It’s time to trade fear for faith!
Do you want to move forward to face your fears but just can’t seem to get past immobilizing thoughts?
Sometimes, moving forward in life means taking the hard way. Choosing the scarier path.
Oddly enough, the way that was hardest for me in facing my fear of driving on freeways was actually the fastest and easiest way, according to Google Maps and its top 3 suggested routes to my destination.
When I tried to drag the cursor to a route using roads I felt most familiar with, Google maps wouldn’t automatically select and save it. It didn’t make sense to the computer.
My fear of driving often goes unnoticed and misunderstood, as well.
Driving on freeways is just what people do. They need to get somewhere and they just go.
But for me, it takes careful thought, effort, and preparation to enter a freeway.
Fearful people often feel isolated when they realize the level of panic brewing inside them compared to the confidence with which others seem to walk.
For everyone else, the road seems straight and clear. It’s the most logical path.
It’s the fastest and easiest path.
But for those of us who deal with gripping fear, the easy path is sometimes the hardest one to try.
We would prefer to take the long route that feels safest.
The route of avoidance.
Those who struggle with fear often work hard to avoid any encounters with the panic it creates.
As I look back on my driving history, I can see how I’ve intentionally avoided driving on freeways in order to protect myself. It seems like a logical choice in the moment when you’re afraid. Hmmm. Risk my life and possibly die or just not go to that event?
Google Maps would lead me to my destination via the fastest path but through a route filled with unfamiliar, exchanging freeways.
In order to alleviate my anxiety, I was willing to take the long route that added an hour onto my time.
I wonder how often in life we take the long route because we have convinced ourselves it’s easier?
The long route can take on many forms: the unwillingness to forgive, to love, to work on restoring our marriage, to face fear, to take risks, to deal with our sin issues, to allow God’s grace to define who we are….
The long route of avoidance will never lead to healing! Click To Tweet
The hard work invested in making actionable change takes unrelenting dedication and perseverance.
The truth is, even taking the long route brought on sudden panic every time I thought about it.
Facing the unknown and the uncomfortable is never appealing.
Sometimes we have to step out of the places that are comfortable in order to step into God's will. Click To Tweet
In order to rewire my brain, I needed to take a new path. I needed to exit the freeway of fear and enter the freeway of faith.
When we allow fear to dictate our decision-making, we lose our power to overcome.
We give in to it. We adjust our life around it. We lose our ability to learn and grow through practice and hard work.
I knew if I wanted to alleviate my fear of getting lost, I had to allow myself to step into the unknown in order to know I’d be ok.
I had to be willing to get lost.
I had to discover that I’d be ok with just me. Just God and me. No matter where I was.
I had to make an exchange.
It was time to trade my fear for faith.
Not just with my thoughts.
But with action.
What I’ve learned about trading fear for faith and freedom is that it’s not just about wanting, but doing.
Over the last few years, I’ve been trying my best to change my patterns of avoidance. I’ve walked right into fear.
I’ve allowed myself to be afraid so that I could learn not to be afraid.
My hope is that through this series you’ll find support, encouragement and some practical ways to move past fear and into faith.
Anxiety is problematic for many people. You may need medication and/or the help of a medical doctor and professional counselor in order to make progress.
Although I’m not a medical doctor or trained counselor and have not been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, my hope for this series is to share practical ways that have helped me take steps I never thought I’d have the courage to take and to share with you what I’ve learned about faith in the process.
Figuring out how to push myself towards progress isn’t always easy. There are times I have to think about what my limitations are and give myself grace. Then there are times I’ve had to extend the boundaries of my limitations further than I wanted to but knew I needed to.
You may be wondering which route I ended up taking. I ended up taking both. Since I was picking up a friend from the airport and didn’t want to get lost and be late, I took the way that was more familiar to me. But I pushed myself to take the fastest route on my trip home when I didn’t have a time constraint.
Learning to take gradual steps and knowing your limitations is part of the process that leads to freedom.
