This Is How I Fight My Battle: Fear

Inspiration Personal Women's Stories

Fear has always been a part of my life. As a kid I remember turning the light off and running as fast as I could across my room, leaping and diving into my bed before the creepy things living in my room, that only seemed to come out when the lights were off, got me. I’m sure a lot of kids had a similar fear, but seriously, it followed me into my adulthood. No, I wouldn’t go running across the room and jump into bed. But I WOULD walk very fast to my bed and pull my feet off the floor a little quicker than the average person. Guys, I’m not even kidding. I was married before I got over this fear. And you know how I did? I literally prayed when I’d get up to go to the bathroom at night and I MADE myself not turn the lights on. I knew there was nothing there, but there’s something super creepy about darkness to me. 

Second Corinthians 1:3-5 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

I want to share with you how a dear friend helped me battle my fear, after going through her own battle, in hopes to help anyone that also struggles. I’m going to share the real and the raw and the ridiculously hilarious fears. I even laugh at some of the things I’m afraid of because it gets a little crazy (although if you battle fear, you understand that it can honestly make you feel crazy). Here we go. 

I’ve always feared little things here and there growing up. But it wasn’t until a few years ago that I noticed my fear started to affect me emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. I trace it back to a hit and run my husband and I (engaged at the time) were in. It was Christmas Eve and we were leaving Justin’s Grammy’s house to head back home. We weren’t even a minute up the road and a van ran a stop sign on my side. As Justin tried to swerve out of the way, the van slammed into my side, spun us 180 degrees, and, as we were checking to see if everyone was ok, they drove off and we never saw them again. No, it wasn’t that bad of an accident. No, nobody got hurt. But, from them on, I had a chest gripping fear when anyone would come up to a stop sign on my side of the car. This fear was to the point where I’d grip the door handle, shove my body hard against my seat, and my chest would start hurting. There were times I’d even go absolutely crazy and start yelling at Justin because I felt like he wasn’t braking fast enough or driving more careful. A lot of our fights took place in a car that year because I couldn’t describe why I was so scared and how it made me feel. I would completely panic and take it out on him. 

That fear only led to another and another and another. Until I realized I was scared of everything for the next few years. Here’s a list of some of my crazy, sometimes irrational, fears that developed after this. It’s totally ok to laugh at some of these because I sure do. 

  • Fear my husband will stop breathing in his sleep (I would, and sometimes still, roll over and check to see if he’s breathing at night). I do this with our daughter and even our dogs, too! 
  • Fear that the land we purchased to build our forever home on would somehow have a sinkhole underneath and swallow us up. I even left our land one day and said we WERE NOT moving there because the ground was too soft and surely we would be swallowed up one day. 
  • Fear that as we are driving over or near water we are going to fly into the water and have to figure out how to get out. I’ve literally played out, in a very Wonder Womanesque way, EXACTLY what I’d do to get us all out. 
  • Fear of all the creepy, crawly bugs that every once in awhile get inside our house because we moved out to the woods. I may or may not have told my husband countless times we are moving if he doesn’t figure out how to make sure nothing whatsoever gets in our house (you guys, I’m nuts). 
  • Fear of succeeding. Yes! You read that right! I have a fear of succeeding, not failing, because failing is so much easier to accept. 
  • Fear of having a baby. I just gave birth to my first child 6 months ago and it went 100% better than I ever thought it could. And, because it went so well, I have a fear of doing it again. Because since it went so well it couldn’t possibly go that well again, right? (Are you enjoying tapping into how my crazy brain works? Ok. Let’s keep going). 
  • Fear of needles. This is one fear my husband actually sympathizes with. But, I can tell you honestly, this fear has been cut in half (if not more) because I had to face it in pregnancy and labor. You get poked so many times you eventually get over it. And, if you think I’m kidding, I prayed and prayed when I found out I was pregnant that God would help me get over my fear of needles. And He sure did! 
  • Mom fear - of everything! I'm scared to death something will happen to my daughter and I won’t be able to protect her. 
  • Fear of being kidnapped to the point I STILL am super aware of who I’m parking next to at Target. No kidnapping vans next to me. True story. I’ve climbed in from my passenger side before because a “kidnapping van” parked on the drivers side of my car while I was inside shopping. Better safe than sorry! (Are you judging me yet?)

Alright. I have, I’m sure, a million other fears, but you don’t need to spend your day reading all about them. Some of these fears can legitimately be scary, but if I choose to dwell on my fears then I am choosing not to trust the One who says he casts all our fears away. We will have trouble. This world is scary. But Jesus already defeated it all, so we can rest assured in that. 

So, I got help. My dear friend talked me through how she handled her fears. Scripture and prayer. That simple. 

"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication  with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

And, no, it didn’t happen overnight. I still deal with fear. New fears in different seasons. But I know how to silence them now. And what scared me the most - I had a faith problem. I was no longer trusting God with my life, and that’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever felt. I started to wonder if I was really a Christian. How could I be if I wasn’t trusting the One who takes every fear away? The One who understands completely what we go through and is there to be our Comforter. I clearly didn’t have it right. And then I realized we do not lose our salvation because we go through something hard. We do not lose our salvation because we didn’t do anything to gain it in the first place. Do I believe that Jesus came and died for my sins? Yes! Of course! Then I can rest assured that He is there for me, especially when I’m scared. 

If I spend time with Jesus then I don’t have time to fear the little things. My mind is focused on Him. Our fears cannot defeat us because God has already given us the gift of peace. The Prince of Peace has already taken care of it all. 

If you struggle with fear, whether it’s obsessive like mine, I want to recommend Scarlet Hiltibidal’s book “Afraid of all the Things.” I cannot even explain how much this book spoke to me! I wish she would’ve written this years ago. And I found myself laughing my way through this book, too, because I could relate on such a deep level to her fears and how sometimes they can be a wee bit irrational. But, she has some really amazing nuggets as you dive deeper into the book. I found myself unable to put it down. 

I want to share a bit from her book with you that really wrecked my perspective on God and fear in general. 

“...when we remember that Jesus is both fully God and fully man, we remember that He looks at us, battling our anxiety, whether our flesh is functioning fully or failing miserably, and He feels compassion and empathy for His people. Because He did this, remember? He felt pain, and on His way to the cross, He even asked for a way out of the horrific physical, psychological, and spiritual torture He was about to experience."

She goes on to quote Matthew 26:39.

"Going a little farther, he fell down and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'" 

And here's where God used her words to blow me away.

"Jesus was scared. But God didn't remove the pain or change the plan and Jesus didn't back away... And it should have been a failure for the flesh. But instead it was a failure for fear."

I mean, wow. I read that and was in awe of our God. And such peace fell over me. He knows. He cares and comforts. And now I have every tool I need to fight my battle against fear. There is so much power in memorizing/quoting scripture and praying in times of fear. When something scary pops in my head, I challenge it with the Word. Because the Word is truth and truth trumps fear every single day. 

So, I hope my story has found you well, and we would love if you would share yours with us below. We can fight this battle together in Christ. I will leave you with some scripture to help you in those times of fear:

"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication  with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." - Psalm 4:8

"When I am afraid, put my trust in you." - Psalm 56:3

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears" - Psalm 34:4

"as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:18

 

You can check out Scarlet's book here.

Also, here's a great song by Josh Baldwin.


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