When I hear those words, I am instantly comforted and have a strong sense of protection. I breathe a sigh of relief, knowing I have an ally in my struggle against fear.
I have a long history with fear. It has plagued me my entire life. It began when I was very young. I couldn’t find peaceful sleep because of my fear of the dark. I battled fear of abandonment and fear of death after my sister died when I was seven years old. I did not know how to process my feelings and grief and started down a path of self protection. I faced the fear of life long infertility. I later fought fear of rejection and betrayal after a divorce. I then wondered if my future was secure because of my fear of the unknown. One fear turned into another fear, until I had a plethora of fears. Then the fear introduced me to its’ companions: doubt, worry, insecurity and anxiety.
I wanted to be free from all my fears. I made the choice to seek help and healing. It was a slow process, but well worth it. One of the most powerful sources of freedom came when I became a mother. I now walked with my young ones as they faced their fears. I could be a source of love and protection for them to let go and defeat their fear. I had learned to how to fight against this enemy. I was able to teach and model how to be free from fear, one at a time. This is an ongoing process. We have discovered together that love is what dismantles fear. It is loves’ companions: courage, humility and peace that help fight the “fear” battles. Also, it was a lot easier to fight these battles with loved ones, friends, and companions at my side. After all, each and everyone of us is equipped with weapons to fight our battles. I can use my weapons to help others with their personal challenges and I have been blessed with others who used their weapons to help me defeat fear in my life.
I have been reminded recently through several incidences that I have the most powerful protection against fear. In the number one best selling book of all time, God is revealed as the true source of love that casts out all fear. The most commonly used phrase in the Bible is: “ Do not be afraid”. This tells me that God knows our most common battle is fear. He knows we have relational fear, lonely fear, future fear, financial fear, disease fear, multitudes of fear accompanied by doubt and worry, insecurity and anxiety. I have discovered that fear can also be at the root of control and anger. My peace comes from choosing to believe I do not have to “fix” this problem. I can be free knowing He already did and His love for me enables me to walk through life in a manner of joy and risk. I can step out and meet new people. I can allow myself to work in a job that I do not have all the skills necessary-yet! I can be alone and be fulfilled. I can look forward to my future with great anticipation of adventure! And finally, as I write this, I realize my life is no longer plagued with fear. That is truly a gift!
A gift that fills my heart with gratitude.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.