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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What Are You Afraid Of?

Fear. It can influence us without knowing. It can infiltrate its way into the nooks and crannies of our lives, our decision making, our relationships, our faith. Sometimes fear isn't vague, sometimes we know we're avoiding things on purpose because of our fear. Why? Why do we allow this irrational emotion rule any part of our existence.The Bible tells us, "God has not given you a spirit of fear..." (II Timothy 1:7) so one could make the argument that fear is a byproduct of sin...but we have been saved from our sins...

So I ask again, why? Why do we not stand up to our fears? I would venture to guess the answer to this is quite different for each of us. It's hard work to stand up to your fears. It can be draining. It can feel impossible or unrealistic. Sometimes the hardest work is recognizing that fear has control of us and we have to dig deep with a lot of "why" questions to ourselves in order to pinpoint the origin of that fear so we can begin to move past it.

I have been working on this one. I'm a work in progress, I know, and I usually take a few steps forward then a few steps back and so on but I want to share what I think I've learned. I always am hopeful that in doing so it will assist someone, somewhere. Even if only one person is touched or helped than it makes sharing my life and the chaos in my head worth every moment spent typing my thoughts and emotions.

I think my biggest fear (besides my motherly fears of not being able to provide, causing my kids to need therapy later in life, etc, etc) is acceptance. Or rather, not being accepted. I'm a people pleaser, I try to make everyone happy. I know it's an impossible task. Sometimes it causes a bigger mess than it should. I have been working on it though and while I see some regressions at times I am overall seeing an improvement. It took a lot for me to get to the root of that. To admit it to myself. Then to start working on overcoming it. Pray helps. A LOT!

I mention prayer because it is a big part of my life. I don't always think of it as prayer though, I have a conversation with God and since I know He's always with me it's kinda a constant, never-ending one.

I have come to realize that His opinion is the only one that matters. His acceptance is the only one I need. And I already have it, He accepted me, a sinner, and loved me so much His Son paid for my transgressions on a cross a long, long time ago. This of course does not mean I just live my life without considering my choices and their implications. It means that I get myself, my choices, right with God and let the rest of the world worry about themselves.

I have also come to realize that my true friends accept me for who I am and will always support my decisions. Those who love me unconditionally will be happy for me and with me if I am happy. I am blessed to have these people in my life. I am ashamed I have not given them more credit. And by that I mean, I should trust them to have my back no matter what anyone else says or does to react to what is going on in my life.

As people learned of my separation and impending divorce from my husband the support that flowed out was overwhelming. The understanding, the love...I had feared the worst and never saw it. So I'm putting it to the test. I'm kicking fear in the teeth tonight. I have been letting the fear of, "what will people think?" and "what will people say?" keep me from talking openly about something positive in my life...

I have met someone. An amazing man that I can only describe as being a blessing sent from God. He is a kind, thoughtful, gentle, caring, generous and God-fearing man who has lit up my world. I could go on and on but I think what my friends would say is important is that I am happy. To say I am being treated well would be an understatement, he makes me feel like a princess. For the first time in my adult life, I feel cherished. It's an odd and wonderful feeling. I, in turn, am cherishing this feeling and this man. One day at a time. God is great. Life is good. People will call me crazy. I like crazy, it's a good place to reside.

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