Have you ever just talked with someone and thought, “I want that they have”? That was my experience when I chatted with my guest blogger, Lauren Reeves. You can find her on Facebook or follow the podcast she offers with Tammy Whitehurst (another inspiring friend) at JoyfortheJourneyPodcast,
I’m not always as strong as I project to be. Sometimes I shut down. I become emotionally paralyzed and can’t move forward. The what-if’s spiral in my mind and harden my heart, leading me to a complete standstill.
It’s all because of fear.
Here I am, inspirational speaker and author, sharing God’s plans for us, yet I struggle with fear primarily in two areas of my life: 1) believing I am loved, and 2) finding the courage to face my calling.
At times, the fear of not being love feels like a war raging within me. I’d always known logically that I am loved, but phrases like, “They only love you because they don’t know you,” or “You’re just a novelty. Give it time and you’ll see their affection wasn’t real at all,” taunted me, allowing fear to get a foothold on my heart, freezing me in my tracks.
Compound that with the fear of letting God down when He called me into service. That battle brewed from a different type of storm. It was the war between head and heart. I knew He equipped me with abilities and opportunities, but—truth be told—I was afraid I’d fail. And that failure will prove everyone right whoever said, “You don’t have what it takes.”
So … I stayed frozen by fear, making excuses for my reactions. I even offered suggestions as to why someone else would be better equipped for the challenge.
I realized every fear I gave into reflected what I truly believed about God. My fear of being unlovable was a glimpse into how little I believe God’s word. The fear of stepping out into my calling was a glimpse to how little I trusted God and held He would supply what I needed for His purpose. My payoff—I felt utterly alone and completely miserable.
I had fulfilled my most-feared prophesy. But thank God for His grace, mercy … and patience.
One day, in the pit of my isolation and hiding, I read Romans 8:15:
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
At that moment, the Spirit revealed to my soul that I had been living within a spirit of slavery—the slavery of Fear. Chains fell off my imprisoned heart as I re-read the passage. I realized I had been more focused on what Fear kept saying and not what God had said all along. It was me who gave Fear its strength and turned away from God’s wooing of my anxious heart, calling it home to a place of trust and love where I could rely on His goodness.
It was a difficult lesson, but I am forever thankful for it.
What about you? If that’s you … pause and listen. He may be speaking to you:
You are MINE, forever. There is no obstacle too great for My love to overcome.
Believe that I am unconditionally good, and I am FOR you.
I would choose you one hundred times again. Believe it, child.
Fear only grows as strong as we allow.
Deeply believing the love and goodness of God is the answer. Choose to trust Him today.
Lauren Reeves, co-host of JoyfortheJourneyPodcast, is currently finishing an in-depth study on Genesis. She lives in Northeast Texas and is available for speaking engagements.