Throughout your life FEAR will always find a way to make a guest appearance. FEAR will never show up without a story…a story from your past that replays in your present and future mind that has convinced you that you will not succeed if you tried again or even tried at all. The details in the story are so believable and difficult to imagine past the pain. You have carried that pain because you have convinced yourself that you can’t do it. But I’m here to report to you that as I continue to work on every area of my life that is still dealing with FEAR, there is one area of my life that I conquered FEAR after several years of replaying the story….
I call this blog “Fear 2.0”
I was in middle school at a pool party and while standing at the edge of the pool one of the boys at the party was playing around with some of the people there and as he was running around, he came by me and with both hands, pushed me from behind into the 8 feet part of the pool. All I can remember is me fighting the water terrified because I could not swim. While in the water bobbing up and down, I managed to fight my way to the side of the pool and I pulled myself up as much as I could then I felt the help of 2 adults. In my mind I was drowning but I don’t know if that was known at the time until I was able to catch my breath and then I said to the 2 adults that helped me that I was drowning in the pool and I then pointed to the boy who threw me in. I asked to be picked up early from the party due to being embarrassed and humiliated and the little boy got in trouble. This is the incident that birthed the FEAR of swimming.
Fast-forward to 2005: I am now a young adult in my 20’s and I took a trip to Hawaii for my birthday with a girlfriend. I told her I could not swim but I would try snorkeling since you didn’t have to go out into the deep parts of the water. My thought was I could just stick my face in the water with my facemask and head out maybe 2 or 3 hundred yards from the shoreline. It was an epic fail. The girlfriend that was with me didn’t know how to speak to my fear and help me develop the confidence and knowledge I needed in order to snorkel. It doesn’t make her a bad person at all but it was a reminder to me that conquering fear not only is an inside job but it also includes having the right people in your life who can speak directly to that fear.
Fast-forward to 2014: I reached a point of no return with fear and finally got up the nerve to tell a friend that I needed to learn how to swim so one Saturday in the summer time we went to an indoor pool at a recreation center and he spoke to my fear. He convinced me to put my trust in him and not fear by stating his credentials and experience. The longer he talked and showed me in the water that I was in good hands, the more trust I developed in him. After a few hours of applying the technique that he taught me, he slowly let my hand go but stayed in arms reach as I successfully, for the first time, swam a lap across the 8 foot depth of water to the opposite end of the pool. I kept swimming until fear was completely eliminated from my mind.
Fast Forward to 2019 – January 7th – 11th I took a vacation with a girlfriend to St. Lucia and at the time did not know she was not only an amazing swimmer but her favorite thing to do on vacation was to snorkel.
Even though I was now confident in my swimming ability, I still had a fear about snorkeling that never left me from that Epic Fail in Hawaii that still played in my mind. I told her my fear with snorkeling and she convinced me to put my trust in her and not fear by stating her credentials and experience. The longer she talked and showed me in the water that I was in good hands, the more trust I developed in her
She never stops talking to me in the process, which gave fear no opportunity to replay my mental story
Slowly but surely I’m snorkeling…the epic fail from 2005 convinced me that the rambling of the sound of water which reminded me of the fight I had in the pool as a young girl in middle school robbed me of a beautiful experience. Now as an adult I am blown away at the quietness of the water and the visible beauty of the fish and the coral of the ocean. I jumped out of the water and said out loud in amazement how quiet it is underwater and how proud I am that I can enjoy this experience without fear. This snorkeling experience allowed me to see some beautiful sergeant major fish as my girlfriend threw bread at me so that she could snap the perfect picture.
While conquering one fear, another fear made an encore appearance but in a different form. You see, fear is very sneaky and will show up when you least expect it. What I learned about the difference between Fear and Truth is that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real and believing Truth in a matter means conformity to fact or reality. In both situations the 2 individuals that were with me when fear tried to replay the story of failure in my mind, they both presented credentials and evidence in order for me to conquer fear. That’s the power of TRUTH. It will always have real evidence to confirm it’s validity but Fear will make false claims that will always look and feel like its real.
