Afraid, unafraid, fear, fearless, living boldly, boldness, God’s love, brokenness, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Becoming Fearless: Brokenness Leads to Living Fearlessly

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless.



My earliest memory of fear occurred when I was a child of six. On a warm summer evening, my family went to the home of some good friends of my parents for dinner. All my brother and I cared about was that they had kids close to our age – two boys. (It seems none of my parent’s friends had girls, but that’s another story!)

While the adults chatted after the meal, we children happily played outside on the swing-set laughing, yelling, and probably arguing. Suddenly, I felt something stinging my face; the pain was immediate and intense. Jumping off the swing, I ran screaming to my mother, who soothed me and quickly assessed I had at least two bee stings on my face. Her friend made a paste of baking soda and water to apply to the stings while I rested on mom’s lap.

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #fear #fearless #LivingBoldly #boldness #unafraid #brave #brokenness

Becoming Fearful

Within several moments I was ready to return playing with our friends, but no words came out when I opened my mouth to speak. I tried once again but to no avail. Panicked, I got mom’s attention and she realized my body was swelling. Things moved quickly from there.

Fear spread throughout the group as they were preparing to take me to the hospital. Fortunately for me, mom had recently read an article regarding deadly allergic reactions some people had to bees and that a new desensitization process was being offered by the medical community. That article saved my life.

Needless to say, despite several years of shots to alleviate my reaction to bees, I spent decades being deeply afraid of them. I’m blessed to say I’ve raised perennial flower beds for 15 years now.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1, NKJV

Rejection

In high school, I wanted to be popular…translated – liked/loved. As a result, I became a cheerleader, joined clubs, became editor of the newspaper, etc. Guess what? There were still people who didn’t like me. Shocker, I know.

For reasons unknown, I can recall one particularly vicious phone call I received from a popular girl about something I didn’t do, but she thought I did. Even though I professed Jesus, I was looking for acceptance at the wrong addresses.

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation.

Isaiah 51:7-8, NKJV

Paralyzed

When I was a young mother with a baby, my husband worked a swing shift. I didn’t like staying alone on the nights he had to work, but I spent most evenings at my parents’ until it was time to take my son home and put him to bed. But then one night while we all were out, our home was burglarized. My husband and I felt violated.

After that, fear blossomed like a sunflower in my chest. I heard every noise, real or imagined, in the house or the basement. It’s embarrassing to remember the times I would call our neighbor over to check the house because I thought I had heard something. (He and his wife were very gracious!) This fear lasted so long it was making me physically ill – I was trying to stay awake all night, begging God to keep us safe. I was thinking of escape plans should someone break-in. It was difficult.

Delivered

During this time, I was working with first graders in Sunday School. One week we made a prayer wheel out of paper plates. For every need on one side of the wheel, there were Bible verses on the other side that applied to the need. “Coincidentally,” my husband worked nights that week, which I dreaded with a vengeance.

In desperation, one night I pulled that children’s prayer wheel out and turned it to fear, looking up each verse. I told God I was so weary of living this way, and I knew that He didn’t want me to anymore. (He does say, “Fear not” 365 times in His Word!) From that night forward, the paralyzing fear left me. Has it attempted to return? Sure, but God has delivered me from the stronghold of fear each time.

I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor? […] But I am the Lord your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared – the Lord of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand…

Isaiah 51:12-16a, NKJV

Becoming Fearless

I believe we all battle with fear in one form or another. Otherwise, why did God mention it so often? Sometimes I wonder if our fear isn’t used by God to help bring about needed brokenness…because only out of brokenness comes fearlessness. And isn’t that what we really want – to become fearless? Even Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for this in him in Ephesians 6:16-20.

Louie Giglio said in a sermon at 2012 Passion, “Minimize your fears by maximizing your one fear and realizing this: I’m already chained to Jesus Christ. The only thing I’m afraid of is living an insignificant life.”

Amen!

Sometimes fear is used by God to help bring about needed brokenness…because out of brokenness comes fearlessness. And isn't that what we really want – to become fearless? Click To Tweet

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #fear #fearless #LivingBoldly #boldness #unafraid #brave #brokenness

unsplash-logoJason Blackeye
Afraid, unafraid, fear, fearless, living boldly, boldness, God’s love, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Feeling Afraid: Boldly Living Because God’s Love Drives Out Fear

Many situations in our lives have left us feeling afraid. How can we overcome these fears and live boldly? How do we allow God’s love to drown our fears?



