We have all experienced fear. The degree and affect of fear differs for each person depending on age, life experience, emotional maturity, and the help available during and/or after a fearful event.
Yes, there are more factors and a countless number of things that bring fear but one thing is true, fear has the ability to keep us captive.
I recently spoke to a women who told me of a move from a northern state to a southern state, where she is now living, that happened years earlier. She mentioned being fearful about the move because she had two teenage boys, both in high school. She knew that the move could be very disruptive for them since they had grown up in the area they were moving from.
It would have been very tempting for this family to say that the risk was too great and they would rather pass on the job than to cause unneeded friction and chaos to their boys. Instead, they made the move and the boys are both fine.
What made the difference for this family? They didn't let fear dictate what they should do, they did it and trusted that God had given this opportunity and they were willing to trust Him.
My husband and I had a similar experience when our children were entering their early years of high school and we knew that God was giving us the opportunity to do over seas mission work. We were very comfortable where we were. We had a good church, friends, a home, and my husband enjoyed his job as a teacher. We could have allowed fear to overtake us and "for our kids' sake" waited to answer the call until they both graduated. But instead, we trusted God and we do not regret it.
These are very simple examples. What about the young woman who fears marriage because of her abusive father, or the young man who fears pursuing a career because his family made him feel like a failure his entire life?
The girl who is raped, the boy who is hazed, the mom who loses a child to illness, the husband who's wife is killed by a drunk driver, what do they all have in common? Fear. Fear of trusting, fear of starting over, fear of standing up to those who abuse them, fear of being alone.
So many fears. So many things to overwhelm us and shut us down. How can we ever overcome fear and keep it from ruling our lives?
Some people are born with an undying tenacity, very little affects them. Some people find it necessary to take a prescription to help balance the mind so they can think rationally. Others find "balance" with over the counter stimulates, which may provide some relief and may even seem to bring courage, but becoming dependent on something so artificial often proves to be a determent and not a help.
The rest of us, those who are facing fears that seem insurmountable, need a safe place and assurance that our fears are not going to devour us. So where do we turn?
For me, the only place that I have ever found to be a solid and sure foundation is in the arms of Jesus. That may sound a little hokey, but I grew up in an abusive home where love was not spoken, encouragement not given, and safety was not guaranteed. Fear? I know fear!
All I can say is that when I came to discover who God is and how very much He loves me and wants to be there for me, I learned to trust Him and to have faith in what He says. I found comfort. I felt peace. I had assurance that I was never alone.
Some ask, "Well if God is a good God, why does He let bad things happen?". He knows, He sees, He cares, but He has given mankind a free will and we make the choice to do bad things. It is more complex than that, but that is the basic answer, we do these things to ourselves and look to put the blame on Him.
As a girl, I would sit with my Bible and read. That is how I got to know God, who He is and what He wanted for my life. My Sunday school teachers where also a huge help to me. So I am going to get you started as you seek to find what it means to have faith in the One who wants to be your strength, and how to trust again so fear is not always standing in victory over your life. And remember, there are different kinds of fear, some that protect and some that debilitate.