The words fear not are mentioned in the Bible many times, so they must be important right? I’ve heard them mentioned may times in my life. I’ve read scriptures that instruct us to fear the Lord and to not have fear because the Lord is with us in every situation. I’ve heard sermons on fear where we are told that we shouldn’t fear the unknown but trust in the Lord for His provision, guidance, grace, and mercy. I’ve heard and read all of these instructions on fear many times. I believe in God and have Jesus in my heart and the Holy Spirit to guide me. So, what has been my problem? What did I fear?
I think I can sum it up in one word. Me. Yes me. Because, you see, growing up I was taught to follow the rules, behave a certain way, dress a certain way, do what was required of me, and be as “perfect” as I could. But most of all make sure to not do anything out of the expected norm to draw attention to myself or to the family (mainly my mom).
As I have been going through my spiritual journey to find the real me, who God had created me to be, I’ve realized I didn’t know who “me” was. All the rules that I followed growing up created a “me” that was appropriate for who Mom wanted me to be. I followed the rules, acted and dressed like I was supposed to, got good grades, went to college and got the right degree, and started the right job. All the while never learning and discovering who I really was. Oh to be sure I expressed an opinion about things at times but I always made sure it lined up with what was expected and appropriate to the situation.
I became really sad initially during this process as I felt cheated out of my childhood, never able to really be a kid and be myself. I’ve done a lot of “what ifs” about my childhood experiences and any fun I had (or lack thereof); what ifs in regards to my choice of career, etc. as well. I can’t go back and change anything so what did I do, I grieved. I grieved for the loss of truly being a kid, for the fun and freedom I should have had as a kid, for the walls that were built around me to make sure I didn’t step outside the expected norm, for the different decisions I may have made regarding what I wanted to be when I grew up. I grieved as any one does for a loss.
I’ve always loved the verse from 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” God has revealed so much to me during this journey and this verse has taken on a whole new meaning for me. I am letting go of the old self that was not the real me and becoming a brand new me, a true new creation in Christ. The person God meant me to be.
So, why did I fear “me”? The old me was the only one I knew. Its scary when you’re letting of go something you’ve had a death grip on for about 45 – 50 years. The old rules/condemning thoughts would come into play and they would resound ever so loudly in my head. Those familiar refrains of “That’s not appropriate”, “I shouldn’t think that way”, “What would mom think”, “don’t make waves”, and other such words. Why, if I even thought of something witty I wanted to say I questioned my motives and whether it was appropriate.
What did I finally do? Basically I had to tell Mom to shut up and get out of my head. Those were her rules and expectations to make me who she wanted me to be. Now, as I’ve said before I am an imperfect human making imperfect progress so do these condemning thoughts from the enemy ever creep back in? Absolutely they do from time to time! As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ”. I must be ever vigilant, as we all must be, to make sure our thoughts line up with scripture and with God. Condemnation does not come from God.
So, have I let go of my fear of “me”? Absolutely! I am loving the new me more and more. I have discovered so much about the new me that I never knew was possible. And by the way, I have a wicked and really quirky sense of humor.
God is bringing scripture alive to me more and more every day and I wanted to share a few of them that I am committing to memory regarding this part of my process.
2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”.
Romans 8:6b “But the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace”
Romans 8:1 “There is now no condemnation for those who in Christ Jesus”.
Romans 8:5b “Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the spirit desires”.