For a time in my life, I was afraid of the down escalator. So bizarre. I actually panicked once trying to get on it. I had to turn away, walk a loop, and then try again. I succeeded the second time. I still can’t help feeling afraid whenever I have to get on, but it’s much better now…

Many situations in our lives have left us feeling afraid. How can we overcome these fears and live boldly? How do we allow God's love to drown our fears? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #fear #fearless #LivingBoldly #boldness #unafraid #brave #GodsLove

Feeling Afraid

A bigger fear I have is cockroaches. For real. Even if there is one dead I can’t pick it up. I have to use the vacuum, or more likely I’ll leave it for my husband to pick up. One time I sucked one up with the vacuum but it was still alive, so I took the vacuum outside until my husband got home. When we were first married, he tried to “cure” me of my fear and have me pick a dead one up with a pair of tweezers that were on the end of a super fancy fly-swatter (why did we have a fancy fly-swatter?). His “cure” ended up with me in tears, begging him to not make me do it (we have come a long way in the past 15+ years).

The peak of this fear was when I was painting an apartment that we were going to be moving into while we lived in Chicago. I went to remove a smoke detector, and as I was twisting it, all this dust started to fall. When I saw that it was actually roaches falling to the floor, I had a full-blown panic attack. Thankfully they were all dead, otherwise, I probably would have busted my head as I passed out and fell off the ladder. Unfortunately, I have several stories like this. For some reason, they only try to attack me, never my husband.

(Just for the record, our first place was new construction, which results in these bugs coming indoors. The Chicago apartment was truly infested, but we had a pest control service come and get it under control. Now we live in the country, and bugs are just a part of life.)

Real Fear…What If’s

I fear rejection. What if I put myself out there and no one responds? What if I pursue a friendship and get the cold-shoulder? What if I tell someone an idea I have and they don’t share my excitement?

I fear missing out. What if there is an opportunity and I don’t take it? What if it would have been a great thing? What if the opportunity never presents itself again?

I fear that I won’t always like my children. What if they disappoint me? What if they make choices I don’t agree with? What if I don’t want to be around them?

I fear that I will no longer be attractive to my husband. What if he doesn’t want to be with me? What if he wants a wife with bigger boobs? What if my heart gets broken?

Is there truth in fear?

There are things that happen in our lives that shape us, good and bad. Perhaps our friends, a spouse, or even a stranger has rejected us. Perhaps opportunities have passed that we regret not taking. Maybe we have developed an idea in our minds that is not realistic or attainable.

We need to get control of our thoughts and acknowledge that we have listened to lies. LIES!! They are all lies!!

We need to replace the lies with truth.

The truth is, our perfect God loves us with His perfect love. You dear momma/dear lady/dear one, are loved. Fully, completely, no-need-to-fear loved.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

1 John 4:18, ESV

Are people going to hurt us? Yep.

Are people going to let us down? Yep.

Are our children going to disappoint us? Yep.

We are all messy humans, and we are all going to mess up and cause messes.

But our identity, our confidence, our self-worth… it does not come from other people or situations. We can live boldly because we have been loved boldly. We are fiercely loved. And in that love, fear can no longer remain.

Afraid…but GOD has loved me.

So what are you afraid of?

The truth is, our perfect God loves us with His perfect love. You dear momma/dear lady/dear one, are loved. Fully, completely, no-need-to-fear loved. Click To Tweet

Many situations in our lives have left us feeling afraid. How can we overcome these fears and live boldly? How do we allow God's love to drown our fears? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #fear #fearless #LivingBoldly #boldness #unafraid #brave #GodsLove

unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt
Fear, judgment, afraid, priorities, value, assurance, hope, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Healthy Fear: Identifying Values and Mirroring the Messiah’s Love

Anxiety, worry, and stress all result from an underlying pulse of unhealthy fear. No one is immune and control is an illusion. What are you tempted to fear most, and what does it say about the things you value? How can we tell between healthy fear and an unhealthy one?



Things We Love

What are some important things in your life? You can probably rattle off a few pretty quickly. My thoughts immediately go to my kids, turning in my grad papers on time, and protecting Thursday night quality time with my man.

