Overcoming Fear

Emotions aren’t good or bad, positive or negative; they are simply a picture of where we are. Sometimes our emotions might be a warning or signal that something might need attention. The action we attribute to the emotion is what matters. Often, our emotions are showing us a doorway to a choice or maybe a decision that needs to be made.

Joy is an emotion we all experience and is so wonderful when we do. When we experience joy it brings with it comfort and peace and happiness – we all love joy. But what about fear – is fear always bad?

No, I don’t think so.

Hear me out on this one.

(Yes, there is a spirit of fear but that is not what I’m referring to here.)

I believe the emotion of fear is simply another “notification” that something might be up. It is one of those things that require us to use discernment to navigate. We may need to ask, what is our response to that fear? Do we choose courage and boldness or do we back away, give in and let it consume us?

Fear will always require boldness and courage to get beyond.

Of course, sometimes fear is to warn us of real danger, like don’t go into that alleyway! Other times fear is something we must overcome or conqueror. In that case, we can’t let fear stop us! Instead, we have to confront it, become bold and jump over it and continue past it. Fear will often subside (or depart) if you confront it.

I often think of fear as the snake lying across the threshold of my path. It’s there reminding me of all the ways I will fail, reminding me of all the “what if’s” I never even thought of – basically throwing lies at me to see if I will react, to see if I can be stopped.

When I was a child, I played in the woods behind my house all the time and let me tell you, there were snakes out there too. My friends and I built tree houses and forts from scraps of lumber we got from the construction sites of houses being built in the neighborhood. Every time we built a new fort, we also made a new path to it. Often, and I mean weekly, we would encounter snakes in our path. They were primarily non-poisonous but they were very large – some were upwards of 6′! But as is often the case with kids, boldness and determination to finish a project would rise up and we would back up, take off running and jump over that snake and not look back…mostly because we were too afraid to look!

The point was, we didn’t let that fear stop us – we pushed past it (literally), and continued on.

We can’t let fear stop us either because on the other side of fear lives the fulfillment of our dreams and desires. Fear wants to keep us from our destiny. We can’t let that happen. 
What fear is holding you back today? Is it a past trauma that needs healing? Is it fear of man, the fear that you might not be “enough” in the eyes of others? Whatever it is that is stopping you needs to be confronted and overcome.

I pray that you will be bold and courageous today, standing up to those things in the path that would stop you from being all you are meant to be. I pray that if healing is needed, that it will come with abundance and grace. I pray that if there is help you need in being bold today, that help would come in many unexpected ways. I pray that fear will be overtaken by love and that that love would then pour out of you and drench everyone you meet today. I pray you will get up tomorrow and continue on this journey as you have today, seeking help when needed, and giving help when required. I speak freedom from fear in your life and call you to rise up in the destiny that was created just for you!

What if…

Around the bend

Last night before going to sleep, I was talking to the Holy Spirit, apologizing for not consciously spending more time with him throughout the day. I heard Him say, “All is well. I’ve been with you all day long as you know and it’s wonderful, but I have so much more for you. It’s not about what you should do; it’s about what you could do.”

As I lay there ponder these things I realized in a deeper way that He is not the one holding back anything, it’s me that holds me back. He has offered me things greater than I can imagine, there are no impossibilities with Him. He’s beckoning me to trust Him right now and simply believe the things He says are completely possible for me, not just others.

Why am I holding back, why do I not seem to trust Him when He tells me these things?

I think the business of processing things internally or should I say, over-processing these things, have a way of causing thoughts about the fear of failure and the whole process of ‘what if’ thinking, like: ‘What if I fail? And, what if people find out I’m not who they think I am?” None of these are questions He asks me, so why do I ask these things? Why do I entertain these thoughts?

Fear of failure and fear of man are huge stumbling blocks of comfort-ability. They can become so ingrained in my thinking that I begin to think they are my own thoughts. They are not! This familiarity and comfortableness will keep me stuck where I am, whether I consciously realize it or not, and it prevents me from enjoying all the things He has and desires for my life. It will also prevent me from influencing, for the good, the people I come in contact with.

I believe it’s time for the limitations to come off; the governor on my accelerator needs to be removed. It’s time for me to start asking myself better questions, or at least quiet myself and hear His questions. What if I succeed, what if I’m more than who I thought I was, what if I have great influence on someone else’s life? All great questions, really.

The traditions of bad thinking have to fall; they are only holding me back. They are so safe that they have become too familiar. I also believe that if I don’t boldly jump over this line of comfort, I will begin defending my current position as if it’s the pinnacle of my life; it is not.

Please know this is not me beating myself up or coming up with one more spiritual ‘to do’ list either. No, it’s realizing my life has been laid down for Him, freely and if I really believe that, I need to show some evidence of it. The influence that I have on my relationships and the interactions with everyone I meet need to be the evidence of the more than He desires for me.

Yikes, why does this seem so scary; maybe because on the other side of fear, life truly begins?

Okay Holy Spirit, what about today?

Rambling Thoughts Coalescing Into Words

Autumn meet me at the table

 

6-9-15

So, I’m supposed to be writing more, as in every day!  I feel like I should be spending an hour at the bare minimum developing my ‘craft’, aka writing, even though I’m not exactly sure what that means.

Since I’m really working on being a good student, I am here sitting at my desk trying to not be distracted by the view out my windows so I can do this thing called writing. Also, I’m trying to shut out the voices that are laughing at me and saying, “Who do you think you are? You’re not a writer! You’re wasting your time. No one will read anything you have to say.”

Shut up voices.

