Fear | The Bridesmaid Dress Series
I'm not entirely sure where, or when, it started. But even in my earliest memories, I can remember fear.
Part of the human condition, no doubt. We fear the unknown; we fear loss. We fear being alone, or left behind, or sometimes, we even fear being known.
And fear should have no place in our lives. We know that. Yet, here we, dealing with its impact. Fear is a fog that settles in the heart of its victims. It clouds the future, the present, even the past. It shrouds our happiness and replaces it with endless rounds of, 'What if?'
The interesting thing is, the more we try to run from fear...the more it swallows us. In a twisted type of fate, when we run from something in fear, we only increase fear itself. Snow White didn't solve anything by running through a scary forest at night while she was already scared for her life and of what was beyond the safety of her castle walls...it only made the trees look more menacing. We are afraid, so we run. And yet, in the running, we become even more afraid.
It is often said that the phrase "fear not" is written 365 times in the Bible. That is one verse for every day of the year reminding us not to fear. But it's not just high-and-mighty wisdom for us to force ourselves into. It's a gentle reminder. There are, in fact, many things in this world to fear. Yet we, as God's people, have no reason to fear any of those things. We trust in someone Higher.
I remember many seasons in which my life has been riddled with fear. But it's been more than a season; it's been my life. Some people say it's because I'm an Enneagram 6, others say it's because of the place and the way I grew up. Either way, somewhere along the line, I learned that fear was a deep part of me.
Of course, there are a great many things to fear. Moths, specifically, and whales. Among many other things (like flying on an airplane or doing things completely alone). I hear a lot of people talk about their fears, too, actually. But we frame it differently. We say we're uncomfortable, anxious, unhappy. In these scenarios, they're all masks to hide the fear we can't name yet.
And that makes them even scarier.
Honestly, it's easy to give into fears. It's easy to pass them off as legitimate reasons for not wanting to do something or be around someone. Fear drives our thoughts, words, and even actions. Fear can even form our habits.
I think it's harder to be caught up in fear when you're fully confident in the fact (not a hope--a full-blown fact, ladies and gents) that God is bigger than you. And all of the questions. And every single thing you fear.
Even the fears you can't name yet.
On the other side of the fear lives a richer, fuller life. Not a life free of pain or worry, perhaps, but certainly a life not controlled by endless what ifs. You don't overcome fear by running away, but by walking through it.
When you walk through it, even though you are afraid, you eventually come to realize the thing you feared isn't as bad as you thought it was. It can't be, because of who God is.
Though it's scary, we need to walk through the fear.