Now, I did not say the most important thing—just the stuff that instantly springs to mind. Likely, there is nothing bad about these priorities individually. However, depending on the level of passion we display to protect them, healthy fear can be thrown out of balance before we realize it. As a result, we begin to worry.

Anxiety, worry, and stress all result from unhealthy fear. How can we tell between healthy fear and unhealthy? What does it say about the things we value? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #assurance #fear #hope #judgment #priorities #value

Unhealthy Fear

It was recently brought to my attention which unhealthy fear sits at the top of my list. It is not a phenomenon. Actually, it’s quite common.

How was I enlightened? Well, among three categories (money and possessions — people and their judgments — death, pain, and punishment) I had to answer which one I am most tempted to fear. Before reading into each classification I assumed it would end up being pain. While that certainly is not appealing, the prospect of pain is surprisingly low on my list of daily anxieties.

A few weeks ago, I would have confidently said I don’t care what others think about me because I know who I am in Christ.

Turns out, I have a persnickety care meter.

Actions Speak Loudly

It is not what we say, but what we do that defines us. For instance, I say I like to go camping—which is very true—but I haven’t been in three years. I like the idea of hiking and being out in nature is extremely soothing and grounding. Yet despite my ultra-hip metal REI coffee mug, no one would classify me as an outdoorsy chick.

When I started thinking about what controls my routine thoughts, it wasn’t fear of getting into an accident or the ravages of cancer. Now, I don’t want to diminish the suffering those circumstances bring. It is simply to say they do not linger at the forefront of my worries. In relation to pain, I have a healthy fear of the Lord. Suffering is an inevitable part of life, but not a thing to live in fear of. I trust to have grace for what will come.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:16, ESV

What Fear Reveals

Remarkably (to me anyway), fear of people and their judgments crossed my finish line with flying colors. Oddly enough, I sense it the most with strangers.

When I’m in my car I’ll feel myself getting anxious over what another driver might be thinking when I take the right-of-way. I wonder if other motorists get frustrated with me when I fail to go as fast as they clearly want to on a two-lane road. In check-out lines, I tend to hang back so the person in front of me doesn’t feel rushed by my presence. Also, I act overly cordial, even giving apologetic smiles to other patients in waiting rooms when my number is called. But why?

I consider myself to be polite, but I will be honest. I know my overt friendliness toward people, whom I will likely never see again, is for the sake of my own comfort. My fear is betraying me. It has a spotlight on what I crave. It’s screaming what is important to me: My reputation and the respect and adoration of people.

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Proverbs 29:25, ESV

Calming Fear

How do we find a healthy fear balance? We have heard to “Love God and love others.” Amen. But those are thirty thousand-foot directions. God knows we will wrestle with fear. He repeatedly says in His Word, “Do not fear,” “Do not be afraid,” “Do not be anxious.” These are not empty words to get us to be quiet or chill out. God is not annoyed by our anxieties like we may be with one another.

I’ve been guilty of saying something meant to soothe, but I delivered it with a self-serving motive. “Just turn your lamp on and go back to bed. You’ll be okay.” (Please don’t wake me up again.) “You know it’ll work out…” (I don’t want to step into your pain.)

History is proof that human beings are fickle in the help department. At best, they’re unreliable sources of protection. Yahweh, on the other hand, has always proven trustworthy.

God Speaks to Fear

When God tells us not to be afraid or anxious, He always follows up with promises, assurances, direction, and hope.

  • I am with you
  • I will strengthen you
  • I will uphold you
  • I care for you
  • I will give you peace
  • I will guard your heart
  • I have redeemed you
  • I will never leave you or forsake you
  • I will rescue you
  • I will fight for you
  • I provide for you
  • I am the First and the Last
  • I sustain you
  • I will help you
  • I keep you safe
  • I will deliver you

Take some time to meditate on these passages. [Deuteronomy 3:22, 31:6; Psalm 34:7, 55:22, 118:6-7; Proverbs 29:25; Isaiah 35:4, 41:10, 13-14, 43:1; Luke 12:22-26; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Revelation 1:17-18]

When God tells us not to be afraid or anxious, He always follows up with promises, assurances, direction, and hope. Click To Tweet

The Way Ahead

There is only one path forward to effectively vanquish unhealthy fear. First, we seek to know the character and power of Jehovah. Then we practice living the way Jesus modeled for us. His love enables us.

We love because He first love us.

