I still struggle with fear. Fear seems to rise its ugly head at times when I should be relying on, trusting in, God. For over 40 years I never shared my fear. I felt it made me less of a solid Christian, somehow. I felt by sharing my fears I would ruin my Christian witness to others. My faulty thinking said, “If I was truly a Christian I would not have fear”. It takes vulnerability before others and certainly before God to bring about change. One thing I have learned; it takes the prayers of others to help one get through those fear attacks. I’ve come to realize that’s exactly what they are… attacks. Attacks rooted in my past; rooted in things I don’t desire to face or experience, and of course, let’s not forget the enemy himself, Satan. In my life fear and doubt are Satan’s best weapons. While I’ve made some strides in my fear filled life, recent events have shown, I still have some work to do. Today’s blog is a rewrite of one I wrote back in July of 2013 titled, “Hexakosioihexekonatahexaphobia”.
We’re born with only 2 fears; the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Now, how those “in the know determine this” is beyond me, but this seems to be the consensus among the experts. In doing research for my book, I discovered over 538, phobias; over 538! Some of the phobias I found seemed a little odd, such as, Porphyrophobia. Porphyrophobia is the fear of the color purple; my favorite color… I simply cannot understand how such a beautiful color like purple brings fear to a person’s soul . 🙂 Tongue-in-cheek humor aside – for those who suffer from Porphyrophobia the fear is very real and no laughing matter. I cannot imagine suffering from Anemophobia; the fear of air. I think one of my favoritephobia’s to say is Hexakosioihexekonatahexaphobia; fear of the number 666. I will not try to translate the correct pronunciation through the medium of the written word. You can discover how to pronounce the word by visiting http://www.forvo.com/word/hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia/ As I look over the list of 538 phobias, it appears one can develop an extreme fear of just about anything.
In researching how phobias develop one can easily find themselves lost in the myriad of psychological lingo such as Freud’s theory which states “phobias are based in anxiety reactions of the id which have been repressed by the ego. The id being the most primal and instinctive part of the mind and is the basis of such primitive emotions as fear and anxiety.” Freud is saying the currently feared object is not the original subject of the fear. In other words, there’s a root cause to our fear. Take for instance the fear of the color purple. The fear is not rooted in the actual color itself, but what the color represents to that person. Our fears are learned. We can unlearn them, or at the very least learn ways to lessen their impact and control over our lives.
I adapted to my fear at an early age. I found ways to deny its existence. I hid my fear by shoving it so far down, way deep, no one knew. After a while, I too, no longer knew I was moving through my world with fear as my compass. I am in the process of discovering how to manage my unhealthy fear; how not to allow unhealthy fear to manipulate, control, or be a deciding factor in what I do and how I respond. I’m not a psychologist. I do not possess any kind of medical degree. I’m simply a woman doing her best to walk with God. Phobias go well beyond my scope of knowledge or understanding. I have first-hand knowledge of fear due to my own life experiences. I know fear can debilitate, control and keep us from enjoying everyday life. Hopefully, coming from a place of vulnerability and sharing my struggles with fear, others will find hope and answers. I suspect like me, some are unaware how much fear has impacted their daily lives, therefore I invite others along in my journey.
Many may not recognize fear in their life due to defining fear in the extreme. Yet we will fret, worry, have concern over, be anxious about, be afraid of, have apprehension for, etc., all of which have a root in fear.
The issue is not fear in itself. The issue is how we respond and react to the fear in our life; to the worry, the concerns, the anxiousness and apprehensions which face us every day. We can allow fear to manipulate, maneuver, and even control our lives or, we can trust God with our fear. God does not want us to be afraid! “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Okay, this one is going to hurt a little… Fear, especially for a Christian, is a lack of trust in God. There, I said it. “Fear is a lack of trust in God”. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Take a moment to let this thought sink in, allow it to take root. If we’re fretting, worrying, stewing… whatever name you prefer to call it, we are not trusting and we are living a life controlled, or at the very least adapted by fear.
I would liken my journey to an oceans undertow. On top the water appears as it should and invites the unaware swimmer. One can step into the inviting ocean never realizing just a little further out into the water, underneath the surface, a strong current awaits, ready to suck you down. Sometimes a person can be in the land between. Off the shore and in the water, but not quite far enough in for the undertow to grab hold; yet you feel the undertow’s energy; always there, always surging, always keeping you slightly off balance. The land between has been home for far too long. I desire freedom from the underlying energy known as fear.
How about you?
Until next time,
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace, (a life without fear). In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 emphasis mine.