraid. No joke. I honestly can’t remember a time in my childhood when I didn’t have my good pal, Fear, right at my side. I’m not saying I spent my childhood trembling in a corner; quite the contrary, my vibrant and outgoing personality conveniently overshadowed the fear that lurked in the corners of my mind. But when night would come, and all the house was quiet, Fear would dig in its claws.
I was that child who could only sleep with her back against the wall just so I’d be able to keep an eye squinted open to watch for monsters. And God forbid if ANY part of my body accidentally slipped past the border of my mattress! Dangling a finger or toe over the edge was equal to hanging a bloody steak over a shiver of sharks…the slimy green boogeyman who slept under my bed would not be able to resist gobbling up a midnight snack. I shudder now to even think about it. And once I finally fell asleep, nightmares of witches, Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Blob filled my dreams.
A wind would blow? We were going to die in a tornado. My head hurt? Surely I had a brain tumor. Dad was running late from work? Call the hospitals to see if he’d died in a wreck. My imagination was my greatest strength and my deepest nemesis.
Fast forward to my early twenties. By now, Fear had entangled its roots so deeply in my mind, I saw everything through a lens of fear. I began having panic attacks, and those deep trenches in my mind sprouted up as intense and horrifying OCD. You name the fear, I’ve panicked over it. And maybe the craziest thing about it all was almost no one around me truly knew how regularly I was being terrorized by Fear. My extrovert personality was so bold and seemingly courageous, I was able to hide my true feelings for a very long time.
It wasn’t until the end of my 20s when I learned a startling truth: I was not created for fear. Hearing this concept was like trying to remember the details of a dream. Somewhere deep inside my heart, there was resonation and agreement, but the rest of my mind splattered mud everywhere as my mental wheels spun frantically to grab hold of this new revelation.
But slowly, this truth sank in: living in fear was diametrically opposed to the experience I was originally intended to have here on earth. God had fashioned me for an abundant life of peace, joy, and victory…one completely free from the smothering weight of fear, the crippling effects of OCD, and the panic that would strike at the most inopportune times. I wanted this freedom…and I wanted it NOW!
And there began my journey to become Fearless. Of course all my life, I’d desperately wanted to live in freedom, but I had no compass to guide me out of the darkness of my mind, no understanding that I had promises from God. But when the Spirit of Christ filled my soul, and I began to study God’s word, my heart grasped the revelation that I was no longer a slave to fear; my Father had actually replaced that spirit of fear with a Spirit of power and love and a sound, well-disciplined mind! It seemed too good to be true, but I made the choice to take God at his word and believe. Making that choice was my first step to freedom.
Throughout this year, I’m going to share much more of my testimony, along with the many strategies and truths God has shown me that will pave a way to Fearless living. Some of these blogs will be serious, some (hopefully) hilarious, and some inspirational. And every week, we will not simply read about being Fearless, but we will engage with an action, a step, that will move us forward. This week’s challenge is as easy to write as it difficult to do…
The Fearless 365 Week One Challenge: Believe. Believe you can live Fearless. And I mean believe you can be completely free from even the smallest fears that haunt you. This week, meditate on this fact. Imagine what your life would look like if you never allowed Fear to bully you. Set that image in your mind every day, several times a day. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you of your amazing God who freed you from the slavery of fear. Journal about it. Share about it. PRAY about it. Read 2 Timothy 1:7 in every translation and speak it over your life.
Does freedom mean you will never feel fear? Absolutely not. What it does mean is that you can live ABOVE the fear. You will feel the fear, and at the same time, laugh in its face because you are certain of your victory over it. You will feel the fear, and do whatever is before you, anyway. Listen, if I can do it, you can do it. Seriously…if fear were people, I’d be China.
I used to live every day so deep in the trenches of fear, I could hardly see the light of day above me. But God took my hand and helped me climb out…SO THAT I would know how to help YOU climb up the ladder and out of those rancid trenches to a new and beautiful and adventurous horizon. Let’s walk this Fearless journey together and bring everyone we know with us!
I love you and believe in you, and will be praying every single day for you,