It was graduation week and a cold winter in Washington DC. Traveling from Washington DC to Maryland, I asked the man sitting next to me what he thinks life holds next for me. I just graduated and as many I had my own fears about how the next stage of my life will turn out. Sensing my fear, he was quite for a while and I thought he did not hear me. He pulled over a cemetery by the roadside and asked me to get out of the car. I followed him as he walked closer to the cemetery .
“Many lying here will wish to have the opportunity you have again given the chance. It’s only a few who were courageous enough to live their lives. Many did not because of fear. Can you imagine the number of talents buried right here?” – he finally said. I will never forget that day because the cold itself shook the fear out of me after standing outside for that long 😄. It was one of those lessons you never forget.
I was told not to fear and step out boldly in the world as many students are told when they graduate, but was never told how to do it. I once knew someone who will not step outside his house because his fear has now matured to anxiety disorder. Fear is real. We need to learn how to deal with it in order to help our younger generation as well. One of my favorite questions to many people given the chance is how do you handle your fears. You are able to tell how far a man will go by the way they handle their fears. But what do you do when the fear is there
Talk about it
A couple of years ago, a neighbor lost their spouse and they had little children. I had lost my mother two years before that and I could just imagine what the kids were going through. On the other hand, it dawned on me that their mother could be going through much worse; the loss of a spouse and probably the bread winner of the house. Suddenly, the fear started creeping in on me. I was afraid that I will lose my spouse as well. It will show up in my dreams and torment me every time he travelled. I gathered the courage and told another believer about this fear. She helped me trace the fear back from when it started and asked me to talk to God about it. Whenever those thoughts came, I will take the time to acknowledge and speak the word of God concerning that fear. Isaiah 46:4 was one of my favorites. Talk about your fears with someone you trust. I believe the fear is no longer a fear when you talk about it. You have just allowed light to shine on it.
Pray about it
Talk to God about it. It is unfortunate, but most believers forget God when it comes to fears. The fear is only there because you forgot about God’s power in the first place. We develop our fears in areas where we have diminished God. When we take our eyes off God and focus on the problems, the problems become bigger and impossible. Fears of getting the same sicknesses of a relative, fear of losing a loved one….Have you asked yourself where God is, in all these. If only we will take our fears to God, we will see the fear dwindle.Ulcers like many autoimmune diseases have been associated with stress and fear. Fearing about the disease is bringing another kind. What I feared have come upon me – Job said in Job 3:25. Be careful what you’re afraid of that you’re not bringing to God. Talk to God about it and the fear will lose its power over you.
Discover its origin with the Holy Spirit
Studies show that we are born with only two fears – falling and loud noise. We learn all other fears. Many children are afraid of a dark room because they believe a monster could hide under the bed. But if you are able to convince a kid, there is no monster even with the dark, they gradually get out of that fear. Where do kids learn this from? Kids learn this fear from the movies they watch or from an older sibling who told them about a monster and a dark room. Similarly, it will surprise you what good it will do for you to know where the fear is coming from. Go on this journey with Holy Spirit and you will be surprised what you will discover. Some fears are from certain events and situations that have marked our minds and emotions for years but with the help of the Holy Spirit we can receive our peace.
Faith in the love of God
Fear is a spirit and cannot be wished away – 2 Timothy 1:7 . To defeat fear, you need faith. ” Feed your faith and watch your fear starve to death” – John Mason (You’re Born an original, Don’t die a Copy). Many sit in the hallways of their minds with canvases painting pictures of doom over and over again. They then embellish the dark canvas with yet darker sparkles. They repeat this over and over in their minds. But perfect love cast out fear – 1 John 4:18. Knowing and believing that God loves you will cast out the fear. Our circumstances does not determine the presence of God – Neil Acheampong. It is human nature to default to our fears. We need a constant reminder that we are perfectly loved by God from the word of God to counter that.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love – 1 John 4:18 (NIV)
Helping the next generation of believers
Fear is debilitating. It cripples you and keeps you immovable.If we will be honest, we all have fears. Social media has not made it even easier on our youth.I have also noticed that we have different fears at different stages of our lives. A dark room was my greatest fear when I was a kid but not so much any more. My fears I will say have matured to adult fears, fearing the things in life itself. Our children and youth have their fears too. We have to encourage them to talk about their fears. That will start with us acknowledging that we are not super humans and we have fears too. Many issues in our youth are caused by fears. They have forgotten how much they are loved by God. It is not enough to just know of God’s love for you but to believe. If only we will be constant reminders to them of the love of God for them, the Bible says it will cast out the fears. It will liberate them to live fully with talents and abilities God has given them.