The past couple of years I have recognized a deep fear of mine and I have learned that it is actually a common fear amongst many. Especially those with similar personality types as me, or even those in similar life seasons & age. I have a fear of being stuck. I fear being stuck physically in a trapped car where the door won’t open (oh funny- that’s happened before). I fear losing my freedom or not being able to grow (I felt this when I was in a legal battle). I don’t love rules and I’m not a huge fan of being put within boundaries (except I am all for healthy relationship/social boundaries). And yet, I am such a rule follower. I think that is because Luke has rubbed off on me. I am nervous about breaking any rules and desire to be respectful, but I have a pretty bad attitude when I see the boundaries of whatever is laid out in front of me. If you give me a book of instructions for building a shelf, I’ll toss it to the side and figure it out with my eyes, mind, & hands…maybe. I’ll most likely put it all together backward (unfortunately I have done this). Because I don’t want to feel stuck within a box or even reading a long pamphlet. I hate feeling stuck in a season of life, pain, or even someone’s misunderstanding. I bring this up because my fear of being stuck is rooted in something. It’s rooted in not being in control.
Lack of control is funny. I’m not talking about the kind of control that is bossy or rude. I’m talking about the type of control where you’re promised everything will be okay, you will feel well, and you will feel free. That is the kind of control I desire. Knowing that all will be well. I think what I have been learning within the last several years is that my definition of control isn’t possible nor does it reflect the truth. I can’t be in control in that way. I will never have that kind of control.
I used to be so afraid of getting sick in public or being stuck in the car while being sick. Then I married a nurse who actually wouldn’t even blink twice if I threw up or went to the bathroom in the car because “he’s seen worse.” So how can I not feel stuck in that fear?
If you are reading this and you relate, first of all- Hi. Sorry you relate. Second of all, I’ve found counseling to be helpful, learning tools, praying, journaling, reading the Bible and books that are encouraging.
I read a book called Rejoice and Tremble. It’s all about learning the “good” kind of fear. The fear of God. It’s a good read. It’s like the cousin of Gentle & Lowly. Both of these books are in my amazon storefront. I highly recommend both because they were impactful for me in overcoming this fear.
Sometimes it takes recognizing that fear isn’t as powerful as overcoming that fear is in the moment. For example, it always feels more powerful after I do something that was so incredibly difficult for me due to past fear, and recognizing, I did it…and I did it well. If fear isn’t as powerful as peace, why does it feel so overwhelming? Because it’s louder. Just because something is loud doesn’t mean it takes away from the steadiness and truth of the quiet. Just because the enemy feeds you intrusive thoughts that scream in your mind, doesn’t mean it’s more powerful than that still small voice of God reminding you who you are in Him. It means that we need to learn to listen and focus to that truth. We are all braving internal storms that many don’t know about. And that bravery in the quiet & unnoticeable fight is more powerful than the abrupt and loud fear that wants to overtake moments that are meant for victory.
I am no stranger to fear. Neither are you. Perhaps your fear is different than mine, but you are aware of your fear. The Bible mentions the word fear around 500 times according to some extremely random article I found just now by googling it. But that isn’t all the bad kind of fear. Some of those “fears” mentioned is the good kind of fear.
I had to learn what it meant to have a good kind of fear. And now when I have the bad kind of fear, I ask myself, “how can I find the good kind of fear?”
I don’t have a whole lot of answers as I am still in the process of learning this myself. But I did want to write this because I know that on the other side of this screen is someone reading it and saying, “this resonates deeply with me.” And I think that strengthens the good kind of fear. The kind of fear that creates thanksgiving in our relationship with Jesus. The kind of fear that thanks God that we aren’t alone and that He is mighty and all-powerful. An ounce of that kind of fear is like when you stand on the side of a mountain and feel so shook to your core that something can be so grand and magnificent. Or kind of like the fear where you stand by the waves of the ocean and are so awestruck that something so powerful comes to a stop and doesn’t overtake everything. But even more so are we amazed by God. a powerful creator who is eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, sovereign, wise, true, glorious, omnipotent, righteous, patient, and so much more. I encourage you to study His attributes, for this is helpful in knowing who God is and growing in the good kind of fear.
Here is a link to some of my favorite studies. I recommend searching, “Never Alone,” “It is Well,” “Anxiety Journal and Prayer cards,” and one that I think would be helpful is “The Attributes of God.”
Thanks for reading,