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…
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!
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!