Facing Fear Series…
Guest post by Deb Wolf @ Counting My Blessings
I grew up afraid.
When I think back on my childhood I have more than my share of happy memories, but behind the happiness was a constant stream of fear-filled emotions.
Fear of rejection. Fear of abandonment. Fear of disapproval. Fear of heights. Fear of the dark. Bugs. Failure. Illness. etc.
Yes, the list was long.
But the worst ones, the ones that kept me awake and alone in the dark were rejection and abandonment. And those fears created a nurturing, protective, exhausted people-pleaser. Whew.
Some fears lessen as we get older. Some don’t.
Fear and rejection fell into my “don’t” category.
I have a Sanguine personality; so, I love fun. I’m emotional and talkative. And hopefully, most people see me as happy. Still under the surface I was afraid. Would my family be okay if something happened to me? Would I be okay if something happened to them? Who would take care of my children? Could I survive the loss of a loved one? Who or what would hold me together if I lost this relationship?
Let me tell you. That’s a lot of would, who, what, and how to process. It was exhausting.
Now this is important…
You can be free of fear! Click To Tweet
I’ve always had faith in God and believed in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Always. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know about Jesus. I grew up in church, went to parochial schools, and married a pastor. I knew verses like:
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous. Joshua 10:25
But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” He said. “Take courage. I am here!” Matthew 14:27
But. . . I was afraid of loss and rejection. The need to keep everyone happy and keep them loving me prevailed.
Maybe you know this struggle. People-pleasing and fear can suck the life and joy right out of you. At least on the inside. But life went on until…
It happened. My fear became reality.
Two people at the top of my list of important to me, rejected me. They walked away and as far as I can tell they’ve never looked back.
I crumbled. Big and hard. All the “now what” and “how am I supposed to” questions became part of my everyday. No longer “what ifs.” It was life.
That was ten years ago, and at first, I wasn’t sure how I’d go on. Then, I wondered if I’d ever be happy again. But the truth . . . I am.
I’m happy. Life is good.
Living through my worst fear turned out to be a blessing. Because…
God took the broken pieces of my shattered heart and pieced them back together. He proved Himself greater than my circumstances. He showed me that His grace really is sufficient. His promises are true and trustworthy.
Oh, it didn’t happen quickly. . . but it happened. Of course pieced together brokenness results in a few exposed scars.
Scars that have become a constant reminder of God’s healing power.
I’m not afraid of much anymore. Sure, when I found a lump in my breast a couple of weeks ago I was nervous until all the tests came back okay. But even if they hadn’t, I believe God is able to give me strength and courage for whatever He allows. I’ll take a deep breath and let out a huge prayer. Then I’ll move forward in faith under grace. Confident that He who is in me is greater than my fear. Greater than anything this world can or will throw at me.
He who is in me is greater than my fear! Greater than anything this world will throw at me! Click To Tweet
He is able.
For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?” Hebrews 13:5–6
And one more word of encouragement for your fearful heart – How to Never be Afraid Again – I Promise.
Hi! I’m Deb, a Sanguine CLASS trained speaker, and writer. I serve in ministry with my husband and best friend, Blake, in St. Louis, Missouri. am a wife, mom, gram, daughter, friend, teacher, and blogger; I am a fan of babies, puppies, coffee, and chocolate in that order; and I good conversations . . . especially those including laughter.
I started blogging in 2007 as a member of the HomeGoods designHappy team and launched Counting My Blessings that same year. CMB is that place where we talk about the intersection of faith and life. Last year, I launched Faith ’n Friends. A contributor blog where we focus on Jesus, the One who is able to unite hearts in a broken world.
Several years ago I participated in Woman’s Day – WD Happiness Blog where we talked about ways small changes make a big impact on our happiness based on Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. This year, I’m working on The Faith Project – a journey to see how intentional small changes can make a big impact on my relationship with God.
My first book, Sarah’s Garden, was published in 2008 and encourages girls of all ages to flourish in their God-given personalities, gifts, and abilities.
This is Abigail, a precious girl we’ve sponsored through World Vision. I was blessed to meet her and give her a copy of my book when I traveled with Bolivia Blogger team in 2011. Truly a life changing blessing. Please visit my World Vision and Compassion International page at CMB.looov
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
Author of: Sarah’s Garden – A modern day parable for girls of all ages.
HomeGoods designHappy – Home decorating tips for the budget-minded.
You can read the previous posts in the fear series here!
The Unexpected Cure for Fear: Fight Fire With Fire!
How to Face Your Fear, One Step at a Time
When the Fear of Separation Feels Overwhelming
Overcome the Fear of Death
How Can You Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking
Would you do me a favor and like my Facebook Page? I would love to be able to reach more people with the Good News of Christ!
I’m loving your series on facing fear and look forward to it through February! Thank you for sharing something that is so neccesary in our Christian Faith.
I’m so glad you are following Lil! Thank you so much for stopping by. God bless you!
This is such an important topic, thank you Valerie and Deb. Deb, I appreciate your testimony, and the scripture you’re sharing. Fear is something I face sometimes, and it’s always good to remember God is with us.
Betsy, I think it’s something we all face at times. I like Max Lucado’s quote . . . to make it a temporary visitor not a permanent resident. By God’s grace, I’m getting there. Blessings and hugs!
The Lord uses fear to help me long for Him even more and to face some faulty thinking. Fear is a call to turn to Him…Glad you are pointing us to that here…
Amy, that is the best outcome for fear . . . to send us straight to Jesus. He really is greater than any fear when we surrender it to Him. Thanks so much for stopping to join the conversation. Blessings!
Oh how this post resonates with me, Deb. Thank you for sharing your heart so vulnerably. (( xoxo ))
Thank you, Brenda. I’m thankful God used it to speak to your heart. Many blessings to you!
I can relate to your story. When everything else but God was taken me, I found out I had everything after all. Thanks, Deb! Blessings to you!
Mari-Anna, I’m sorry you too had to learn this through hard experiences. I’m sure you would add though, that you’re thankful God allowed you to learn it at all. I know that’s where I am. The times were tough but I am so thankful for the grace I found through Jesus.
Deb, I’m so sorry you’ve had to live through such pain in your life. Your testimony shows how God can help us through the most painful, heartbreaking times in our lives. I’m so blessed by your participation in this series. Thank you so much!
Valerie, Thank you for running this series. I would love to see more of us living fear free without having to live through it. When our daughter and my best friend walked away I truly believed my world was falling apart. I’m still in awe of the gentle ways God showed me He IS greater than my fear. I’m so blessed to add my voice to the others in this series. Thank you for letting me share my story here. God’s blessings to you my friend!
Good Morning Deb, Sanguine is my word for the year. I wrote about it and you are the only other one I’ve seen in blog world that understands it. How funny to see it again here. I understand about the fear you write about here. I think we all have a touch of that fear within us. Maybe with age, the fear lessens a bit, until something triggers it to the surface again and it brings it all back. Giving it the Lord has been my lifeline many times. Enjoy your weekend and this was such a blessing to read.
I’ve wondered lately if Sanguines struggle just a bit more with fear because we wear our emotions BIG! And yes, you’re right . . . I’ve learned to give my fear over to Him quickly now. He is the One with peace beyond understanding. I like Max Lucado’s quote, Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident. Blessings my friend!