It’s not necessary to always have someone there in order to conquer fear because you have the power to change that fear in you on your own but in my case, God positioned the right people around me who helped me to develop the confidence and skills in order to combat fear. Question? If you took inventory of the people around you do they have the ability to help you fight fear? As you continue to live, you will begin to understand the importance of connections and attachments. While connections will feed you (ex: enhance your well being), attachments will drain you (ex: take more than it gives and rarely if ever reciprocate what’s being given). Fear has to be conquered from the inside out so monitor the voices in you and around you.
Xoxo Charlene Evans
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<Ding Dong!> It’s the doorbell…
“Who in the world could that be?” I said to myself because hey you don’t remember expecting guest and everyone knows that you don’t like “un-invited” guest. Not wanting to make any noise, you tip-toe to the window and peek outside your blinds seeing if you could catch a glimpse of who is at your door. Hmmm….you don’t see anyone there but to be sure you open the door anyway, slowly, and as soon as you do, your “un-invited” guest slips right in….
Who? You ask…
Yes, just like an “un-invited” guest, we don’t ever plan to invite FEAR into our lives. It sort of sneaks in just as you open the doors of what I like to call your human
“Gates” which are your Eyes, Ears and Mouth to anything that can deter you from God’s plan and purpose for your life! Your EYES are the gateway to your soul stamping visuals in your brain that you playback; Your EARS record everything that it hears—sounds and voices; Your MOUTH is controlled by the thoughts in your head and the feelings in your heart. Three powerful gates that FEAR loves to travel through disregarding any “formal” invite from you, but then, sometimes we will keep the door open and let FEAR in but that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about when you try your best to keep FEAR out and away from ever entering into your gates. These openings should be guarded at all times filtering out uncensored, uninvited aspects of life that can cause FEAR to form and develop. When FEAR is realized, it will camouflage a blessing (Eyes), hear only negative language (Ears) and speak doubt and destruction (Mouth). FEAR no longer is a guest, at this point, but begins to unpack bags and take up residence in your life! This is NOT good! So let’s talk about it….
Have you ever experienced FEAR? (uh um, clearing my throat)***Newsflash***..We ALL have and it’s perfectly normal, so relax. However, I must say, FEAR should be confronted and not ignored, confessed and not concealed. Its not the best feeling in the world but as a healthy practice, make sure you don’t let the things that cause FEAR to be the reason you don’t see the blessing in the mist of the storms of life; or penetrate in your heart when someone speaks negatively to you and about you; and worse, begin to expose itself in your conversation speaking “death”. (Proverbs 18:21) Once you make FEAR the source of your decisions, you will always experience less than the abundant life that God desires because you will be too scared to trust God based on a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined (www.dictionary.com). This is serious and like stress, when prolonged, has dangerous effects to our spiritual, physical and emotional state of being. So are you ready to face your FEARS even though you didn’t see it “sneak” in? And it doesn’t matter how big or small your FEAR may be, it all counts and it all has a root. Something or someone influenced this FEAR that you have and now every time you or someone else bring up that FEAR, you respond with distress trying to cover it up with many failed attempts. Isn’t that exhausting? I mean, how much more “covering up” can you do? Or how many times are you going to put on your “mask” before your mask begin to crack showing the real face of your troubles? I believe that the bible says that God did not give us the spirit of FEAR but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) because to fight FEAR you must have the love of Christ in your heart for those times when FEAR tries to “show up unannounced”. When we ignite the power of God which is in us through prayer, studying and fasting, we will ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS defeat FEAR. And I am sure you have probably heard people say things like, “It’s all in your mind.” Well, that is true because our minds are very powerful and the storehouses of where we recall past and present hurt and pain. So how are you keeping your mind “sound?”. Has it been difficult? At times it has been, but what you playback over and over is the key to keeping the mind sound! So whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8).
