The Beauty and Brutality of Fear
Fear activates your heartbeat in a way that nothing else can to the point it affects your health. Your heart can beat too strong. It motivates your mind to do some hefty mental work that a crossword puzzle or brain teaser couldn’t possibly do by their own merit. Anxiety attacks and paranoia are debilitating.
I’m learning to choose faith over fear, choose every day to face what it means to relinquish control to a power that you can’t see but can feel and sometimes struggle to hear. I’m still learning to better discern God’s voice. How I feel is not necessarily how God feels. Whatever emotions I carry are not necessarily a part of God’s burden. Pride is one of my burdens. Matching energy is one of my burdens. Feeling as if it’s not my problem to fix even when I believe it’s not my fault is one of my burdens. Pride and pettiness, that is me.
I’ve been living in fear since 9 AM this morning. Our power went out. Fear says to let it pass. Faith says to speak up so it may be fixed. I spoke up, it was fixed. I could have sat in fear of what would have happened if I said that there’s a problem. Letting things fester is a side effect of my fear. Choosing to step away from that fear and do what’s required is faith. Faith over fear.
I dragged my feet on insurance and was denied for not turning in my paperwork on time. Fear saw the denial letter come in the mail. Fear wanted to throw said letter in my mail pile so I could deal with it later even though God and I both knew that I wouldn’t. Faith said to open that letter and get started on another application. Faith said to work through the payroll system to download my pay stubs. Faith held me on when I thought the website wasn’t working. Faith helped me find the website I needed. Faith over fear.
Faith said to schedule those doctor’s appointments you’ve been holding off on for far too long. Fear says that you’re okay. Fear tries to help you ignore your problems instead of relying on faith to get you through the first step toward health and wellness. Fear has on Google instead of finding out the answers. Fear has your hair falling out and you’re not sure why. Faith says let’s get your appointments. Faith says let’s figure out how to get in to see someone even though you don’t have everything that you need. Fear says that since you don’t have everything, what is the point. Faith says that since you don’t have everything, you’ll rely on God for the rest.
Fear says “everything is okay” plus ambivalence. Faith says “everything is okay” plus action.
To say that I’m not scared would be a lie. I fear the worst in life, I fear everything that is bad is going to happen to me. Living in a space of nonchalance allows for you to operate from a place of inaction. You rather not fix what you don’t want to address. But that is how paranoia kicks in. I’m still discerning what is paranoia and when the Holy Spirit is urging me to fix a problem. I find that the Holy Spirit calms my spirit not riles me into fits of anxiety. It’s my daily dose of logic, my hit of “let me help you make sense of this.”
Flesh is fear. My flesh is so scared of the unknown. My flesh will make up things in order to justify why life has taken its turn. As I sit here, I am on the brink of crying again. Sometimes I don’t know where to turn. My brain will erase my fear in one place and then channel it somewhere else. I got over my fears of this morning only for my fear to travel over to the place that processes relationships. Super worried why someone won’t text me back. “I did something. I must have done something. What did I do? Shit.” That’s fear. Instead of “People have lives and you two went this long without talking yesterday.” Faith.
I hate that I do this. Every single time. I hate it. My thighs get to shaking and my mind goes all over the place. The Holy Spirit isn’t supposed to feel like this, right? This is all fear, right? I need this person to text me back so I can feel alright. This is not healthy.
Faith is saying to get out of my own head. Faith is saying that I need to continue to live my life as it was intended: without fear. Faith says to not think about the past or parts of your past that you have yet to gain answers for. Faith says to remember that you don’t know the answers to everything and that is okay. Faith says to listen to some Freddie Gibbs and calm your nerves. Gangsta rap calms my nerves? Right now, it does. You need something. You need a distraction. You need Jesus.
I haven’t been in Scripture in a few days. I know that is part of the problem. I need to get in the Word. Word over fear. I’ve been smacked in the face with Romans 12:2 for the past few weeks. “Do not conform to the patterns of the world but to the renewing of your mind.” Is fear, anxiety and paranoia patterns of this world? It feels like it. God’s good, pleasing and perfect will should and will never have me out here scared like this.
Even as I write this, even as I faced all of these fears, I’m still scared.
This is my attempt to write every day in July. To read more, follow the hashtag #wedj2019!