July 9, 2013

7.1 // I am afraid.

//Confession: I am afraid.

Bugs, scary movies, creepy sounds, loud noises, and car accidents: they get me every time. They leave my heart pounding, hands shaking, and mind racing. 

What is it about fear that gets the best of me? Why is it that like a snake, it seems to slowly squeeze my esophagus, leaving me feeling completely powerless?

Fear sort of reminds me of a maze, with each dead end anxiety builds until I'm in a full blown panic, unable to concentrate, not only on where I should be going but where I just was. It blurs the vision, fogs the mind, and creates this false sense of hopelessness. The reality however is that there is in fact an exit. The maze isn't
just sending me in circles; I am sending me in circles.

Fear is a vital response to danger, if we didn't feel it, we couldn't protect ourselves from legitimate threats. When looking up psychological reasoning for fear, I read, "a perceived threat causes one to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide." That's the problem with perception vs. reality, the threat of 'what if's' and 'might be's' become reality.

It is the deception that I see and understand all things. Fear causes me to pull away from people for fear they "might" fail, hurt, or deceive me. It pushes me to hide from opportunities, dreams, and possibility because there is risk of inadequacy. It reveals so much about my heart when I find myself running from that which isn't actually there. 

Talk about a false prophets, fear predicts things that may not—and most likely will not—come to pass. If I stand in front of these false realities believing my fears to be predictors of my future, I essentially am saying, "God is not for me. He is not going to help me. God doesn't know what I need. He won't provide."

In thinking about being afraid, I couldn't help but think of the command in the Bible, "Fear Not" which occurs close to 150 times. In these statements God is not just commanding the release of fear but often follows with comfort and hope saying things like "I am with you", "I am the one who helps you", "I am with you to deliver you", "I will fight for you".

What reason do I have to hide or pull back with promises like that? Unlike a spider on the wall in front of me, facing my fears only means turning from the frustrating walls of wondering and seeking the path God has for me. This maze of life is tough sometimes but I cannot let fear leave me feeling lost.

Unlike a mouse in a maze I know the only way out is to seek what  the direction of the only One who knows the way.