Day by Day: Fear is…
I wrote these first two words when I was beginning this article and I stopped and just looked at them. Fear is…
What is fear to you?
Many years ago, when the Internet was in its infancy, I remember those childlike quizzes that popped up from time to time. There would always be one question asking what you were most afraid of.
I hated to sound super religious, but the scripture: “He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of might, power and a sound mind…(2 Tim.1:7)” would spring up to my mind. As believers, we are called to live differently. We need to preach to ourselves that we do not live a life controlled by fear, but by the love our God has for us.
If I said that I am not afraid, I would be lying. I am like any other person; I have those things that freak me out or scare me, but I choose not to focus on fear.
Chuck and I have traveled to over 37 countries. Most of those were Third World countries where we stood out as older, white, fluffy Americans, which to them equates to “Rich American.” I have been afraid only once or twice, and those few times were never life-threatening, just an unease that I heeded to.
People sometimes ask me, “Aren’t you afraid leaving the country with our world in the shape it is in?”
I hope that I have a healthy amount of fear, we need this to survive in our world, but I choose not to focus on my fear but on the king of this world, my King.
Who is the king of your world?
I’ll never forget one of my first journeys overseas to Thailand. I had been out of the country before, but only to first-world, English-speaking countries. As the time drew near to go, I felt fear creeping into my heart, and with that fear came dread. I didn’t want to go, I couldn’t leave my children. So many doubts and fears.
One day while chatting with God, or more accurately, one day while I was worrying during my prayers, God asked me a question: “Selena, am I not the God of the universe?”
“Why yes, Lord. I know you are!”
“Do you ever worry this much when you are packing up to go on your trips across the U.S.A.? There are more car accidents per year than airplane crashes. Terrorism can hit you in the U.S.A. Something can happen to your children in your backyard. You trust me with these familiar things. Can you not trust me with the unfamiliar as well?”
That conversation with God changed my heart and I decided to focus more on Him and what He was saying to me than focusing on my fear and the ‘what if’s’ of traveling overseas. I wish I could say that peace came over me and, bam, I was magically cured, but it didn’t happen that way. It has been a faith walk.
Our first few times overseas I never left Chuck’s side. I made him stand right beside me. I never strayed from where I couldn’t reach out and touch him.
We discovered these wonderful night markets that we both loved to walk through, discovering so many beautiful handcrafted items. Though, like most couples, we liked to linger over different things; so those first few trips I enjoyed my time, though I never enjoyed them like I did when the fear finally left and I trusted God in the same way I trusted him in the good ole’ USA. I could then wander off and discover the items that I loved and Chuck could go and buy me a little treat without me knowing it.
Leaving my comfort zone has taught me to really listen to the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. It has taught me how to discern the difference between caution and fear. Traveling and overcoming my fears taught me who I am in this world and not just how my culture defines me. It has helped me see where and in whom my strength lies.
Learning to overcome fear is an ongoing process that we face in our lives and if we turn from our focus of the fear, towards the one that holds the very universe in his hands we will truly become ‘more than conquerors.’ We will become the kings and priests that he longs for us to be, ruling and reigning in this world instead of reacting to the circumstances that fall into our path.
What fear is holding you hostage today? I encourage you to turn towards our redeemer and ask him to redeem your heart and help you to have the courage to overcome, so that you can rise up as a conqueror and become all that God has designed you to be.
By Selena Day. First published by SGNScoops Magazine in May 2018.
Selena Day is a motivational speaker and is available to speak at your conference or event. She can be contacted by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, by visiting www.queenliving.org, or at www.facebook.com/queenismsbyselenaday.
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