Definition: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat; feel anxiety or apprehension, avoid or put off doing something because one is afraid.
Well I have to be very truthful with you I have started this blog on several different occasions, I am not sure if FEAR was holding me back or the expectation and anxiety it caused in writing about it. Many times when I sit down and start to write my thoughts are running faster than my fingers can type but not when it came to this subject. I think it is kinda funny how words have an affect on your emotions, feeling and thought process. FEAR can paralyze you.
What comes to mind when you hear the word FEAR? Are you naturally a FEARFUL person? Do you have flash backs of times you were FEARFUL? Maybe you are going through a situation right now and that rush of adrenaline is bubbling up to the surface as you are reading these words?
OK, just for a moment let’s do a visual exercise and pretend it is dark outside, the lights are dimmed and you are home alone. All alone…The house is quiet, very quiet with the exception of the TV program you are watching, then all of a sudden the electricity goes off the TV is black, your eyes take a moment to adjust to the total pitch blackness and you suddenly hear the back door squeaking open…does your heart start racing, your breathing speeds up and your muscles tighten. Are you frozen or do you immediately jump up to see what is going on? Eventually you realize there was a storm brewing outside and the wind had blown open the back door and caused the power outage. Did you have for at least a split second the instance of FEAR before you realize there really was nothing to worry about…see our mind and imagination can play into these emotions?
Then there is the thrill FEAR factor, let’s say you are at a theme park and on the roller coaster ride you have just climbed to the top rung and right before for a split second it hesitates at the peak of its steep track…you know what is about to happen, there is no way to avoid it and it is time to hang on to the handrail, palms sweating, heart racing as you brace yourself for the wild exciting ride down. Personally I avoid these types of rides at all cost but I have many friends and family that find the rush of FEAR exciting and can’t wait to be next in line for that thrill FEAR seeking ride. They might also be the type to savor the scariest horror flicks, thrill of extreme sports and be the first to say let’s go to the haunted house tonight after all it is Halloween!
FEAR helps protect us. It makes us alert to danger and prepare us to deal with it. Feeling afraid is very natural, like all emotions it can be mild, medium or intense depending on the situation and the person. It can be brief or last for a long time. Many people can have a greater FEAR or phobias than others but many times it is triggered from trauma or circumstances in their early childhood and maybe never properly dealt with. Again I realize FEAR is a vital response to physical or emotional danger and if we didn’t feel it we couldn’t protect ourselves from the legitimate threat. But the majorities of time we FEAR situations that are far from life-or-death and hang back for no apparent reason.
The FEAR I want to talk more about today is one that makes us powerless or weak the one I consider to be a very bad four letter word. It causes you to be stuck, perhaps paralyzed or one where you are just not functioning properly. That distressing emotion aroused by the unknown whether you are simply imagining it or it is actually real. I personally feel FEAR is your mind simply playing games with you? This is where Faith must step in and play such an important role in overcoming the bad form of FEAR. In a recent article I read from Christian author and speaker, Joyce Meyer, she stated if you don’t remember anything else, remember that FEAR is not from God but from Satan. Second Timothy 1:7 states “Every time you feel FEAR in your life, it’s a manifestation of the kingdom of darkness.” She also goes on to say we need to resist FEAR and not be tormented with FEAR, this is not a part of God’s plan. The phrase “do not be afraid” is written in the bible 365 times. There are exactly 365 days in a year so think about it that each scripture is a daily reminder from God to live every day being FEARLESS.
Have you recently taken inventory in your life and especially in the FEAR department? How many things have you not tried or done because of this little four letter word called FEAR? What are we afraid of Failure…ridicule… loss or rejection? But what if we find true success and happiness? What is truly holding us back when FEAR has a grip on us so tightly?
