#fearlessfriday week 3!
I have so many things in common with today's writer. We went to school together (elementary-college), married our high school sweethearts, and embarked on this writing thing together at the 2016 She Speaks Conference in North Carolina. I am so excited to have Emily on the blog today! Her message is so real and so applicable.
If someone asked me, “What is your biggest fear?” I would have to say that I have many fears. I shriek if I see a snake, I cover my eyes during scary movies (side note: I even consider action films scary movies), and even though this is an unpopular fear, big dogs make me super nervous.
Everyone has at least one fear that will leave them shaking in their boots if they had to encounter it face to face. A couple years ago, my husband figured out just how fearful I am. I was pulling into his parents’ driveway one night after dark. His parents have a huge bush on the side of their home, and the thought had entered my mind one visit, that someone could hide behind there and no one would see them from the front of the house. Well, on that night my hypothesis was proven true because as I stepped out of the car, Kyle jumped out from behind the bush and yelled, “Emily,” in a deep voice, and started running towards me. I’ve always heard of the “Fight or Flight” response, but apparently my instinct is the third option: fall. I screamed and crumpled to the ground in fear. Kyle was now standing over me laughing saying, “You handled that well.”
Clearly, some of us handle our fear better than others. However, while these kinds of fears can bring us to our knees in terror, there are some things that are even scarier, we just can’t see them.
We don’t really love to talk about it much, but let’s face it, the devil is good at his job. He makes sin look really tempting and he can disguise himself, so we do not realize he is trying to lead us astray. The devil is also an expert at going deep into our hearts and creating fear within us.
I have personally struggled with body shaming issues for years. When I feel like my life is spinning out of control, instead of reaching out and clinging to Jesus like I know I should, I fall into temptation and try to take control the only way I feel like I can: my body. I become obsessive over what goes in, how many calories are being burned off, and how my clothes look on me. I can stand in front of a mirror, see that I am healthy, and think to myself that it does not matter what I look like but that I am beautiful in God’s eyes. Even after knowing these things to be true, the voice I hear still says, “No, you’re not.”
That voice is a liar. For anyone else that struggles with feeling you are not enough, you are not beautiful, you are not loved, you are not worthy, or you are not forgiven – that is a lie inside your heart. You are enough, you are beautiful, you are loved, you are worthy, and you are forgiven. You are a child of God! We do not need to fear those voices in our head because we know we have a God who loves us more than we could ever imagine. We just need to invite him in to take those lies from us.
The devil knows how to turn up the volume on the lies inside of us. He knows what makes us tick, worry, and feel isolated. These fears are deep in us. When serving at church camp every summer, I always have a fear that a snake will be in my cabin, slither up into my bunk, and I will wake up cuddling a snake. While this fear is far-fetched, (however, I wouldn’t put it past the snakes at Crowder State Park), my solution is to turn off the lights and go to sleep. My hope is that if I can’t see the snake, it just won’t be there. While this type of logic works on some of our fears, when it comes to the fears about ourselves that are deep within us, we cannot simply turn off the lights and hope they go away. The only way to face them is to bring them into the light, hand them over to God, and say, “I am not going to believe these lies because I know that you are stronger.”
Sometimes I still find myself slipping back into those lies, I worry what others think, I am scared I am failing, and I fear I am not enough. Instead of believing those thoughts and going to that dark place, let it be a reminder to turn back on the lights and welcome Jesus in to help navigate the storms. Let’s face it, nothing is as scary during the day as it is at night. Jesus is our shining light that can turn those fears into nothing more than lies that can be washed away and stop weighing us down.
The most frequent command in the whole Bible is, “Do not be afraid.” God knew that the enemy uses fear to diminish our hope and limit our pursuit of living for Jesus. Fear is mentioned over 500 times in the Bible, meaning that fear isn’t a new thing, and we aren't the only ones who have had to deal with this struggle. Nearly every person you study in the Bible, Moses, Abraham, Esther, Gideon, Peter, and countless others all had fears that were getting in the way of them accomplishing their mission for God. It wasn’t until they turned to God to take their fears that they were able to do great things for the Lord. It’s a common theme that God’s people have suffered from this fear, but you know what? God has gotten every single one of them through it, and he can do the same for all of us if we are willing to open up to Him, turn on the lights, and say, “This fear is only a lie.”
Emily Scott just recently moved to Independence, Missouri with her husband Kyle who is a Software Engineer. Emily has her own retreat and conference speaking business, Emily Scott Christian Speaker. Her favorite place to be is at church camp with all her favorite middle school campers. She is also enrolled in Philips Theological Seminary in pursuit of a Master of Divinity. In her free time, Emily loves to crochet, run, and get ice cream too frequently with Kyle.