1 John 4:19, ESV

My fears say I want and expect to be loved by everyone, including people who don’t know me. Jesus was not loved by everyone, even the people who had heard about His stellar reputation. Many were more suspicious of His healing power than accepting of it. His hometown even rejected Him. As His follower, why do I assume I will be treated better than the Son of God?

Healthy Fear

Let us ask the Father of mercies to do a work through His Spirit to create the kind of love in us that mirrors His own. This is not easily won, and we can turn methods of “loving others” into ploys to extract more love for ourselves—I’ve done it—so be alert!

If you struggle with fear of man, practice loving others more than you love yourself. That doesn’t mean befriending everyone, but the things they think—perceived or known—will not hold the same weight they once did. This way won’t be free of heartache, of course. Being dismissed is painful. But it will no longer have the ability to derail your allegiance to Jesus Christ.

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell.

Matthew 10:28, ESV

If we have a healthy fear of Almighty God, the One who loves us and sent His Son to die for us, what is there to fear more? Our hope and our safety have already been secured in Jesus.

If we have a healthy fear of Almighty God, the One who loves us and sent His Son to die for us, what is there to fear more? Our hope and our safety have already been secured in Jesus. Click To Tweet

Anxiety, worry, and stress all result from unhealthy fear. How can we tell between healthy fear and unhealthy? What does it say about the things we value? Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #assurance #fear #hope #judgment #priorities #value

unsplash-logoStaffan Kjellvestad
fear, fearless, broken, brokenness

Fear: Brokenness Ultimately Leads to Living Fearlessly

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless.



My earliest memory of fear occurred when I was a child of six. On a warm summer evening, my family went to the home of some good friends of my parents for dinner. All my brother and I cared about was that they had kids close to our age – two boys. (It seems none of my parent’s friends had girls, but that’s another story!) While the adults chatted after the meal, we children happily played outside on the swing-set laughing, yelling, and probably arguing. 😉 Suddenly, I felt something stinging my face; the pain was immediate and intense. Jumping off the swing, I ran screaming to my mother, who soothed me and quickly assessed I had at least two bee stings on my face. Her friend made a paste of baking soda and water to apply to the stings while I rested on mom’s lap.

Within several moments I was ready to return playing with our friends, but no words came out when I opened my mouth to speak. I tried once again, but to no avail. Panicked, I got mom’s attention and she realized my body was swelling. Things were moving quickly from there. Fear spread throughout the group as they were preparing to take me to the hospital. Fortunately for me, mom had recently read an article regarding deadly allergic reactions some people had to bees and that a new desensitization process was being offered by the medical community. That article saved my life.

Needless to say, despite several years of shots to alleviate my reaction to bees, I spent decades being deeply afraid of them. I’m blessed to say I’ve raised perennial flower beds for 15 years now.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1, NKJV

Fear: Rejection

In high school, I wanted to be popular…translated – liked/loved. As a result, I became a cheerleader, joined clubs, became editor of the newspaper, etc. Guess what? There were still people who didn’t like me. Shocker, I know. For reasons unknown, I can recall one particularly vicious phone call I received from a popular girl about something I didn’t do, but she thought I did. Even though I professed Jesus, I was looking for acceptance at the wrong addresses.

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation.

Isaiah 51:7-8, NKJV

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless.

Fear: Paralyzed

When I was a young mother with a baby, my husband worked a swing shift. I didn’t like staying alone on the nights he had to work, but I spent most evenings at my parents’ until it was time to take my son home and put him to bed. But then one night while we all were out, our home was burglarized. My husband and I felt violated.

After that, fear blossomed like a sunflower in my chest. I heard every noise, real or imagined, in the house or the basement. Its embarrassing to remember the times I would call our neighbor over to check the house because I thought I had heard something. (He and his wife were very gracious!) This fear lasted so long it was making me physically ill – I was trying to stay awake all night, begging God to keep us safe. I was thinking of escape plans for my son and I should someone break in. It was difficult.

Fear: Delivered

During this time, I was working with first graders in Sunday School. One week we made a prayer wheel out of paper plates. For every need on one side of the wheel, there were Bible verses on the other side that applied to the need. “Coincidentally,” my husband worked nights that week, which I dreaded with a vengeance. In desperation, one night I pulled that children’s prayer wheel out and turned it to fear, looking up each verse. I told God I was so weary of living this way, and I knew that He didn’t want me to anymore. (He does say, “Fear not” 365 times in His Word!) From that night forward, the paralyzing fear left me. Has it attempted to return? Sure, but God has delivered me from the stronghold of fear each time.

