As far back as I can remember fear was a part of my life.
I grew up watching the scariest movies. The kind where mass murderers were hunted by FBI agents and serial killers got away with killing for years before they got caught. I grew up with an unpredictable father figure. One that I just wasn’t sure how he would be from one day to the next.
One was a source of escape into a world of adrenaline and intensity.
The other was a source of worry and left me on edge.
When I was in 6th grade I kissed a boy with braces and they cut my lip. As a pre-adolescent girl, I just thought that was gross. So I broke up with this boy and he spread a rumor around my school. That unpredictable father figure was called into the principal’s office and told him what this rumor was. I could see it on his face. I was in so much trouble. He took me home and he asked me if I had done what that principal said. I told him no. He didn’t believe me. It didn’t go well for me after that. That was the first time I encountered being accused of lying when I was telling the truth. It didn’t matter how many times I said no, he just got angrier.
In my teenage years, I woke up one night with a knife to my neck and a man in my bed. He told me to get up. He fully intended on walking me out of my house. But I screamed my head off and he ran. When the police came I told them what happened. I stayed calm because I didn’t want them to miss the details they needed to catch him. (Remember I watched all those scary shows) But the policeman just looked at my mom and said: “You have quite the little actress.” She told him to get out of our house. I was again in possession of truth and accused of lying.
These two situations left me with a great fear that if I told the truth people would not believe me. Slowly I began to hide what I thought and how I felt out of fear of what others would think about me and what I had to say. So here’s the thing. I know now I was set up by the enemy to take my voice out before I ever became a Christian. Every time he would pull out this calling card. I would bow. I did it to myself. I stopped speaking the truth as the enemy roared. I went silent. I turned the facts a bit. I became hyper-aware of people likes and dislikes and would maneuver to stay in the safety zone with them. This did not work! I’ve fought this demon for most my life. This fear stole friendships, ruined relationships and tore holes in my soul as a sought to just be ok with every person around me. I compromised my own heart and dragged many a person into the drama it created. I struggled to be myself everywhere I went. In God’s loving kindness He worked on my heart. He had to get through my thick head that if I couldn’t be true to who I was then how could I ever become more like him. See, we are uniquely made by God and have to learn to love what God created. He doesn’t make junk. We are not doomed to live our lives just as we are. He wants to transform us. This acceptance, it allows us to just BE who we are and as we place our selves into His hands and let Him do the work in us, in our hearts and souls. We learn and grow. We begin to find freedom.
God is speaking all the time. Speaking into our situations and helping us at every turn. So how did God get my attention? I hear someone say these words ” schizophrenia is just as bad as being double minded.” I instantly thought of this scripture.
James 1:8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
It hit me like a frying pan in the face. I was dealing with being double minded. I was being pulled two ways coupled with fear left me full of doubt, unstable and unsure of everything. Fear eats at you from the inside out. Fear will grip you and will hold you captive if you don’t just get up and leap for your goals and dreams. Truth makes a way for itself! This is one of my mantras when I feel this fear creeping in. Then I leap and let truth loose. Fear only holds me if I let it. I choose everytime that I am in a situation where I am afraid to confront misunderstanding or misinformation to speak up and say what I am thinking. I will say “I need to ask a question. I am not sure I am understanding what has happened or if I know what is happening.” Or some form of that and then I let my heart out of its chest cage and trust God with the outcome. Its the only way I know how to get over the fear of what someone will think of me. Just start talking. Fear cant live in the light! So drag it kicking and screaming right out into the sun.
HOW TO OVERCOME FEAR OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK:
- Become aware that you are afraid of what someone is going to think
- Search your heart for what exactly you are afraid of?
- Love them and Love you – go talk about it.
- Drag that fear into the light! And walk away free.
Ps. little truth I have found – in 98% of these situations I am not really afraid of what they think, I am afraid of what I think they will think.
FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real
The battlefield is in the mind!
Thanks for listening,