My father died at the age of 37. I was two (the same age my daughter is today). Until this point, I have lived my life afraid of dying prematurely/unfulfilled. When I was younger I was in a hurry, chasing earthly possessions, college degrees and jobs that I thought would fulfill me. I was determined to live a full life by the time I turned 37. I let fear and anxiety determine my thoughts, words and actions. As an older-ish man (I’m 33) I’ve grown to understand that the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time, disappointments, triumphs, lost, gains and chance happen to us all.
When you live in fear what you’re really doing is living in doubt of God. Fear is a tool the enemy uses to steal your peace, kill your dreams and destroy your potential. For me, overcoming fear has meant letting go, trusting God and embracing myself. If you give your fears to God He will make you whole, He will set you free and if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!
Letting Go: It would be irresponsible for me or anyone else to tell you how to grieve because we didn’t lose what you lost. What I can say is holding onto painful past experiences hinders your future. Fear requires us to stay in painful places. To let the heart attack that killed my father rob me from enjoying the life God has given me today would be tragic. I’m not saying forget, I think of my father daily but to overcome fear we must let go of past hurts and the burden of trying to understand why and instead let God’s will manifest itself in our lives.
Trusting God: What if your situation doesn’t improve? What if you don’t get the job? What if you’re not healed? What if the relationship fails? Are you willing to trust God even if what you prayed and asked God for doesn’t happen? Overcoming fear means understanding that God orders our steps, but it is up to us to take the first step of faith. Yes, sometimes God takes us through things we may not fully understand but remember God ways are not our ways and what He has for us is immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.
Embrace Yourself: There has never been anyone like you and there will never be another you. Therefore, embrace yourself and all that God has made you. It took me a while to comprehend this especially with social media encouraging us to be like everyone else, but your physique, weird quirks and smile are uniquely you! Fear teaches us to care more about what people think about us rather than what God says about us. God says you were fearfully and wonderfully made in His image, you are more than a conqueror and you are highly favored. Do not worry about what anyone else may say or think about you and instead live with a heart that seeks praise from God, not man.
Do not fear, do not worry and do not doubt for God is with you and if God is with you He’s more than the world against you. So, live your life in expectancy of his goodness and grace and watch Him show up in your life in astounding ways.