I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor?…But I am the Lord your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared – the Lord of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand…

Isaiah 51:12-16a, NKJV

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless.

Fear: Be Fearless

I believe we all battle with fear in one form or another. Otherwise, why did God mention it so often? Sometimes I wonder if our fear isn’t used by God to help bring about needed brokenness…because only out of brokenness comes fearlessness. And isn’t that what we really want – to be fearless? Even Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for this in him in Ephesians 6:16-20.

Louie Giglio said in a sermon at 2012 Passion, “Minimize your fears by maximizing your one fear and realizing this: I’m already chained to Jesus Christ. The only thing I’m afraid of is living an insignificant life.”

Amen.


If you have found this inspiring, share the encouragement…

Even though I professed Jesus, I was looking for acceptance at the wrong addresses. Click To Tweet

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless.

Luke Matthews


I was afraid, but God… loved me.

This is one of the truths you will learn in the study, but God…Where the Story Changes.

but God, study, lies, truth

What Are You Afraid Of?

Today we discuss situations in our lives that have left us feeling afraid and how to overcome that fear and live boldly.



For a time in my life I was afraid of the down escalator. So bizarre. I actually panicked once trying to get on it. I had to turn away, walk a loop, and then try again. I succeeded the second time. Still, I get a little nervous whenever I have to get on, but it’s much better now.

A bigger fear I have is cockroaches. For real. Even if there is one dead I can’t pick it up. I have to use the vacuum, or more likely I’ll leave it for my husband to pick up. One time I sucked one up with the vacuum but it was still alive, so I took the vacuum outside until my husband got home. When we were first married, he tried to “cure” me of my fear and have me pick a dead one up with a pair of tweezers that were on the end of a super fancy fly-swatter (why did we have a fancy fly-swatter?). His “cure” ended up with me in tears, begging him to not make me do it (we have come a long way in the past 15+ years).

The peak of this fear was when I was painting an apartment that we were going to be moving in to while we lived in Chicago. I went to remove a smoke detector, and as I was twisting it, all this dust started to fall. When I saw that it was actually roaches falling to the floor, I had a full blown panic attack. Thankfully they were all dead, otherwise I probably would have busted my head as I passed out and fell off the ladder. Unfortunately, I have several stories like this. For some reason, they only try to attack me, never my husband.

(Just for the record, our first place was new construction, which results in these bugs coming indoors. The Chicago apartment was truly infested, but we had a pest control service come and get it under control. Now we live in the country, and bugs are just a part of life.)

 

Let’s talk real fear…

I fear rejection. What if I put myself out there and no one responds? What if I pursue a friendship and get the cold-shoulder? What if I tell someone an idea I have and they don’t share my excitement?

I fear missing out. What if there is an opportunity and I don’t take it? What if it would have been a great thing? What if the opportunity never presents itself again?

I fear that I won’t always like my children. What if they disappoint me? What if they make choices I don’t agree with? What if I don’t want to be around them?

I fear that I will no longer be attractive to my husband. What if he doesn’t want to be with me? What if he wants a wife with bigger boobs? What if my heart gets broken?

Where do these fears come from? Is there any truth behind them?

There are things that happen in our lives that shape us, good and bad. Perhaps we have been rejected by friends, or a spouse, or even a stranger. Perhaps opportunities have passed that we regret not taking. Maybe we have developed an ideal in our minds that is not realistic or attainable.

We need to get control of our thoughts, and acknowledge that we have listened to lies. LIES!! They are all lies!!

We need to replace the lies with truth.

The truth is, we are loved by a perfect God. You dear momma/dear lady/dear one, are loved. Fully, completely, no-need-to-fear, loved.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18

Are people going to hurt us? Yep.

Are people going to let us down? Yep.

Are our children going to disappoint us? Yep.

We are all messy humans, and we are all going to mess up and cause messes.

But our identity, our confidence, our self-worth… it does not come from other people, or situations. We can live boldly because we have been loved boldly. We are fiercely loved. And in that love, fear can no longer remain.

Afraid…but GOD has loved me.

 

So what are you afraid of?

xoxo

Fear