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!

Looking for the Victorious Bride

Victorious Bride 2

Imagine for a moment what Jesus’ wife looks like.

What type of person does He desire?

In my imagination, I think of her as being about as perfect as you can possibly be. I see her doing everything with excellence, no detail missed. I see her as kind and compassionate to those around her. I see her as extremely beautiful, inside and out. Her heart is so full it’s overflowing with love. I see her as the Proverbs 31 woman.

But the one thing I don’t usually see is ME being His bride, His choice. Sure, intellectually I know I am His bride but I don’t see all her qualities in me. I’m also probably right in thinking I’m not alone in this either. Maybe the solution to this is to begin to pull those blinders off because He does see us this way. So…

What does she look like?

The Victorious Bride is beautiful. Her beauty begins on the inside, with her heart. Have you spent much time reading Proverbs? If you have you’ve seen a great picture of the Bride. You’ve probably also noticed that her eyes are not focused on herself too much, but instead are gazing at what she can do for others; her family and those around her in need. She is the epitome of wisdom. Her gaze is fixed on her Beloved and she seeks wisdom for all she sees and all that is hers to steward. The Bride loves the Bride.

She is courageous and bold, loving and compassionate.

She has a ready word for those she meets.

She is not harsh, nor is she judgmental.

She is intelligent and full of grace.

She is longsuffering and will take the time to listen to the needs of those she meets.

She is kind and goes out of her way to bless many.

She has eyes that shine brightly with hope.

She is a bringer of peace and an ambassador of joy.

She is a nurturer and will comfort you with her loving arms.

She is the mother of hospitality and will feed you with wisdom from above.

Where is she?

Actually, she’s right there, staring out of your bathroom mirror at you. Can you see her?

You and I both are the victorious bride. There are many days I don’t feel very victorious. Life is hard sometimes and it doesn’t look like I’m winning. Instead, I struggle with self-doubt and that tends to make me frustrated and angry. If during those times I could set the disappointment and sadness aside I would realize that those feelings, while very real, they are not the truth. I am not a defeated victim any more than I am a disappointment to everyone. They are lies that I’m in the middle of believing and in doing so, I have become a victim through my own choices. Sure it wasn’t a conscious decision I made but it was still a choice either way.The truth is, I am victorious and I am His bride; so are you.

 My desire is to become more and more victorious. My desire is to be someone who will bring joy and literally change the atmosphere when I walk into the grocery store or anywhere else I tread. I’m tired of being tired. I am responsible for the change in the world around me and I want to see that happening. I want to be an encourager and help people find their path. I want people to smile when I show up because they know I carry compassion and bring hope to their lives.

How will I know her when I find her?

By faith, I have to believe I am who He says I am. By trusting Him, I will be free to take a leap into the scary unknown and go serve others. When I do this, He always takes care of me and then my concerns and distractions will fall away leaving me able to help others with their needs, not just my own.

I desire to be a victorious bride not only in words but in deeds and countenance too. I want to be seen as His! I want to be a bringer of hope to the lives of people around me! There are so many people who need what I have. They need my hope, they need my surety that love never fails. They even need my faith! But what they don’t need is my despair. My despair only speaks of my lack of faith and my lack of trust in God. I don’t consciously lack faith or trust but my actions and words may speak this loud and clear.

When I find her, she will look like me – she will look like you. We will be proud to be her and will realize the Bride in Victory is who we were meant to be. Yes, I said BE. We become her in rest. This isn’t a ‘” striving to become” issue – it’s a “waking up into reality” thing! It should be like breathing – we do it without thought.

I need to BE a victorious bride, reaching out to hurting people and being an example of unconditional love. It’s what so many in this world need – Love! I need to actually put legs to my faith in God and take my eyes off of me.

(Picture credit – https://pixabay.com/en/bride-road-dress-bridesmaid-dress-727004/)