When Fear Overwhelms Our Hearts

My eyes were like tea cups filled to the top as the week began last week – ready to spill over into the saucer with the least little tremble of my hands.

I wanted to give credit to hormones. Maybe I had a virus. My tummy was a bit uneasy. I fought against tears, Get a grip Carmen. 

You know that feeling? When your insides are fluttery and you want to cry? Sometimes we know what’s going on with ourselves, and sometimes we are unsure. We just know it’s something.

It was unshakable. Please Lord, help me understand what’s going on so we can fix this!

By evening time, I thought, you need to have a good cry. But, what was I crying about!

I stood in the shower and squalled as we say in the south. You can cry the ugly cry in the shower. During those tears, I made myself think about what I was truly feeling. The feelings that were hiding under the exterior of all is okay.

Fear. What are you afraid of Carmen? Then, oh then, the words began to pour out of my mouth. Some of them are just so personal, I’m not ready to share but some of them I can imagine you have felt as well,

I’m afraid I’m not…

a good wife, good mom, good daughter, good sister, good cousin and niece, good friend, good Jesus girl, good…

I’m afraid I’m not…

going to succeed, and scared to death I will…

I’m afraid I’m not…

a writer, or a speaker, or a life coach, or cut out for ministry…

I’m afraid I’m not…

going to trust again or forgive completely old hurts…

I’m afraid I’m not…

ever going to lose weight and that I won’t fit into an airplane seat or an ambulance gurney…

Fear is ugly. Fear is real. Fear is a thief. It steals, kills and destroys our hopes and dreams.

Just pouring out those real, life feelings and watching them swirl around the drain in my shower and disappear did help me feel better. A good cry usually does. I didn’t want this to be just a good cry though. I want change.

When Fear Overwhelms Our Heart

How will this look for me, for you? I started by praying and asking God to renew my mind in this area, Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23

Then I remembered something a dear friend and mentor, Margaret, told me once, “Carmen, perfect love cast out all fear”. (1 John 4:18) Is it that we don’t fully understand God’s love for us?

I did what I usually do when I am seeking, I open my heart and my eyes wide. I want to notice when God is speaking. Something caught my eye. Beth Moore’s new book, Audacious, has been sitting on my desk since September – 4 months. The title drew me. The first few pages had me spell-bound.

Quoting Beth, (I love how God’s timing aligns with my need.) “The person you are when you love Jesus with everything in you – with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength – is the real you. The brilliant you. The bring-it you. The breathtaking you. The born-for-this you. The person you were born to be crawls out of the shell of a heart cracked wide-open to the audacious love of Christ.” And this…”If you and I are going to live and love audaciously, we’re going to have to quit answering the door when hopelessness bangs its ugly fist at it. It has no place in our lives. Hopelessness is a liar. A convincing one.”

The father of lies (John 8:44) can be a powerful conversationalist. He sounds familiar. I think what he probably does it just use our own words against us. Lord, help us speak grace and truth to ourselves.

Change often comes when where we are gets just too uncomfortable to stay.

Lord, help us feel uncomfortable with everything except Your truth.

Linking with, Suzie Eller at #livefree Thursday, Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith, Holly Barrett at Testimony Tuesday , Crystal Storms at Intentional Tuesday and Susan B. Mead at #DanceWithJesus Friday

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17 Comments

  1. I’ve had many of those same fears sweet friend, and look at the beautiful words God gave you to bless others. Hope to see you at the next girls gathering again.

  2. Oh, girl! I’m excited to watch you become the “Bring It” you! Such a vulnerable and relatable post. I’m feeling those same fears a lot of time! Thanks for reminding me 1) i’m not alone and 2) that in God I do not need to fear anything! xo

  3. Carmen,

    So much truth in your words:
    The father of lies (John 8:44) can be a powerful conversationalist. He sounds familiar. I think what he probably does it just use our own words against us. Lord, help us speak grace and truth to ourselves.

    I say AMEN!

  4. Carmen, I can totally relate to what you’ve described. Fear has been an area in my life that I’ve had to deal with. We all do… just at different degrees. I love that your friend reminded you of His perfect love. That is where the healing occurs, but it’s a process of continued awareness and what I call – “stepping into love.” Every time fear creeps in, I have to make the choice to step into His perfect love. That is where I am able to see my circumstances through the lens of truth. I will be praying for you. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  5. You have no idea how many things go through my mind everyday as a women; it’s hard. What spoke to me most is how you have a fear over your weight and not a lot of women admit it. I’m not overweight but I am obsessed over my figure and my physical and feel like I will never measure up and it wasn’t until I cried to my husband about it that I kind of got over it. I mean, it still bothers me but it’s not the same deal as it once was. Now I run every morning and tell myself I’m beautiful to keep my mind from straying away. Love your blog; check out mine at http://www.tru.works where you get the chance.

  6. ((Carmen)) A lot of healing takes place in the shower, doesn’t it? Satan uses those things with the most eternal-purpose to trick us into believing we’re not enough. I’m right there with ya, hoping…praying I’m the mom my children need, the wife my husband needs, etc. Satan likes to exhaust us with worry, depleting our energy for the tasks. Love that Beth Moore quote. Thanks for sharing that. I wrote that book down on my “books to read” list. Thanks for sharing your heart so vulnerably. ((sweet blessings to you, friend))

  7. I know the feeling, Carmen, when one feels like crying but can’t always pinpoint the reason. Sometimes it’s hard to get to “The feelings that were hiding under the exterior of all is okay.” I’m so glad God gave you release. So much of what you’re afraid of resonates with me, too. May we find refuge in Him! I love the short prayer – “Lord, help us feel uncomfortable with everything except Your truth.” Amen! Blessings and hugs to you!