Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Overcoming Fear

Sooooo.......yeah, it's been awhile. I have no excuse, but I do have an apology. I'm sorry it's been almost 2 months since I've written anything.
And in reality, I still haven't. Today, I have for you a guest post from my dear friend Caitlyn.
She is, in my opinion, still officially a newlywed (married for approximately 18 months), and just really one of my favorite people. She and her husband lead worship at a church in Austin and her blog Art & Soul is a great mash up of God-things, hospitality, and delicious food. Check her out.

Helloooo there! It’s so good to be in the Fishbowl! My name is Caitlyn, I’m a friend of Amy’s, a fellow blogger, and a worship pastor’s wife. I am an expert on very few things, but fear is probably one of them. I have some experience being afraid, so you can trust my advice on overcoming it. *please ignore the flawed logic* Case in point…
                *Caitlyn texts her Mom*
Caitlyn: “Mom! There’s a red bump on my leg. Here’s a picture of it. Does that look like a flesh eating bacteria to you? I’m just curious because I was at the creek and I heard this girl got a flesh eating bacteria from a river once and they had to amputate her leg.”
Mom: “That looks like an ant bite, baby.”
While this is a funny, kind of nonsensical fear (or is it?), some fears are harder to overcome- fear concerning change, debt, the unknown, etc. For those things, I usually use this process. Because when I am afraid I need processes. My logical brain has usually shut down by the point that I remember to do this, so it’s helpful to have this established, where all I have to do is fill in the blanks, pray, and breathe.
Tips for Overcoming your Fear (and Keeping your Eye Makeup Intact)
1.       Identify the Lie behind your Fear.
One of my favorite bands, All Sons and Daughters, has a lyric in their song, “Let it Shine” that says, “There are a million truths for every lie/so speak it out loud and let it lift high.” When we submit to fear we are buying into a lie. For me, it’s often believing the lie that God is not good and that He doesn’t want to be nice to me; and also the lie that if I prepare for the worst it somehow won’t happen. In the words of Tina Fey, “I’ll be ready for it to happen and that way it won’t happen. It’s a burden, being able to control situations with my hypervigilance, but it’s my lot in life.” So when I catch myself submitting to fear I take a few minutes to sit and identify, What am I believing right now? What is this saying about my view of God?

2.       Speak the Truth over that Lie.
I like to use an authoritative lawyer sort of inner voice when I do this. That’s optional for you but I think it helps. So after you’ve identified this lie, you go back to the Scriptures and you ask What is God’s truth about this?  If you look at Psalm 35:3, you’ll see that the psalmist himself had to ask God to remind him of the truth:  “Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation!’” If you can’t think of anything else, just pray over that phrase, asking that God will speak to you in your spirit, and that you will trust Him not just as your eternal salvation, but as the One who saves you from whatever has risen against you today.

3.        Meditate on the Truth and Breathe, Child!
In her book, Every Bitter Thing is Sweet (READ IT), Sara Hagerty uses adoring God as her response to financial troubles, a struggle with infertility, the loss of loved ones, and as the basis for her conversation with God in mundane, daily life. The best antidote to fear is adoration. So hold onto those truths you discovered and just say them back to God. Thank you God that you are my salvation, thank you that nothing is outside of your control, thank you that you redeem my soul from the pit. Let those fuel your conversation with him, rather than engaging in that frantic, fear-based monologue of “Help-help-help, where are you, do you hear me -HELP!” And breathe. You may now transition from lawyer voice to yoga instructor voice. Deeeeep breaths.
When I use this process, I usually overcome whatever fear I’m facing without having a crying breakdown - hence ‘eye makeup intact’- but if you need to cry some happy tears at the end, just fold a Kleenex where it has a point at one end and dab dab dab at the corners of your eyes like they do in black and white movies. If you’re in the car you can just crank the AC and blow the vents straight into your eyeballs.
Links to stuff I’ve referenced:
Psalm 35:3, Hebrews 2:8, Job 33:28 (link up to Biblegateway)
Thanks for reading!

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