A couple of years ago, I had to say goodbye to a close companion. It was not an easy task. This companion was with me since childhood. When the day came to say goodbye, all kinds of feelings surfaced within me. The only way I could completely let go was to eulogize my dearest companion. I hope it will bring closure and hope to others going through a similar thing:
My dearest brothers and sisters. We are gathered here today to say our final goodbyes to a former friend of mine: False Evidence Appearing Real, a.k.a. FEAR. I’ve known FEAR all of my life, as a child being afraid of doctors, as a teenager scared to stand up to others who picked on me, as a young adult FEARful of my career path, and just recently when the Lord put me on my restoration journey.
FEAR and I became close – at one point, we were the best of friends. The most poignant thing about our relationship was that FEAR did not allow me to do ANYTHING with my life without him. I couldn’t lift a finger without FEAR helping me out. I was not able to move forward without FEAR following close behind me. FEAR restrained my inner most thoughts, and kept them hidden because I was afraid of rejection or hurt. When I tried to get closer to Christ, my husband or other loved ones, FEAR would settle in and stop me in my tracks. When I wanted to testify to others about the goodness of the Lord, FEAR would shut my mouth. FEAR was controlling, debilitating, manipulative and immobilizing. It isn’t possible to put into words my life with FEAR.
During FEAR’s final hours, I searched my soul and asked the Lord to guide me through these difficult times. The Lord Almighty heard my call and relieved me by putting FEAR into respite care. God provided me with rest through His many promises:
Psalm 71:1-3 (NASB) – Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Psalm 23:4 (NIV) - Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will FEAR no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 - Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
As FEAR became weaker, I became stronger through clinging to God’s words and being in His presence. I realized I no longer needed FEAR. In fact, I never did for God was and will always be with me. Through Christ, FEAR has finally been laid to rest. To replace FEAR, my Savior left me with His peace. “My peace I leave with you, and my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives to you. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 NIV)
FEAR leaves behind its spouse Double Mindedness, and the numerous children it breed – Anger, Doubt, Worry, and so many more. FEAR’s family is looking for a new home for they are no longer residing in mine. Will you allow them to enter into your home? Or will you host God’s family of Love, Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy, Patience, and Peace?
In closing, let’s all be reminded of John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Amen and Amen.
See the following related articles on Facing and Conquering Fear:
"Three Ways to Deal With Doubt"
"The Pain of Letting Go"