Thursday, February 12, 2015

Killing the Fear Monster

When my children were little, we taught them the Bible verse, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you." Psalm 56:3 NIV

One child in particular would wake up in the night, come toddling downstairs needing reassurance that she was safe. Her daddy would take her by the hand, walk her back to her bedroom, tuck her in bed, tell her how much she was loved, pray with her, and return to his bed.  Sometimes this worked, sometimes not.

All of us, if we're honest with ourselves, have fears of some kind. We spend our days in busyness and then, when all is quiet and our mind should be at rest, Fear and his demons come out to play.

That's the way it is for me anyway. And if I'm really, brutally honest, my playground is never closed.

I've never been a person who feared for my personal safety. Maybe I should have. Because of family living in another state, I've had to travel alone, and I regularly go on writing sabbaticals. I'm not a girl who closes the blinds as soon as the sun sets either.

Me at 4 Months 
My fears are in my head. They've held me captive my entire life. That's the reason I used the baby picture. I'd need to return to infancy to escape my fears. They whisper in my ears when no one is looking, and when everyone is looking. They tell me I'm not good enough. They slither up beside me when I need to make a decision and tell me I'm a failure, so why would I want to begin anything new. He tells me you're uneducated so that means you're not smart, and don't even think about going back to school. You don't have time and you wouldn't pass anyway, because remember, you're not smart enough.

My fears told me you can't be a writer, because who would want to read anything you have to say. My fears have always told me I'm a nobody.

My fears told me you're an orphan, and you will always be an orphan, because your mom died and your dad abandoned you.

And then I went to counseling a couple of years ago. My church has a counseling ministry with a licensed counselor on staff. He and I worked for nearly a year untangling the mess of my life. The evil one can wrap you up in a stronghold of fear and hold you captive from all God has for you. His lies are subtle, but powerful. He is relentless in his pursuit.

Many of my fears are the result of a childhood gone askew, however, some of them are of my own making. God has helped me conquer many of my fears. It's an ongoing battle. As long as there is breath in me, it's my thorn. I've found healing in areas I thought would haunt me to the grave. I no longer see myself as an orphan. God has showered me with grace in this tender place in my heart. He took me on a journey that awes me and encourages me to press on.

What do you fear? Are you like me and struggle with the fears in your mind? Maybe your fears have to do with your children. Those are certainly valid. The word says:

"Fear not, for I am with you; 
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, 
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10 ESV

I've wasted many years allowing the fear monster to control my life. He's robbed me of precious time, talent, and self-esteem. I'm a work in progress though. I continually have to return to the Word for my source of strength. There are countless books and resources available for help, as well as wonderful counselors, like mine, who are ready to guide you.

I've cried on shoulders and poured out my burdens to the One who knows my every hurt. His word says He will hide me in the cleft of the rock. I have to trust that in my deepest hour of need. You can too, when your fear monster slithers up beside you and sends messages of deceit.

There is hope for slaying the fear monster for good. I'm counting on it. If only I could whisper that in the ears of the wee one in the picture. 



  1. My playground is never closed either. I miss you, friend.

    1. I knew there was a reason I loved you so much...we seriously need to have an online date! I miss you too!!