Fear. When did I start fearing the unknown? The world around me? Was it when I was a child or when I had children of my own?
Today, if you turn on the news or any social media platform, you will be bombarded with images and ideas that can create fear in our minds and our hearts.
A little under a month ago, I decided to stop using Facebook because it became a source that no longer brought me happiness when I saw my friends and family members as they posted about their lives. Instead it brought me great fear and anxiety. Each day, or each time I checked in, a new post would make my blood pressure rise and my heart skip some beats.
I use my Facebook and other social media platforms to show positivity and inspire and that is what I look for in other posts, but I was discouraged by posts from others that only focused on the negatives. My heart needed a social media break.
So, I decided no more for at least a month. Well, I soon found out that a lot my information about activities my kids are in are on Facebook. To find out information about practices, I had to log in. At first it was fine. I would just go to that page and get the information I needed. But, then my addiction set in again. I would log in to see a post and an hour later I was clicking out again. What did I gain from my check in? More fear and anxiety.
(Now let me explain that I understand that there is a lot going on today that we need to be informed about. Movements that promote positive change are needed, but most of what I was seeing was meant to create fear.)
To make the point about how my mind turns items into crazy illogical fears here are just a few examples. Don’t judge.
1. Second hand drowning. Every summer the media gets me. If my kids cough in the pool or the lake, I am checking on them the rest of the day and into the night.
2. Have you ever seen Poseidon? Don’t! I won’t go on a cruise ship.
3. Shark attacks off the coast. Yep! Not going in that water.
4. Yellowstone super volcano-that will set me over the edge.
5. Don’t get me started on asteroids 600 million miles away.
I know I might sound a little crazy, but some of you have GOT to have these same types of fears. I swear social media knows what is in my mind and then sends me messages about these things.
Fear really overtakes me. Last night I allowed social media to do it again. However, today is different.
Today, I got up, prepared for my run, and went to meet a friend to run.
As soon as I got into the car, I heard Sandi from 99.1 Joy FM start talking about her fear. She quoted Deuteronomy 31:8.
“The Lord Himself goes before you and will walk with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Don’t be afraid; don’t be discouraged.”
Thank you Sandi! I needed that reminder. And I know Who sent it to me through you. Fear does not come from God. Fear comes from the one who wants to take you away from God’s love. I do not want to walk or run in fear.
Last night as fear was rising inside of me, I thought about my grandparents. They lived in simpler times, but still had to deal with a lot of uncertainty and fear. The Great Depression, World War II, the Civil Rights Movement. These times were full of the unknown and progress at the same time. I wonder what my grandparents would think about social media. I would think they all would be thankful for not having social media during these times.
For them, when they feared, they didn’t go to social media for more fear to grow. They went to God in prayer. If you are feeling like I have been, I encourage you to stop. Get off of your technology and pray. It is very simple.
When I pray, my heart slows down and my mind calms. And I grow thankful knowing that the Lord goes before me. He has always been there for me (more to come on that) and will always be there in my tomorrow.
When did I start to fear? I don’t remember a ton of fear from my childhood. I know it was there, but it didn’t take me over.
I am reminded when Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Yes, this means God wants us to be submissive to Him and do His good work, but I also feel it fits in with my thoughts on fear.
I saw a meme the other day that said something like “If you are going to do something new that you fear, do it like a kid in a Batman costume.”
Kids are funny. They can really put on a costume and have no fear.
As we grow older, we see the world. We see the pain and sadness that is created. We don’t think we have that same defense we had when we put on that costume as a kid.
But, we as adult Christians have something we can put on too. It is the Armor of God.
Each night I pray over my children that they too will have the Armor of God, and each morning I look in the mirror and envision myself putting on this armor for the day. With this armor and the fact that God is always with me today and in my tomorrow, I am able to overcome my fear one-day-at-a-time.