The power of fear

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

Have you ever been overcome with fear or terror? We'll let me tell you a little something about our little friend (or rather enemy) fear. It's an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat; and it makes you act very, I mean very, irrationally.

I remember being a bad little kid and watching scary movies that I had no business watching. Like while in elementary school I watched the Exorcist, smh. Like, come on, Jenn, why?? And after watching that movie I would just act straight stupid. I would hear one of my sisters stampeding down the steps, knowing good and well that it was one of them. But my mind would immediately imagine the scene where the exorcist is walking down the steps in a back bend! AH!😱😱 I was literally so scared I was ready to run out of the house, and yes, in the middle of the night and not come back. All in the name of fear.


[Fear is] an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat; and it makes you act very, I mean very, irrationally.

Or let's talk about my fear of bugs. Y'all gotta pray for me; this phobia is something serious. But y'all, I DO NOT like butterflies. I know, I know, I have issues. But anyway, I remember in high school I was going on a bike ride with a friend and when that little monster floated in front of me 😩😩, I just about rode my bike into an oncoming car to avoid the butterfly. Smh.

Fear makes you act very irrationally. As you see from two of the prime examples in the life of Jenn Jenn. I'm still shaking my head, as I know you are too ;).

Let's take a look at some real scaredy cats in the Bible and see how fear devastated their whole family tree. And yes, it's as dramatic as it sounds. In a nutshell, Lot feared even though the Angels of the Lord reassured him. His daughters feared single hood and slept with their dad. Abraham and Sarah the Father of Faith (FOF) and the First Lady of Faith (FLOF) had so little faith that they devised their own plan on how to bring forth the promised son.

So here is the back story. Lot is the nephew of Abraham, the FOF. Abraham was called by God to go to a new land; Lot follow him. And because the hand of God was so strong on Abraham's life, both men prospered. Their real estate was too small to contain the two powerhouses, so they split ways. Abraham went left; Lot went right. Lot ended up living in two very, very wicked nations (Sodom and Gomorrah), which was about to be destroyed. The Angels of the Lord, that were sent to destroy the nations, went to save Lot. When Lot was urged to flee, he tells the angels "...but I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die" (Genesis 19:18-20). In the mist of great fear he doesn't think rationally. The two nations were literally about to be annihilated, yet Lot didn't want to leave. After Lot, his wife, and two daughters finally left the land, before it was destroyed, they lived in caves because they were still living in fear. Lot's two daughters didn't have any other humans around them besides their dad (their mother died because of failure to follow instruction given by the Angels) because they were avoiding all of humanity by living in caves. So they said to one another, "...our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father" (Genesis: 30-36). And the products of incest were the originators of two very wicked nations, the Moabites and the Ammonites.

Let's take a look at some real scaredy cats in the Bible and see how fear devastated their whole family tree. And yes, it's as dramatic as it sounds.

Now let's talk about another major scaredy cat, Sarah (Abraham's wife, aka The First Lady of Faith aka FLOF). The FLOF feared the promise of God that she would bear a child in her old age. So she took matters into her own hands and suggested her husband sleep with her servant, Hagar, to produce this supposed "promised child." The son Abraham and Hagar produced, Ishmael, also ended up being a big enemy to the Israelites and the children of God, even up to today. And the child produced through infidelity caused major issues for Abraham and the FLOF.

See the thing about our foe, fear, is that it does remain stagnant in our lives. Fear is actually very fertile. It multiples and infects all areas of our lives and the lives of the generations to come, as we saw in the lives of Lot, Abraham, Sarah and their family lines.

Like Franklin D. Roosevelt so eloquently stated, "there is nothing to fear but fear itself." Or in other words, we should fear the sequelae of fear. Because the after effects fear produces, the way it ravages lives, is scarier than the thought of fear. Fear actually did that exact thing in my life. From childhood trauma to toxic relationships, fear held me in a vise grip and it took me staring fear square in the eye, with its ugly face, until fear feared me, fled and never returned!

