Hi friends! This post is part of a 7-week series on overcoming fear in which a few friends will be dropping by as guest bloggers. Please visit their blogs, linked at the bottom of their posts here, if you’d like to hear more from them. Here’s to getting a little more free from fear together. – Bree
A Million Bees by Jennifer Petecki
Overcome: Deal With — to defeat or succeed in controlling or dealing with something.
Overcome: Unable to Act — to prevent someone from being able to act or think in the usual way.
Overcome: To Defeat (an opponent) — prevail.
I am not much of a writer, so forgive me if I make mistakes. When I started this project, I asked several other women to write a few words about how they overcame fear. I had a strong need to share from many points of view the process with overcoming fear. Not just from the side of the overcomer but of the person attempting to overcome, as well. I don’t want to bog down this article with my own personal story. Like many of you, I have ADLBD. Attention deficit long blog disorder. The 6 other women have beautifully written how they overcame fear and how they are working toward getting free or staying free. I will share the more practical side of how I allowed God to work in me and through me by renewing my mind daily. If you haven’t read the 6 other articles in our fear series, please check them out.
Let’s get a few things out of the way.
You may have trouble breaking free from fear if you are telling yourself this is your personality, your dad was stressed out all the time so you are too, it doesn’t harm much, it’s just the way God designed you, etc. If there is something in your mind right now making you think you can’t even be totally free I want you to stop and ask God for hope to flood your mind. Then allow Him to start working on your heart and mind.
You need you ask yourself: are you willing to put in the work (especially at the beginning) to break free from fear? Do you want to be healed?
A story from John 5. One man there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and realized that he had spent a long time in this condition, He asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am on my way, someone else goes in before me.” Then Jesus told him, “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man was made well, and he picked up his mat and began to walk.
I am 36 and I can’t imagine laying by a pool for that long waiting for someone else to put me in. You have to ask yourself, do YOU want to be made well?
Ok, ready? How do I renew my mind daily?
Identify and ask God if there are any lies that need to be replaced. Can’t think of any right now? Wait until your husband comes home and irritates you. What pops into your head? Some of my lies toward my husband used to be: Why am I the only one that cleans or disciplines, He hasn’t said two words to me today, or Why won’t he help me?
Mine revolved around absolutes and partial truths. My husband does clean and so does my son, my husband does speak to me, but he is more internal and thoughtful, and he does help me. These were twisted lies or partial truths and sometimes more blatant lies.
I would start with reminding myself of God’s Word. If I didn’t know it, I would start reading or do a scripture search. God’s Word says I am not alone. Yet, I felt alone when I was cleaning by myself. I had to convince myself of God’s Word by repeating it over and over. As often as needed until those lies either went away or I was able to immediately say, “No, God’s Word says I am not alone.”
Is it kinda this easy? Yes. But it takes practice and learning God’s word. It takes being willing to break free from fear or other mental hindrances.
The way I described replacing lies, works the same with fear.
My husband was an hour late from work one night and I was going crazy wondering what happened to him. Was it a wreck? Did something bad happen? I could have been imagining that something good was happening like he was bringing home dinner, but I was so focused on it being bad news. I was panicking. This is irrational fear. Fear without any truth. The only truth was he was late and I didn’t know where he was. That’s it. I needed to activate hope. “God, what does your word say?” Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If my husband has a hope and a future, he will be okay.
If we know all things work together for good, our mind begins to be at peace when our son doesn’t check in on time or we can’t get a hold of our elderly parent. Our mind begins to be at rest in God’s truth, until the truth is revealed. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This works for every thought that enters your mind. If your thoughts are critical, mean, condemning, make you feel bad, make you panicky, or make you want to harm yourself or someone else, they are NOT from God. Pay attention as you go into the new year trying to recognize your thoughts, God’s thoughts and the thoughts of the enemy. Make a list of the obvious lies. Maybe fear isn’t what you deal with the most but insecurity is. Start filling up your mind, changing it to see the biblical truth that you are: known, loved and seen by God, you are not alone, you have strength, you are ________. Whatever you need, God will provide it in His word.
Find the lies or negative thoughts. Replace the lie with the truth.
What is the truth? God’s Word. Not your own opinion and not the advice of a friend. Get the real biblical truth. Our friends and mentors can be an amazing help, but we need to seek God’s Word first.
Read it, memorize it, write it, speak it, sing it, and start filling your mind and heart with it.
Start with Psalms if fear is the biggest problem. And start playing praise and worship music in your home. If you deal with fear, praise and worship will transform your home. It’s also hard to get in a fight with your husband if people are singing to God in the background.
“I can’t get a hold of my mom! She always answers the phone.”
“God, when I am afraid I trust you and have faith in you.”
Psalm 56:3 (AMP) “When I am afraid, I will put my trust and faith in You.”
You are praying back scripture. You can think on these things, you can pray them back, speak them out, declare them, because they are powerful. God’s word is living and active. Sharper than any two edge sword. You not only renew your mind but you replace deep lies with truth, you heal your mind and heart of wounds and you start to transform. You will think clearer and feel safer. You begin to have more peace and less negative thoughts.
“God, you have not given me a spirit of fear! I have not been given a spirit of fear!”
I screamed this once as a million bees landed on me at a gas station. Okay, maybe like four bees? But four bees is enough bees. Funny in hindsight. I was scared, I am human. But I knew to call on the truth. I have not been given a spirit of fear. I have been given the Holy Spirit and he renews my thoughts and attitudes.
2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP) “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”
John 14:15-31 (AMP) (Jesus said) “I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you. Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]”
When fear tried to enter my room one night, I said out loud, “no.” It was more of a creepy feeling or shadow than really seeing something, but I knew it didn’t have the right to mess with me. I don’t live in fear anymore. “I am not that person anymore!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” I rolled over and said out loud to God, “I will lie down in peace and sleep for you alone will keep me safe. I will dwell in your safety.” Psalm 4:8 (NLT) In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. I had memorized that one back when I had depression and trouble sleeping.
I do claim to be free from fear, but hear me when I say, fear will try to keep coming back off and on. Stay strong, renew your mind, tell fear “no”, and live the abundant life God has blessed you with. In the process of writing this project God exposed a couple of areas of fear that were deep in my heart, so I prayed and had him deal with them. He wants us to be made well and he cares so much about us. Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” He knows our anxious thoughts even when we don’t.
Father God, hi. Thank You for what You are doing in and through each of us as we learn new skills or are reminded how to break free from mindsets and lies. God you have not given us a spirit of fear but the Holy Spirit. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to bring us perfect peace and strength. Thank You for allowing me to share how I overcame fear with You leading the way. It’s all for Your glory and honor Lord. You came to set the captives free and I don’t want to be a captive anymore. God you are so so good to us and I will remind myself of Your goodness even when my circumstances don’t line up with what the Bible says. Use us to teach others how to break free. Give us passion for those that haven’t heard the good news yet of the freedom You offer. Thank You for life. Thank You for giving us the mind of Christ that prevails and defeats our enemy’s lies! Amen!
Are you an overcomer? How have you overcome fear? Do you use a variety of skills?
My favorites are praise and worship (all day – every day), prayer, and reading and declaring scripture. I use several translations of the bible. Use the one you like but if you are stuck, I suggest trying something new. I like to read a lot of translations so I can gain deeper understanding.