Fear: how two simple questions change everything | The Speckled Goat: Fear: how two simple questions change everything

8.29.2016

Fear: how two simple questions change everything

identity in christ how to overcome fear christian jesus devotion about who we are in christ


My hands shook as I walked to the front of the chapel.

My throat is closing up, I overreacted inwardly. Just watch. I’ll burst into tears as soon as I start talking. My voice is going to shake and I’ll do that funny nervous twitch thing with my face. It’s going to be terrible.

Despite my inner freak out, I made it to the stage and turned to face the group of people in front of me.

Why did I have to be sick last week?

I missed my turn to share my devotion to the sixty-some college age camp counselors due to an early summer cold, or maybe it was allergies. In any case, now I’d be providing the devotion not only to the counselors, but to a group of theologians who had come on retreat.

They stuck out in this group- dressed business casual among a sea of Chacos and camp t-shirts. I glanced anxiously at the few rows of heads with graying hair in the middle of the man-buns, ponytails and French braids.

Public speaking was bad enough just in front of the counselors… but this? This was just impossible. I was unqualified and silly and had no formal theological training, and here I was. Front and center.

I heard my first shaky breath, picked up by the microphone. It was surprising that my pounding heartbeat wasn’t audible through the chapel speakers.




Fear.

We all have it. Whether we’re uneasy and afraid of public speaking (*raises hand*), or have a full-blown phobia, or even just have occasional anxiety about stressful situations, we’re all afraid sometimes.

Now, I’m not talking here about anxiety that’s constant, life-altering, or paralyzing. Anxiety disorders are a real thing- a real thing that sometimes (often) needs to be taken care of by a medical doctor or trained therapist.

But common, run-of-the mill fear? We’ve all got it.

Deep down, fear comes from a place of identity.

Take, for example, my knee-shaking chapel devotion.

What’s the worst that could happen?

I could stutter my words and look unsure and insecure (which I was. But I didn’t want anyone else to know it). My devotion, actually a blog post I’d written, could fall flat. Maybe no one would like it. Maybe everyone would think I was dumb, or worse… wrong. Or maybe it wouldn’t make any sense, and people would come away confused and think poorly of me. Or maybe, just maybe, I would have a coronary and die of fear right there on the stage.

Notice the common theme there. Me, me, me, me.

The common denominator of my fear?

That this experience would say something negative about who I am.





But who am I, anyway? What is my identity?

I am in Christ. I am one in whom Christ dwells.

And where do I live?

I live in the unshakable Kingdom of God.





With my true identity in mind, look again at all my fears.

If I stuttered and looked insecure- my identity in Christ is secure.

If no one likes my blog post, it's okay-- my blog doesn’t define me, Christ does. I write because I enjoy it, and I write to bring glory to God, because I want to share His Kingdom and invite more people to come on in.
Maybe people would think I was dumb, or might think poorly of me- my identity isn’t found in what others think of me.

What if I’m wrong- in Christ, I know who I am. And He gives me grace upon grace, because I live in His Kingdom.
And even if I have a coronary and die of fright, it means I’m going to heaven to meet my Jesus.

What do I have to fear?


For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39, ESV



When I start to look at my fears in this light, my perspective changes, and my actions, my words, my plans follow suit.

I’m slowly learning that when I find myself afraid of the future, or anxious in a social situation, or unsteady in following God’s calling, I have to lean in to my true identity.

I ask myself the questions. Who am I? Where do I live? And if that’s true, how do I respond, here?

The Bible tells us everything we need to know. It first tells us about Who our God is, and then it tells us who we are. Our actions and attitudes change, become more like Him when we spend time in those truths. 

Transformation starts from the inside, from the One who died to give me life- not only eternal life with Him, but a full and free life here on earth, as well.




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10 comments :

  1. Loved this!! I'd like to share some points from it with my Ladies Bible Study this week, if you don't mind. We're currently going through Fear And Faith by Trillia Newbell. Thank you for the reminder of this amazing truth of who we are in Christ, Ally.

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    1. I'd love for you to share it, Marisa! Thank you!

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  2. Great post! It is easy to allow fear to become overwhelming but it makes a big difference if we can focus on God's truth and our identity in him rather than worrying about what others think or our feelings of inadequacy.

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  3. What's the worst that could happen? I ask myself that too, Ally. And like you, I find that those dreaded results (which usually don't happen anyway) don't matter a bit in light of my true identity in Christ. Wonderful post! #TellHisStory

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    1. Yep- that's the key, I think. All the things I worry about look so small in the light of His grace and power. Stay tuned-- this identity thing is totally changing the way I see my life.

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  4. Ally! I knew there was a reason why I clicked on your post. I needed to come over and say hi since I have been here in a long while. But I love this post. Replacing "I" with Christ and my identity in Him. That's changes everything because it is all Him and nothing to do us. Thank you for your challenging words. Visiting from #7 from #tellhisstory

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    1. Thank you for stopping by the blog! I appreciate the comment. You're so right- it's all about Him!

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  5. Wow! I hear you on the fear thing Ally. I tend to suffer from paralysis by analysis instead of trusting God's leading. I had those same thoughts when i started to write. What if no one likes it or wants to read? Remembering who we are in Christ is key to living fully in Him. We write for an audience of one and if people are blessed and encouraged; I feel joy. Joy that I am doing His will and God is glorified. Thank you for this heartfelt and necessary reminder to remember who we are in Christ. Such a pleasure to visit your site today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and yours!

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  6. Great reminder, Ally! It's all about Him; we are who He says we are. We are secure in Him.

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