To fear or not to fear

With what is happening in our world right now, I thought I’d share a time when fear gripped me and how I managed to break free from it.  The fear of something can have the most debilitating effect on our lives and sometimes we don’t even recognise it. In the bible, John 10:10 , Jesus says “I came that they may have life, and have it in abundance .” Meaning not to be held by fear or to be limited in the
way we live our lives.fear not

One of my biggest fears, developed over a number of years, was talking to people. I was fine with talking to people I knew well, okay at polite conversations but I really had a problem with conversing with strangers and would sooner not talk to people. It would make me very anxious- What would I say? What if the conversation runs dry? What would people think of me? Having married a man who is great at talking to people, making conversations and being surrounded by friends who make talking to others seem effortless, my confidence levels dropped. My thoughts were kept captive and it just escalated in my mind. This affected me at work, at church and living in my community. It got to the point where I didn’t want to go to different events, including church because I couldn’t face people. My confidence had hit rock bottom. It felt isolating.

Our homegroup was doing the study ‘Freedom In Christ’ and it was during this I recognised my fear. The programme encouraged me to find a bible verse that would help me address it, so I read ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-discipline’ and to read it every day. I prayed that God would help me through this. I plucked up the courage and asked a friend to pray for me. She pointed out that God loved me for who I was, not who I thought God expected me to be.

Comparing myself to others was one of my biggest mistakes and one that God has thankfully relieved me from. In today’s society, it is so easy to compare ourselves to others but the realisation of God loving me for just the way I am was so liberating. God gave me the freedom of choice; if I didn’t want to talk to people that was okay, he loved me anyway. Since then I feel I have the confidence to talk to people and every now and again I will push out my comfort zone to make a conversation with new people or strangers. I have the sound knowledge that God loves me for me, my giftings and talents and I don’t have to perform or do anything else to impress God. It felt the darkness had gone and the light had returned.

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In light of today and what is happening in the world – do not live in fear, the God of heaven and earth is someone who we can trust and who CAN cast out all fear.

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