Whether anyone ever reads a single sentence I write, I am going through with this.  I will never write anything if I don’t make time to do it or practicing the doing. So, here goes……

See look; three short paragraphs already! Woo Hoo, what a rock star I am! Okay, just kidding. I obviously don’t have a clue what to write about today but still, it doesn’t matter. I know if I keep going, something will come out of it. A coherent thought will finally land and then I will expound on it. Yeah! That’s the ticket.

One recent thing I’ve done is finish reading Stephen Kings book, On Writing, a Memoir of the Craft. I read a great review of it by Steve (not Stephen) Bremner and afterward, I was intrigued. So much so, I went out and got my own Kindle copy; it turns out that Steve was right. There were so many nuggets in that book to help me on my journey. Tucked inside the book are nuggets about whether to plot or not to plot, (sorry), adjectives and why they should die, tips about the 1st draft vs. the 2nd draft. All right there for the taking.

I’m so glad I did read this book. Whether I ever write a book, fiction or otherwise, I have gleaned much from it.  I’m optimistic that there is even more in there that is waiting for me to discover. Yes, I do realize I’m being vague but I’m not here to tell you bit by bit what you need to know. I’m actually here to tell you that it’s in there and this is to be considered an invitation or maybe a treasure map that has a great big X on it marking where the treasure is. It says you are here X, and the treasure is here X. Come and get it!

6-23-15

It’s obvious by the above date that some time has elapsed since writing the first part of this. And it might also be obvious that I didn’t exactly write for an hour each day. It’s okay because I’m writing now. Or am I? Is it writing if I simply type out the things that are running through my head? I believe it may well be. (Smile)

Note: Apparently I didn’t have much running through my head. But then again, between these two dates, I did have a birthday, I did bake lots of orders and I did work many hours at Ziggy’s.

I believe I need to start using the voice recorder on my phone to write down thoughts because I’m almost always driving when I have ideas about what to blog about or just things to write down. Probably should…

7/4/15 (Happy Birthday America)

I’ve been thinking about social media lately and how in the last 8 or so years it’s changed my life, and the lives of many other people also; for the good and the bad.  While on Facebook I got to minister to and encourage many people that I knew and many that I didn’t even know I was even speaking to until sometime later. I began to come out of my shell more and more as boldness was being established in me. Yes, I do know that many people are a lot more brave or bold on social media and say a lot more on social media than they ever would if someone was actually standing in the same room with them. Oh, I know that indeed, and it’s not always good.

But that’s not what I’m talking about in reference to my boldness at all. What I’m talking about is the boldness to think I might have something to say that someone else may need. I started to write out experiences that I had had and things I had learned. My introvert-ism began turning into an ambivert-ism (as a friend calls it.) I wasn’t transformed into an extrovert but I was no longer an introvert so the term ambivert fits pretty well. I could step into whichever type of vert was needed for the situation and still, keep it real and not something contrived to ‘fit in’ with the social media crowd I happened to be engaging with at the time.

So that was a pretty cool thing I got from social media. Another was all the people I’ve met and come to know and love over the years. Wow! It’s amazing how you really can form lasting relationships with people whom you’ve never physically met in your life. I’ve been blessed to have quite a few of these relationships and feel honored that these people would call me friend.

But what got me thinking about social media and how it’s changed me over the last several years was a conversation I was having with someone who was over for an intercessory meeting last week. We got to talking about Facebook in general and of course, the recent Supreme Court decision also came up and all the craziness happing on any and all social media. And the craziness wasn’t just on Facebook; it was everywhere, no matter where you turned. I for one had no clue what was going on other than simply being aware of the Court’s decision. I had left FB back at the first of the year and gone over to MeWe, which was apparently not experiencing any of the same reactions from believers or non-believers. (That is, at least among my contacts, etc.)

The person I was conversing with, like many others, had never heard of MeWe. I went into my usual ad campaign for the sight, espousing all the great things about it, like no ads, we own the content, not the other way around and how peaceful and quiet in general it is. I told her that one of my favorite features was the ability to actually use my voice to speak a comment or post. I was talking about how cool it is to actually use the power of your words, in the audible sense to pray for someone and to let that sound reverberate over them as opposed to simply typing out words to my prayers.

While talking about the power of my words it got me thinking………

We are so used to typing our words via text, emails, inboxing/private messaging and status updates that I wonder if this is something the enemy uses to steal some of the power of our words or prayers? Is all this non-verbal communication something that is so prevalent and normal in our culture that we have stopped using our audible voices and the power behind them? I know that I love to talk to someone face to face but that’s not possible, the next best thing is talking on the phone to someone. But sadly, many people don’t even use the phone to talk anymore, instead, they choose to text their conversations. I find this not only puzzling but sad. The sound of someone’s voice is priceless; especially if you can’t be face to face.

Again, these were just some of my thoughts and actually have made me start to pray into some of these things. I’ve been asking the Lord about how to be more intentional in using my words, especially my spoken words. And I’ve been talking to Him about how to actually begin using methods of audible speech more often and more effectively. I know this is possible on MeWe and Voxer but I’m guilty of all the sad things others are doing; I text more often than pick up my phone and call someone. I type out conversations on MeWe rather than using a built-in feature that allows me to use my voice; I simply haven’t really utilized the resources I’ve had at hand very much.

I can only guess the reason I haven’t used the audible resources that much is this thing about me not liking the sound of my recorded voice. I cringe when I hear it and say, ‘Is that my voice? I don’t sound like that!’ So, I tend to type out things rather than speak them, I don’t even give it much thought, most days.

Honestly, I don’t want to be a hypocrite and talk about using our voices when I don’t even do it myself. Help me, Lord! But then again, this not liking my own voice could be something the enemy planted years ago that I’ve come into agreement with, or simply fear that I came into agreement with. Whichever the case may be, it’s simply not acceptable; I will just have to jump that chicken line of sounding terrible and SPEAK my words, by golly!