So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.Isaiah 41:10
The Futility of Fearing Fear
I am facing a couple of my biggest fears next week. First, I will be having one of the most difficult, uncomfortable conversations that I’ve ever had in my life. Second, a day later, I will be getting up in front of a large group of people and speaking into a microphone and putting myself out there to describe the course I want to teach later in the month. Fear rises up.
When I read verses like Isaiah 41:10, I realize that my fears are nothing like the fear spoken of in the verse. But they feel real, nonetheless. My body reacts as though my life were in danger. Sweaty palms, heart pounding, wanting to run, fear.
I realized that being afraid now, before those events happen, is futile. I’m actually fearing the fear that will come on those particular days. There is absolutely no benefit to fearing those events in the days leading up to it. And what if it was OK to feel it on those days? What is the worst thing about just feeling it? And moving forward anyway. That’s courage. I can acknowledge that I will be afraid. And I can decide that today, I won’t be afraid.
It all starts with recognizing what my brain is doing. Then I can decide to think differently.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.Philippians 4:8