Unfortunately, in our society, fears are “normal”: standard, typical, expected. However, something being “normal” does not mean it’s what God wants for us. We have grown accustomed to entertaining subtle yet terrifying fears and the longer we let them stir around in our hearts and minds, the more “normal” they become.
When something becomes normal, we are that much less likely to challenge it. It’s much easier to go with the flow and stick with the familiar. This leaves us LIVING in those fear barriers instead of living in the Kingdom, free of fear, full of freedom and peace.
These are some of the most common fears that are unconsciously ruling our thoughts, hearts, and emotions so we can finally get BEYOND them. We were not meant to live out of fear. It’s time we redefine what’s “normal.”
Quit Letting These Fears Rule You:
Being Hurt By Others
Inevitable. Trust me when I say you cannot live your life scared that others might hurt you. If you do, you will be living your entire life terrified. One of the biggest parts of being human is just that: we’re human. We make mistakes, disappoint one another, and hurt each other. It might not always be on purpose but it is unavoidable.
You can have THE best intentions and still hurt someone you love. Likewise, the people you trust the MOST will hurt you as well. The extent to which we allow people into our lives + close to our hearts is the also extent to which they could possibly cause us heartache. Does that mean we shouldn’t let anyone that close? Absolutely not.
You cannot live your life shut out from the world to avoid pain. There is always healing for pain, but nothing can replace relationships. You were meant to be in relationship with others. It not only enriches your life, but God also uses it to refine and shape who YOU are. They are essential.
If you keep everyone at arm’s length to avoid possible pain, you are robbing yourself of the beauty that deep relationships bring and the love we experience through them. God chose us still knowing that as humans we could and WOULD make choices that grieved His heart. Deep relationship is what God made us for. They are where we learn to rejoice in the great seasons but also fight for + choose connection in the tough ones. You will be missing a huge chunk of who God designed YOU to be if you disconnect from everyone else out of fear.
I absolutely hate the feeling of someone having the wrong impression of me or making a wrong judgment about my heart. More often than not, this results in me be overly careful about what I say, how I say it, and how I behave. It all becomes a huge headache.
When you spend that much extra time and energy retracing your steps to make sure everyone has the perfect cookie-cutter understanding of who you are, you will find yourself exhausted. You cannot control how people perceive you. What you CAN do is approach every situation with a genuine heart and ask the Lord to bridge the gap in the areas you lack. Let God smooth out the edges where you fear you’ll be misunderstood.
Ask Him to create understanding where there truly needs to be and give you the grace to release everything else. You have to stop worrying about looking perfect and start trusting that the relationships you are meant to be in will not require walking on egg shells all of the time.
Being With The Wrong Person
I used to struggle with this thought ALL of the time. I wanted the best for my life (the best God had for me), including the person I would share my life with. The pressure of that dream riding on my ability to find that person and discern who was supposed to fill that role left me frantic and terrified to commit. I DO encourage navigating whether two people are a good fit for one another, but I still believe this fear is taking up too much room in our process.
The RIGHT person for you is the person you are willing to CHOOSE to be with. Of course, there are better fits than others, but this is a huge chunk in the equation that people miss. It’s not the person who just checks all the boxes of your dream spouse or sweeps you off your feet with romantic dates. It’s the person you decide to love well and who loves you back in a way you admire. Having to put in WORK and EFFORT does not mean it’s the WRONG person. Instead of worrying if they are “right” or “wrong” start asking the Lord, “Can you show me if this is a good fit and if it is, give me the grace to work through the areas we each lack? And if not, I will wait and follow You.”
(More on this subject in my blog What It Means to Choose Love Instead of Falling Into It)
Making The Wrong Decision
Another one I. Struggle. With. No one WANTS to make the wrong decision, but it’s also easy to get stuck feeling like if we aren’t 100% sure, we can’t make ANY decision. Been there. Still there sometimes. Here’s what I realized:
- If you choose something, and it works out, GREAT. Well done. Jot down how you went about that choice so you can remember for next time.
- If you choose and find out it’s wrong, GREAT. Why? Because now that you know what’s wrong, you in turn know what’s RIGHT. So turn around and head in the right direction.
- If you get paralyzed because you’re afraid to make a mistake, you discover…nothing. You’d be better off making the wrong choice because at least then you find out what’s right. But you won’t find out ANYthing if you don’t TRY anything. This is the only option that won’t get you anywhere so STOP letting fear tell you to sit here.
Hearing God Wrong
Want to know a secret? (that I’m totally open to tell anyone):
I’ve been a Christian my entire life and truly started recognizing how the Lord speaks to me….last year. YEP.
I constantly asked people how they heard Him, talked about it till I was blue in the face, cried, everything, because I felt like I was MISSING something.
Maybe I was and maybe I wasn’t. But here’s how I found out:
- I prayed. Constantly. Asking God to reveal what He was saying + help me hear Him in the specific way He wanted me to (because He also changes it up to keep us close. Don’t get too comfy, now)
- By BELIEVING I heard Him and ACTING on what I heard. I kept trying. If I thought it was Him, I went for it. By trying, I started to notice when I got it wrong – so I’d back up and ask Him again. THEN, through RELATIONSHIP I started to recognize when it WAS Him.
Here’s the catch: I couldn’t have found that out without continuing to search and staying in relationship. He doesn’t want to just give you answers and you move like a puppet. He wants to do LIFE with you. The back and forth dialogue. Learning His heart and what He’s speaking. Not being AFRAID of getting it wrong.
He would rather you stay close to Him, seeking and learning, and get it WRONG than you just wait around for Him to yell at you. The point of hearing Him isn’t actually to “get it right.” It’s to be close. So even if you get it “wrong”, He sees your heart and is ready to course-correct and continue leading you.
I know: it all feels more easily said than done. I’m right there with you. I have had to intentionally choose faith over fear, even when everything in me wants to pick panic and worry. Don’t be fooled into thinking that’s “easier”.
Understanding that fear will not lead me to peace or freedom keeps me coming back to the Lord, asking Him to remind me of His comfort and sovereignty. I know that even if I slip into fear, He will pull me back onto the path of love and trust.