Apr 01, 2019 • Written by Elizabeth Nejedlo
Fear. I know it well.
Fear and I were good friends.
Years ago, late at night, my house was intentionally shot at.
That specific night, I had decided to sleep on the couch instead of my bed. I woke up to the loud bang of bullets spewing into our bedroom, my bed, the basement, and our car. My daughter, two-years-old at the time, lay asleep on the other side of my room in her crib. I still praise God to this day that I wasn't in that bed and that the shooter didn't target my daughter's room instead. But despite praising Him, fear settled in.
Fear comes in so many forms and in so many ways, but when fear settles in, it is hard to remove it.
So, yes, fear and I got to know each other really well.
After that incident, fear walked out of the house each day with me.
Fear looked with me around every corner.
Fear helped me scrutinize every car that drove by or slowed down in front of my house.
Fear slept with me each night, keeping me from sleeping in my bed. Told me to no longer let my daughter sleep alone. Told me it was safer for us to sleep on the floor, keeping myself in front of her, my back to the outside wall.
And fear was right there when we sold that house.
I'd like to say fear and I ended our friendship that day, but the truth is fear was my friend before the shooting, and would be after as well. Because what I feared greatest was being vulnerable. Even vulnerable with God.
Especially vulnerable with God.
I feared letting our God, who knows my every thought anyway, know that I even had fear. Like He didn't already know....
I feared letting God take over.
God. You know, the one who created the heavens and earth. The one who is completely faithful. God, the one who sent His Son to die for me, and for you, because He loves us that much. Our God....with the mightiest of hands, the greatest of plans, the ultimate triumpher, the Great I Am....I feared Him taking over. That's how well fear and I knew one another.
The truth is, I think every fear I ever had stemmed from that fear of vulnerability. Because for some reason, my flesh wanted control and thought I knew best. I had built, what I felt, were impenetrable walls around me. Walls to keep the fear out. When in reality fear lived inside them.
And I am not the only one that has been friends with fear.
We all experience it. We fear...
Of not being enough
and so much more....
Fear, it makes us reluctant to step into our calling, to love fully, to have peace, to remember we are God's children. It stops us from fully embracing freedom in Christ.
But it doesn't have to be that way!
If there is anything that you fear today, write this on your heart: Fear is not from God. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Let me repeat that again. Fear is not of God. But do you know what is of God?....
Strength. Forgiveness. Healing. Love. A Spirit of power. Courage. Hope. A future.
When fear lives alongside us, we miss out on being a part of that redemptive piece of work in God's great plan that we are being called to. And to be a part of that, my friend, is such a great blessing. To be a part of that is what we are called to be. To be a part of that is what we were created for.
Standing at the foot a mountain, on the verge of a battle, the edge of the unknown, or behind a closed door...we have a choice. A choice to keep fear in our circle of friends. Or to tell fear he is no longer welcome there. A choice to replace fear with God's Word. A choice to believe that God is truly with us. A choice to trust Him.
I told fear good-bye. But every now and then it tries to creep back in. It is those times I remember that God is bigger than any fear. He is bigger than that fear standing in our way right now. And what God has waiting for us when we say good-bye to fear? It's greater than we can imagine!
Whatever house fear is keeping you in, step out of it. Stop sleeping on the floor.
Let God fight for you today. Tell fear to find a different friend.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you."