One day, I woke up expecting the day to go like any other. Instead, I was hit over the head with the confirmation that my worst fear had happened. I’d spent a good part of my life in fear of this thing, and here it was staring me right in the face. It got me.
When I first discovered that it had finally happened, I cried out to God. I was bewildered and angry. “God, I spent years praying that something like this would never happen to me, how could you let it happen?!” I felt so betrayed. Yet through that pain, I still felt his presence. He wasn’t surprised by this, He knew it would happen, so now I had to rely on Him to give an answer. I leaned in, and He certainly had a good one!
Oddly enough, I began to feel a sense of relief. I had poured so much energy into this fear, that I didn’t realize how it had completely consumed me. For nearly a decade, I walked out scenarios in my mind, paranoid to an extent, convincing myself if it ever were to happen to me, my life would be over. But here I was, alive. Maybe not “and well” yet, but alive, nonetheless. I scraped myself up off the floor, and dug into the vision God had given me of a bright future.
By allowing my worst fear to happen to me, God released me from the prison that fear had kept me in. He opened my eyes to how I had let it control me, how I had let it get in the way of trusting Him. With fear in the driver’s seat, it had become the motivating factor in all I did. I couldn’t have the relationship with Him that I was meant to have. I couldn’t love others well when my identity was so wrapped in my own insecurities. Fear became the lens through which I saw others, and everything else that happened in my life. I would do anything to avoid the pain I knew was sure to come, so I locked my heart up in a safe and refused to let anyone in.
Now, I felt free for the first time in my life, with the revelation that if the worst could happen, and God could see me through, what on earth did I ever have to live in fear of again? By allowing that pain in my life, God wasn’t out to get me; He wasn’t hurting me, He was inoculating me! He showed me so much through this one thing, that now I am very thankful that He allowed me to go through it.
The thing about freedom though, is that you have to continue to fight for it everyday once you have received it. See we have an enemy who is out to “steal, kill and destroy,” and he will do anything in his power to keep you bound up.
This morning I awoke from a terrible nightmare, and as I usually do after such an event, I began to pray. God showed me that it was simply a remake of that past event in my life, and how it came to fruition. The characters, the circumstances, my feelings of helplessness, were all the same, only the faces, location, and the names had changed.
Through prayer, God made it clear to me that Satan’s mission is to take that most “pain-full” event in my life and make me a slave again to something I’ve already been set free from. So he tries to replay it over and over again in my mind, presenting it as a new scenario, a new risk to be afraid of, to keep me focused on the pain, rather than the blessing that resulted. He wants to stick that thorn in my side and make it raw; he wants to keep me in a place of insecurity, hiding away for fear it could happen again, refusing to trust anyone. Ultimately Satan’s mission is to render me useless for God’s kingdom.
What Satan doesn’t understand is that “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God!” In fact, because I am loved by God, I am secure. 1 John 4:18 tells us, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” So I move forward in God’s love, rather than in fear; I refuse to be held captive to my past. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
I refuse to dwell on the past, focusing on the fear. I refuse to be a slave. That insecure girl I once was, whose worth relied on the loyalties of imperfect man, is gone. In her place is a woman with great confidence, who can’t be held back by fear of man, a woman whose worth and place is secure. Satan may have caused me to be bound before, but he can never steal my position or spiritual inheritance. Nor yours. That is the security you and I stand on in Christ, and in that, there is no room for fear!
I promise if you are walking through something painful, and you give it to God and trust Him through it, one day you will be thankful too. Someone told me this while I was still reeling and it was hard to believe them, but it is so true! Just wait, He is going to use this, and you will be amazed! “Not a thing is wasted,” so stand firm and be free!