I want to share something about myself that I feel that God wants me to share. This is hard for me as this is something I have never fully shared. I have no idea what will come of it, but God willing it will be for His glory!
*This may need to be a multiple post series*
For the past years, I have been crippled by fear. So much of my life was ruled by fear. In the past few years especially, I rarely did anything that was out of my comfort zone. I can’t describe it, but fear literally dictated my life. I could not sleep, eat, participate in activities, be with friends, and even be near water without being quickly halted by fear. I can’t begin to say just how horrible it is to always live in a box so small that you can barely crawl.
I will start from the beginning…
When I was young, I had a perfect childhood. The best parents and siblings. I had become a Christian at a young age and went to a church that was awesome. I had many amazing things in my life that I thank God for. I also had something in my life that I could have lived without FEAR.
I was raised a Christian and a homeschooler. On the homeschool side, I always felt as though I had to prove myself to others and show that just because I was homeschooled didn’t mean that I was unable to achieve the academic standards of a “normal” person who went to a traditional school. I also felt as if I had to prove that I could be social and that all the stereotypes that homeschoolers get are not always true for everyone. I always had this idea that I needed to do my best and not fail. No matter what. I had to be sure that I did everything right because others were watching me. I needed to be an example of perfection. (Yeah, I know, its crazy the things that can be conjured up in a young child’s mind) I always knew that I could never be perfect, yet I somehow thought that I could come close.
As a side note, I loved being homeschooled and I would never change anything that happened! Homeschooling was the best thing that ever happened to me. I thank God that He had my parents go in that direction of education.
Fast forward a few years…
In my early teens, an event in my family happened that sent us all in a whirl. I tried making sense of it all. I felt as if I was losing grip – or rather what I thought was a grip – on life and the things around me. Through this time, I learned what it was like to almost lose something very precious to me. I also learned to have a servant’s heart. God was merciful and gracious in that time. My whole family was, eventually, able to take a massive sigh of relief.
I never really called my “striving for perfection” fear. Yet, I know that fear of failure was what fueled my “striving for perfection”. I also never really saw it as “striving for perfection”, but I also never saw it as a huge mountain that it would eventually become.
Fast forward a few more years…
I first noticed the fear in me when I was around 14, but it wasn’t until I was at the tender age of 15 that I was struck in the face by the mountain I had created – compliments of fear. It was the summer I would turn 15 when I came face to face with fear. Still 14, a simple accident happened that had me out of my summer swim team for about a week. Another event occurred that I almost died from. Instead of rejoicing that the Lord had saved my life, I could only dwell on the fact that I had come so close to dying. From that summer I can remember always being afraid of eating or drinking something that I could potentially be allergic to, not participating in an event because I could potentially die, or even not watching a movie that had potential death in it. I would get so sick in my stomach that I often had to locate a bucket for fear of throwing up. I would get a dry mouth, awful pounding in my head, my heart would beat really fast, and eventually, I would have to go lie down due to becoming so overwhelmed by fear. To really believe that all these things could happen and therefore not really living the life God has for me may all seem kind of silly and ridiculous. That was my life. I could not control the fear that had slowly taken over my mind. I think part of me was afraid to admit that death scared me. I know it’s going to happen and I know that being afraid of death is pointless. I could not wrap my mind around the fact that my life was falling apart. It had been falling apart for some time. Fear was just building up and I could not get away.
Because fear was holding me captive, I would try and find a way out. I called to God and He would deliver me from myself at that moment. I never wanted to get away from the box I had put myself in because I knew God wanted more from me. It scared me to think that He may want me to do things outside of my comfort zone. Needless to say, when God would rescue me, I would continually go back to fear. He was calling me to higher and greater things, still, I could not trust Him enough – as I always said I did – to follow Him fully.
I started keeping to myself and pulling away from people. I continued putting on a smile and enjoying small victories over the fear that would come every now and again. When I got my first job, I had to conquer fear and crazy enough, by the grace of God, I did.
I will pick up in the next post. Until then, know this: God is with you! Worry and fear are unnecessary if God is your Savior. I had to learn the hard way, but as I am learning to trust, He is showing me that He has everything under control.
Soli Deo Gloria.