Our minds, bodies, emotions don’t like fear, it is invasive and pervasive. Fear robs, steals and destroys us by finding a place to rest on us in our beliefs about ourselves or others. It works to make itself at home and become familiar to us. Fear is not a present experience, it is always future related, either seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years ahead. The unknown and unpredictable nature of life is the breeding ground of fear. It whispers into our thoughts, what if… what if tomorrow you wake up and find a lump in your body… what if your husband/wife ends the relationship… what if your children fail school… A simple thought about a future event that if allowed will alter what we see and what we believe. If that thought becomes something we can see, then we will form a belief around that future event. That belief will either alter us or attempt to alter another. Fear becomes familiar in two ways: it makes us believe something about ourselves that is not true and leads us to wear shame OR it makes us believe something wrong about another and leads us to withhold connection or try and control.
I know this well. This was so much part of my life. I would have a thought that maybe my kids wouldn’t do well at something. I would begin to see it and then I would believe I wasn’t a good Mum OR I would look at all the things they were doing wrong and I would believe that they didn’t care and so were wasting their lives and this would position me to try and control them by telling them what was wrong and what they needed to do. Fear (always based in the future) takes you from the present by clothing you or another in shame. Fear does nothing but position us to live less than who we are.
When we give space to fear (as simple as seeing a tomorrow alone, unable, overwhelmed) and we give it space to rest it alters firstly what we see, then what we believe and lastly how we are present with ourselves and one another. Shame is what we feel in the present, it’s a protector; protecting others from the ugliness of what we believe about ourselves or others; all stemming from fear.
The antidote to fear is love. The truth is every aspect of our future is known, predictable and ordered by the one who knows all things. What removes fear from our future is holding the hand of the one who knows all and who has chosen to make His home in us. He is known and unchanging in our tomorrow. Fear comes in when we imagine our tomorrow without Him. The truth is I don’t know what will happen in my tomorrow but I know who will be with me in my tomorrow and that creates an atmosphere of peace and identity.
The greatest way we combat fear is in seeing love. Seeing our next minute, day or year with the all-knowing one, who has chosen us to be His. Living present in the reality of who He is and who we are. Knowing each step He is in us and with us. He is a help in present need.
I dream of a family who chase fear and embrace love through their union with God.