“Heart beats fast, colors and promises, how to be brave? How can I love when I’m afraid?”– A thousand Years. Christina Perri
I watched a YouTube video by Blimeycow called “What is the opposite of love?” The answer was fear. That really hit home. It’s difficult for me to talk about. For much of my life I lived in fear, and I felt unloved, I felt alone, I felt no love for others. All because of fear.
I hate fear, but it’s comfortable, and I wonder how I can be brave and love.
God promises me He will make me brave and give me courage. The verse I believe God has given me to live my life by (Christians call it a “Life verse”) is Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I learned this verse sometime in my elementary Sunday School years, and I’ve never forgotten it.
Love hurts. I have found that out. There’s always a person close to you who you don’t see eye to eye with, a lot hurt feelings and misinterpretation of things ensue. I have grown in loving this person, and it has increased the pain. Yet, even pain from love is better than the numbness of fear. I can atestify to that. Still, who wants more pain?
When I turn to God, sometimes I feel better, other times I don’t. But one thing I learn is how I’m really acting and what I want to be like. I’ve cried over failure and ranted in anger but my actions don’t always line up with what I thought I wanted, and sometimes that’s good and other times it’s bad.
Jesus is my answer. His name offends many, but when I hear it, it means something special, that I can’t really describe. Like the names of your family members do.
I am not as brave as I want to be, but looking back to how I was, I’m amazed at the change in me. There are still a few fears that plague me now but many fears are gone. The trouble is often Christianized fear. The one that masquerades as I-just-don’t-want-to-hurt-anybody. Usually not doing something because you’re afraid to hurts people more than doing it, but that never made a fearful person feel better.
I have dreams, ones fear will never let me accomplish. Dreams of changing things, of loving people even when they hate me. Of loving the unlovely, the unwanted, the ugly, the alone. There was a time when I was not afraid to do those things. Fear is not normal. Science now shows our brains are wired for love and not fear, fear is toxic. (I could’ve told them that.) God is love and there is no fear in Him.
When God talks to me about fears (and I’ve not heard a voice from heaven or anything) it comes back to faith and trust. No pixie-dust, but that old Disney rhyme has a grain of truth. I wonder why I’d stay in fear if I had a choice; but like I said earlier it’s comfortable. The fact of the matter is love has no guarantees except that it’ll be there. A fearful person, any person actually, wants guarantees. Security. And God is our only security. He is with us wherever we go. Now for a few revelations. Health is not with us always, the police are not with us, fame, fortune, food, money, (ooh big one) friends, family, churches; none of these are with us wherever we go. They are not guaranteed, though many a time they are provided.
In conclusion, living in fear is just plain stupid. If God is for us. Now if God were against us it’d make perfect sense. So the simple solution is get on God’s side if you aren’t already. It’s my solution anyway. For more on overcoming fear watch for my upcoming article The Quest part 7. Until then, “Fear nothing when you’re in the right!”–Jack, Abbot and Costello’s ‘Jack and the beanstalk’