Exercise is not only good for the body but it’s also crucial for your mind. Make it a priority to always look beyond any and everything that is causing FEAR—afraid of what will happen if you lose your job in this economy, not having enough money to pay your bills, afraid for your future and the future of your family? Don’t be and yes, I said that pretty effortlessly because God knows, HE cares and HE loves US…even when we are scared to death of the many entities of life. And guess what? He was there when you open the door and FEAR slipped in. HE was waiting on you to call HIM so that HE can address any “unwanted” guest. Hello Fear…and Goodbye.
You Are Not ALONE….
One of my cousins got married a few years ago but before the wedding, we decided to take her on a trip to Miami, FL to celebrate! While on the trip we had a lot of activities planned but one of the activities on our last morning in Miami was a game that her best friend suggested. It didn’t have a particular name or anything but what we had to do was write down three of our “Fears” on a piece of paper. Once everyone finished we shared the three fears with the group. The exercise was so powerful and so liberating! There were laughs, tears, stories, moments of silence, and reflection while we listened to each girl reveal a part of them that they may have only mention to God in private. As I was listening, I knew my turn was approaching and for me, this was no easy exercise because I didn’t want to be emotional. *Exhale*…Here it goes….as I slowly move my eyes down to read my three fears. Now listen, I am not going to share ALL of my fears but I will share one with you that meant the most and that was “the fear of dying alone”. One of the other young ladies there, who is single like myself, agreed totally and said, “Wow…I didn’t think about that but it’s so true…I don’t want to die alone.” The best part of the exercise was what we did next. We tore off each fear into three strips of paper, folded them in no particular way, and then put them inside of a balloon. We each held our balloons up high over the balcony of the hotel, I was asked to say a prayer and we released them in the air, vowing to God to work on overcoming those FEARS!! Even thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes because it took a lot of courage to admit to being afraid, scared or anxious about anything in life. However, on that day, four women’s desire to overcome FEAR was greater than the FEAR itself because of our FAITH to believe that God can and will remove anything that is unlike HIM.
Okay, so let me further explain what I mean when I say “alone.” I am talking about physically being by myself when I die because no one knows when or how they are going to die. The absence of family being there or even a companion was starting to become a concern when I thought about it because if we will all be honest with ourselves for a moment, everyone desires to be loved by someone beyond the extension of family. As Christians, we do realize that we are never alone because God is with us always, in spirit, but physically, we want the return embrace of a mate God assigned to us. Even the bible states that, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). There is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring to have someone in your life but what if you don’t experience marriage on earth, does that mean that you are being denied the fullness of Joy? Not at all, however, let us put it in perspective. We all came into the earth individually even if you were born a twin, and we all are going to leave individually and be judged by God for our work.(Revelation 20:12) Our concern about being single can be consuming and a huge distraction. Being alone can have negative connotations if we accept it from people who plant seeds of “FEAR” in our minds saying, “You need to find someone or do you want to die alone?” Who said that life will follow the order of marriage, children, grandbabies then death? HE knew us before the foundation of the world and the beginning of our existence before entering the earth. He even knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30) so surely HE knows what is best. God just wants to fulfill the purpose HE has ordained for each and every one of us and being alone or married should not affect the work being done. So If I die now, what would it matter if I am by myself? Why does being alone now develop FEAR when I think about dying alone? To God, it’s not important but my relationship with Him, my work on earth to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and my use of the spiritual gifts given to me to spread the Gospel IS important. My focus on my status has no relevance to my ability to fulfill my assignment in the earth just as my “Joy” has no relevance to my status. So, you are alone, or ALL ONE for now and if it never changes, what I “do” on earth, not my “status”, is God’s desire for my life. Hello Fear…I am not alone….so Goodbye.
xoxo Chiccy Baritone
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