It seizes us. Changes us. Consumes us.
Some say FEAR stands for:
However, fear is very real. There is nothing false about what we are feeling. Our whole body changes. We seize up. We can’t sleep. We try to pretend everything is normal, yet we are seized with anxiety.
Fear wants us, either, to charge into everything with guns blazing to get things done and fix things up so we are back to normal, or fear wants us frozen, incapable of knowing what to do next.
Overcoming fear is not simple, but there are steps to take that will lead you away from fear onto a path of freedom.
First, let me say that fear is real, and fear emotions are real. There is nothing false about them and they have a real impact on how we live. When I have carried fear, it is a heavy weight. Other times I have simply hid it under my well-polished veneer, appearing as if I have had it all together. Instead of walking away from fear, I learned to manage it. I thought it was something that I needed to carry because that is the way life is: things happen and there is no going back to make things right.
Strategy to Overcoming Fear:
On my life journey, I have learned a strategy that moves me beyond fear. The one thing I start with is prayer.
A special woman, widow and neighbour of mine taught me the lessons of prayer. She was like my second mother who had a profound impact on my life. If anyone should have had fears, it was her. She took care of a mother and three children relying on her own means. Yet, she always had peace.
One day when my world was falling apart, I sat alone reflecting on my life. This picture came into my mind of my second mother praying. I remember the peaceful look on her face and her demeanour always filled with love and grace. I was always amazed at the way she looked and spoke after praying. Being an inquisitive child, I asked her son why she looked so peaceful. He said she was praying to God and asking for help.
So that day, when my world was falling apart, I remembered and did what I saw. I allowed myself to be in a place where I could pray, where I could share my fears with God.
That was the beginning of my journey. It was my journey to be the real me, realizing that fear will always be part of this world, certainly evident every day as we watch the world events unfold.
It was also the beginning of a strategy that would allow me to overcome the fears that had gripped me for so long.
These strategic steps include:
Taking time for myself
Praying and meditating daily, leaning into God
Surrendering to God
Being obedient to God’s Word
Remember you are a work in progress. Be patient with yourself and with God. Don’t get in the way. Stop trying to control every detail and start surrendering the issues, details and moments of your life to God, one by one.
Surrender and Obedience
Surrender and obedience are the most difficult pursuits in this strategy. They are hard because we have feelings, our own will, and an enemy that wants us to stay in the place of fear.
We cannot do it alone.
God has promised never to leave us or forsake us, and there is a promise that as we come to him, confess our sin and repent, He forgives us through His Son Jesus Christ. There is no special formula. We simply come to him, use our own words, meditate on the truth from His Word and listen to what God is saying through the process.
As we receive His forgiveness we sometimes stop here, not understanding that our response to such love and forgiveness is a life of surrender and obedience.
This came to light for me recently when I read a book by Bob George called Classic Christianity. I was reading about the resurrection of Jesus. I understood the part where Jesus dies for our sins and we are forgiven, but I forgot about the importance of the resurrection, and how that applies to my own life.
I am reminded that as I am crucified with Christ, I no longer live, but He lives in me. As He is resurrected, so I am resurrected to new life with Him. I have come to life again! I continue to be challenged to allow Jesus to be in me, focusing on loving like He loved, and being obedient in the same ways that He was obedient.
This is a strategy for everyone. Pray. Meditate. Listen. Surrender. Obey.
It really is that simple. Over time, you will find fear dissipate, and life will become lighter and brighter along the way.
Bron Vasic is a Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Consultant. For over 30 years, he has been providing business leaders with the leadership and management knowledge to help them find a better way to balance their business challenges. Bron is also a More Than Enough financial coach. To learn more about Bron visit http://www.bvasic.com/. To talk with Bron, call the MTE office and book an appointment.