"There is nothing to fear but fear itself." -FDR

HOW DO WE FIGHT FEAR?

1. Take an inventory of the painful, hard, scary, traumatic, anger inducing situations in your life. Jot down how those experiences made you feel. The first step in everything is acknowledgement.

I'm very big on self realization and internal assessments. I think it's important to take time and digest events that have taken place in your life. That punk kid who bullied you 10 years ago who still gets your heart racing if something reminds you of him or her. That boyfriend or girlfriend who totally broke your heart who you say your over because your in a new relationship, but if you saw them today you would be in tears. The wanna be Need-For-Speed race car driver who cut you off on the highway causing for you to go from 0%-100% in terms of your anger level. Think about events in your life that don't seem so rational. Acknowledge that those events do exist in your life.

2. Determine if those emotions were sparked by pain, fear, bitterness, etc from a past event or if your emotions truly did warrant the response you gave.

For instance, I use to have a super bad attitude. I had the largest chip on my shoulder because I low key hated the world. I grew up in a tension filled home, I was afraid of the being hurt by the male sex due to childhood trauma, and I had very little self-worth. If someone is walking around with that type of heaviness on their heart, they are bound to take offense to everything. I got an attitude, was disrespectful, and burned bridges very quickly. And the reason why? I had a deep rooted issue that needed addressing. Did someone cutting you off on the highway warrant you tailing them, flicking them off, and speeding away, or might it be due to intense anger from past events that have seemingly no relationship to the incident on the road? Analyze your actions and have wisdom filled friend, counselors, spiritual advisors help you sort out irrational verses appropriate responses and attitude.

3. Dive deep into the word of God and the stories of the Bible.

I found that a lot of healing and growth came from understanding the men and women in the Bible and seeing how relatable their trials and successes were. The people of the Bible weren't some supernatural, "Holier-than-though" group of men and women. They were like you and I. Living with fears, shame, trials, triumph and victories. Reading about the life of Lot and Sarah showed me that fear is powerful and must be eliminated. Seeing how the people of the Bible responded to fear whether positively or negatively showed me who I wanted to emulate and who I do not want to emulate in terms of how their responded to events.

4. Talk out your feelings with trusted loved ones and most importantly God.

In James 5:16, a passage in the Bible it says,

"Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed andrestored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]."

There is great healing and deliverance that comes from talking things out with people, whether it be a friend, loved one, colleague, therapist, and/or God. The beautiful thing about speaking with God is that He created you so He knows you in and out. Psalm 139: 1-3 says,

"O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. You know my downsitting and my uprising; You understand my thought afar off. You sift and search out my path and my lying down, and You are acquainted with all my ways."

Not only does God know you, but He loves the person that He knows. He loves you! It's one thing to be known and once known, then hated, but for someone to fully know you (flaws and all) and fall all the more in love with you is a beautiful thing. That's how God feels. God tells us in Isaiah 43:4 "...you are precious in My sight and honored, and because I love you."

5. Let the people, the situations, the thoughts of the negative past go!

Forgive the people that abused, misused and hurt you. Forget the situations that caused you pain. A famous quote by Marianne Williamson says "unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die." Unforgiveness is futile. Let the person and the situation lay to rest and move on. How I see it is the tough, heart wrenching, almost life destroying situations I have been through taught me how resilient, brave, and capable I am. The lessons I learned can now help someone else. Find the positive in that heart breaking situation and focus on that. The event already happened, mulling over it won't make it disappear, it will only make you miserable. Focusing on the past is like looking in the rearview mirror while driving forward. That's a disaster and a fatality waiting to happen. It is dangerous for you, the driver, and the others around you. Set yourself free by releasing those people, events, and thoughts.

I hope this brings some peace and deliverance into your life. Know you are loved, you are worthy, and fear has no hold over you!!

XOXO,

Jenn

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Check this song out. Such an encouragement!

Fear is a Liar

By Zach Williams





Look out for this filming project I've been inspired to create.

It will be released this summer

#TestimonyTime


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