Glass half full or empty? Eyore or Winnie the Pooh? Cinderella or Cruella? Fear of Faith? Where do your thoughts wonder off to when left unguarded? At my core, I am a super positive vibe' person, rose colored glasses generally speaking, always finding the good in every situation...and yet, fear ruled me for most of my life. Fear sifted and sorted my thoughts until I learned how to give faith that authority!
I don't think we wake up with fear. I believe we wake up to His new mercies every morning and the enemy is ready to pull us away from receiving them the moment we wake up! Ever wonder why some mornings you wake up and you're grateful to be alive and awake, ready for the coffee and time in the Word, exciting things planned for the day and then BOOM...fears of all the what ifs start rolling in.
This is also a Could Be Books long, so let's touch on it to start the conversation..
Becoming a Mom was the greatest joy and the greatest fear in my life. How was I going to keep my baby safe (physical) and make all the right choices (emotional)?! What if I messed up, what if other Moms saw my “less than” because my kids didn’t have the new trendy clothes, or knew my kids didn’t like veggies, they didn’t have a bday party every year. What if teachers judged me that my kids didn’t have a salad in their daily lunch or a homemade cookie or thought I was uncaring for not making cupcakes for the class on every party day.
Fear always says what if you don’t measure up...and promises to let everyone know.
The Mom Guilt is real.
Not measuring up to the expectations assumed, is real.
Volunteering (especially in the church) seemed like a very vulnerable thing to do, opening yourself up to being seen as less than, giving opportunity to fail, affecting others and potentially disappointing God Himself. Isn't it such a scheme...oddly enough, it worked on Eve.
Hiding emotionally was one way of coping. Building up that preverbal wall of protection, again, controlling what I could of what came in and what went out.
People pleasing was another coping mechanism to avoid arguments and conflict. I am a Lead with the Heart, Big Dreamer, Romantic personality, yet inside fear was the guiding voice of all my “shouldas” and “havetas.”
Decisions were made based on the presumed consequesnces if I didn’t do something rather than seeing the blessings if I did.
It's hard to recognize this in people when they become so good at wearing a mask to hide behind. We will talk about recognizing these signs in yourself or others in the next blog.
If YOU aren't the person suffering with fear. I pray this series helps you understand your friend or loved one better, so you can lead and love them deeply where they are. Don't dismiss them, cover them in Grace and Affirmations. Speak Life over them.
Keeping peace and self protecting worked itself out as passive. Often, a doormat. It felt easier than qualifying or explains myself. I didn't feel my value was higher than others so quietness looked like meekness when in reality, there were times I was screaming on the inside, smiling on the outside.
I easily followed and never wanted to led. Interesting though, I felt very confident within my home as a Wife, a Mom and. a friend. I was fiercely loyal, forgiving, protective, engaged and grateful. But the moment I stepped outside my front door, fear appointed itself as protector and created what felt like a sort of safe zone for me.
Fear has been a clever and quiet controller
almost all my life.
Perfectionism and people pleasing shaped me and guarded me even though my heart had hidden joy for life inside. The mask of Joy I wore daily seemed real. I had become really good at hiding insecurity and fear. Fear shackled my joy. Any decision that could involve conflict or failure were avoided to certain degrees in every area of my life. I served in ministry and leadership but it was all done in shackled joy. Fear if I didn't...doing what was expected, living a Check List Christian Life ultimately to honor the Lord because He was EVERYTHING to me, at the same time, living in false peace and fake joy.
My worship was desperation for peace. My prayers were pleadings of protection.
But God...once again, we know He is long suffering but He does not abandon His children. He gave us His one and only Son that we may be free, not just for eternal salvation, but earthy freedom here and now too!
I learned the practice of bouncing my thoughts from fear to faith, worship to worry. When a negative thought came to mind, I immediately spoke Life and His Word over it. This is the Overcoming. When we choose life over death, peace over perfection and passivity.
Mindset, Affirmations, Meditations, Positive Thinking, Conscious Language...these are all common terms flooding social media. God's Word tell us to meditate day and night. God's Word tells us to hide His Word in our hearts. God's Word tells us to remember His promises. These things are How Tos in the battle to overcome of negative thoughts.
If you struggle with fear in your heart and mind, release these fears in worship and prayer to God. Quickly! Consistently! Write down Scriptures in your phone, on notecards for your wallet, sticky notes on your mirrors...pay attention to the media and music you allow to fill your ears and flash before your eyes.
This is a battle that must be fought with INTENTION!!!
Guard your heart.
Seek first the Kingdom of God.
Be still and KNOW that you KNOW He loves you, is with you and will never forsake you, always with a plan. Ask, Seek and Knock...do not fear!
Stand firm in the truth of Life and Love!
Remember God is greater and with you!
Friend, whatever you are facing in this season, You are not alone! Take courage and worship over your worry. Watch joy grow! Find a friend who will pray over you and on your behalf during this season. God always gives us His hearts on this earth to hug ours. Ask Him to show you who they are in your life.
If you continue to battle your thoughts and feel the Spirit telling you to talk to a Pastor or Counselor, humble yourself and heed the warning. Do not allow the enemy to make you feel shame or embarrassment. Healing is on the other side of that pride. Get the wise counsel you need and watch the freedom return to your heart and mind!
Joy grows in the soil of surrender!
Take Comfort in these Words in Romans 8:
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons,
by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or drop a Hello in the socials!! Feel free to share with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!
While it could be a whole Encyclopedia, here's a little Guide with things I have
implemented since 2009 to help me live a life of greater Peace and Joy..
Heart Hugs and Blessings,