In doing a little reading on FEAR did you know there are over four pages of things people are FEARFUL of…the list was endless just to name a few were FEAR of public speaking, thunderstorms, lack of something, loneliness, authority, commitment, heights, germs, closed spaces, flying, airplanes, animals, failure, and the list went on and on. Living in Dallas we have many people who canceled plans because of the recent Ebola outbreak. Now I realize we need to be logical and cautious but we also must walk in FAITH. Isaiah 41:10 comes to mind “FEAR not for I am with you”. God can bring us out of our bondage and into a life of freedom if we will only allow him to.
Let’s talk a little bit about FEAR of failure. Whenever I am faced with a new opportunity and FEAR tries to take hold and says I am not qualified or wise enough to do this…the little voice in my head keeps saying…YOU WILL Fail! I think of the story of Milton Hershey…yes the man who created the lush taste of chocolate. Who hasn’t eaten a Hershey chocolate bar? Did you know Milton Hershey had many failures in business before he started his famous chocolate company? He grew up in Pennsylvania in the rolling hill countryside. He actually studied to be a printer and he worked for a small newspaper and quickly decided this was not what he wanted to do for the rest of his life so he got a job in the candy factory. He opened his first candy business near Philadelphia but it failed, he traveled to Denver, Colorado to learn to make caramels and took his skills back to New York selling candies on the street and it failed too. He finally moved back home where he experimented with all sorts of different candies and chocolates. There were several dairy farms which helped supply fresh milk. In 1903 the same year the Wright Brothers flew the first airplane, Milton Hershey built a huge chocolate factory in Hershey, Pennsylvania where it is still the home of the famous Hershey Chocolate bar today. This teaches a very valuable lesson to never never give up on our dreams and do not allow the FEAR of failure to paralyze you from moving forward.
As I was “Takin Time Out”, this week I really thought about this word. Yes, our world is ever changing and things are not as they once were. There are many things we can be FEARFUL about, the economy, war, being a victim, natural disasters, illness, etc. I feel in our day to day life a small amount of FEAR or insecurity can be beneficial, in that it keeps us on our toes and motivated. However, when FEAR and insecurity blocks common sense, the unhealthy thought processes clouds our judgment and truly prevents us from reaching our goals. Many times I think we over think things. Sure it is good to think things through but when we can’t act for thinking we will never be able to move forward. We must learn the nature of FEAR before ever becoming FEARLESS. When I am faced with FEAR or anxiety, I stop and ask myself what is the worst thing that could happen if it doesn’t work? Yes, there may be some embarrassment, there may be pieces to pick up, some people might not like me and being a people pleaser that can be hard but then again what if it works? You never know until you give in to FEAR and as Nike’s famous slogan state let’s “Just Do It!”
I know this is sometimes difficult to talk about or confess that we even are FEARFUL of certain things, situations or decisions we have to make. I encourage you to seek WISE counsel if you are not able to move forward…talking through situations and especially with someone who is a professional, knowledgeable, experienced, or perhaps one who can relate may help give you the courage to take the first step. Acknowledgement is first, asking for help is second, say your prayers and take a leap of faith even if it means doing it AFRAID! YOU CAN DO THIS…
I am sipping on my scrumptious cup of hot savoring Green Tea…thinking again how FEAR has had a slight impact on my life and I am ready to make some changes…to view life through new lenses…lenses of full-fledge FAITH! Start with something small like maybe trying a new recipe if you don’t cook much and the last few things you burned, if you are afraid of flying go to an airport and watch the planes come in and go out you don’t have to get on the plane but get used to the surroundings, maybe you got bucked off a horse as a child and never really wanted to ride again go to the stables pet the horse, brush or feed the horse get used to them then saddle up and walk it around the stable and before you know it you are back in the saddle again. Let your mind and emotions embrace the reason for FEAR, breathe deeply, pause and take that next step until you have overcome the situation. You will then feel the emotion of VICTORY!
Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do your FEAR. I would love to hear from you on this word FEAR…Until next time my dear friends let your faith be BIGGER than your FEAR!