Knowing when to jump in and just do it has also been necessary for my journey.
If you want to trade your fears for faith, then I hope you’ll join me as we walk the path of freedom together. I hope to encourage you and provide resources that will help you:
1. recognize the fears you have
2. understand how they have impacted your life
3. make a decision to move past fear
4. learn why you can trust God
4. learn to walk through fear by taking gradual steps
5. make a fear ladder to document progress and think about what your next step will be
6. utilize the power of God’s word and spiritual armor to train thoughts and take action
Stay tuned for some new freebies and special giveaways during the series to help encourage faith over fear!
This is good stuff! So true that the only way to overcome our fears is to face them head on. When we do we will be surprised at the strength we find that we never knew we had! Great tips and I love the steps you have given. The first steps truly are to recognize those fears and the impact they have had on us. Once we do that gives us a reason to be bold enough to move forward. (As a side note, I’m so glad to hear that I am not alone in my fears of driving on the interstate! It depends on where I am but I’d love to be able to fearlessly drive ANYWHERE! LOL!) Thanks for sharing!
I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. As I’ve continued to face my fears (more since writing this post) I’ve experienced how trustworthy God is. There are some great handbooks to help people face fear gradually (a process defined as Exposure Therapy). In fact, research has found that facing fear (especially phobias) through exposure therapy is the most effective treatment. The Holy Spirit helps guide us to our next steps. I’m sorry you deal with some fear with driving on the freeway as well. Sounds like you are brave and you don’t let it hold you back. Blessings!
I would like to subscibe
Hi Suzanne, Did you try to subscribe in the areas above?
Thank you for sharing this post over at the Grace & Truth Link Up Party!
You’re welcome Starla! I love the Grace and Truth link up!
I want to learn to be a fear-fighter and trust God at his word!
That’s so great Christina! And the best part is, God wants us to know that we can trust him as he guides us along the way.
Is the list of questions a printable?
Hi Monica, Yes, it’s. a printable.
Hi, Valerie! You did such a good job explaining what “trading fear for faith” meant.
I sure have experienced that “adjust our life around it” syndrome. But sometimes God does the mother eagle thing and boots me out of the nest and tells me to fly. And if I don’t do it perfectly, He swoops along underneath me and catches me so I won’t fall.
I’m so glad I have a God who understands that I am weak and need His strength, and that that’s not only okay with Him, but He also invites me to come before His throne of grace to find mercy and help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
Oh girl, I am so proud of you for taking a step forward and trusting the Lord in this series. I’m looking forward to reading it. So excited to see how the Lord will use this in your life and others! (BTW, you are not alone in this…we all struggle with fear and anxiety to some degree…isn’t that comforting!) Proud of you girl. xoxo
Thank you Nicki! And it’s so good to know that we are not alone!
I love how you’re putting feet to your faith, Valerie. You’re not being passive or complacent but clinging to Jesus and wrestling through your fear. I know that can’t be easy, but bravo!! Thank you for your authenticity and vulnerability in sharing your journey.
Thank you Tiffany. Wrestling is quite an appropriate word to describe fear fighting.
So much being written about fear online with Kelly Balarie’s book launch. I haven’t heard anyone else mention the fear of driving, and I can relate. Great post, and blessings on your series! Your neighbor at #freshmarketfriday.
Thank you Sarah! I really enjoyed the Fear Fighting book too!
I am so excited for this series, Valerie! I used to be crippled by fear, but the Lord brought me through that! Oh, how deep His grace and love is. <3
I just listened to your podcast about finding joy and how much you’ve grown. I’ve grown so much over the past few years and hope to help others who struggle with fear. It’s a journey that is easier with support and friends.
What a great post!
I love the idea of trading faith for fear.
Your printables look good also!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend~
Thank you, Melanie!
I love this! Pushing through fear is so hard! Thank you for being a fear-fighter and for inspired the fear-filled toward victory!
Thank you, Deb! I really hope to help others who are struggling with fear in their lives.