Letting Fear Keep You Safe

Fear.  We all experience it.  A few nights ago my husband and I were out on our deck chatting.  It was late, almost bedtime.  We were looking at the stars and chatting about our day.  The lights were on in the kitchen and I could clearly see one of my eldest daughters doing something at the sink.  Suddenly, I ran up to the glass door and slammed my hands and face against it.  As expected, my daughter jumped out of her skin.  Then she did something I didn’t expect.  She slinked down behind the countertop and disappeared.  After I stopped laughing, I go in to find her. She was nowhere to be found.  Somehow, without being seen, she managed to run up the steps to her bedroom and retreat to her own safe haven.

Recently, I have come to realize how fearful I am.  I am scared stiff, paralyzed with it.  I hate it, and yet, I allow it to be my best friend.  I allow it to stay close to me because it keeps me safe.  There are worries about life, money and what will happen tomorrow.  That is not where my fear resides.  I think God will take care of me in those areas.  My fear is in personal rejection.  I am so scared that if someone discovers who I really am, they will turn away and reject me.  In order to keep me safe, I don’t allow anyone close.  If you are close to me, then you have won a hard battle.  I am scared to offer myself to help with anything, for fear that I will not be wanted.

Last weekend a member of our church admitted she was an alcoholic.  Having shared a similar path, every instinct in me wanted to go embrace her and whisper words of encouragement to her.  But fear kept me safe.  I stood with my feet firmly rooted, because what if my words weren’t welcomed?  How could I be the one over hundreds of other people to be encouraging or even helpful.  For about an hour I stayed safe.  Then I finally went to her.  I stumbled over my words and told her not to feel alone.

This weekend there is a women’s retreat at our church.  I had not planned on going.  Why?  Because I am afraid of being rejected and alone among a large group of women. So I wanted to stay safe, inside my own home, not giving anyone the option to reject or accept me.  With my husbands encouragement, I nervously have decided to attend.

I don’t want to give people to opportunity to reject me, so I let fear keep my back.  I let fear keep me safe.

I know that everyone struggles with feeling accepted.  If I want to truly minister, I cannot do it from the safety of my own bedroom (except for this blog).  I have to truly reach out, take the risk and ask, “How are you today?”  I have to (gasp) let people get emotionally close to me.

I want to know what it would look like if I was not afraid.  What kind of Kingdom work would I be able to accomplish?  I know that fear is a snowball in itself.  When I was a vocal student at Trevecca, I hated recitals where I had to solo.  I hated them because I did awful at them.  I did awful at them because I was afraid.  It is not that I can’t sing, it is that I was scared of being judged on how I sing.  Because I felt judged, my voice would wobble and get off-key and I would sound horrible.  But it was because I was afraid that fear led to the very thing I was afraid of.  So I have to ask myself, am I producing the very results I am afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

What holds you back?

Dream about what it would be like to be fearless.



About Holly D Russell

mom of four wonderful girls mom of faith

Posted on April 16, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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