By Rachael Gilbert
My heart was beating outside of my chest as we rounded the corner and I heard the noise that elicits a fear that penetrates my soul…the clicking of a roller coaster as you begin the uphill climb to your death. Well, to most it feels like a joy ride. But to me, riding a roller coaster is a battle from the time I get talked onto the thing until the moment I scramble to get unbuckled and back on solid ground.
I often share my “rollercoaster story” when I speak at events because I have a similar experience when it comes to public speaking. I am what some would define as “the least likely to grow up and be a public speaker.” If you knew me as a child, you would know I was full of timidity and fear. The process of speaking at an event usually goes something like this: I get the invitation to speak. It’s far enough away that it sounds like a great idea. So, I say, “Sure, I would love to!” But as the day approaches, I have flashbacks of that rollercoaster. I begin to hear the clicking which elicits fear and I desperately begin to look for ways to escape. But it’s too late. I’ve got my seat belt on and the only way off this ride is to hang on for dear life and scream my head off.
But something interesting happens when I get off the rollercoaster. After I overcome the fear to get on the ride, I find myself getting off and saying, “That was awesome! Let’s do it again!”.
The same has been true for fear in many areas of my life. It often keeps me from doing the things I want to do. Yet if I face it, I almost always feel thankful on the other side!
Some of the other fears I’ve wrestled with in my life include fear of man, fear of rejection, fear of gaining weight, and fear of failure.
The reality is that fear is usually lurking beneath many outward emotions, reactions, and decisions. It often disguises itself differently in each person, but I have never met a person who does not encounter fear in their life.
We have two girls and a son and as I’ve seen them face fear it reminds me to keep fighting for my own freedom in this area.
As a mom, there are few things more heartbreaking than when your child begins to wrestle with the exact same things you have wrestled with your entire life. The good news is that God loves to break generational patterns, but it starts with us taking a stand for our family.
As I prayed about teaching my girls how to overcome the fears they wrestle with in their lives, I saw an image of a mom and her girls standing in a dark room. This was a room the family had always known. It was a comfortable room with many memories. But it was also dark and void of hope. In this same room, there was a door. Behind that door was freedom, hope and fulfilled dreams. God showed me that in order to pass from the patterns of darkness & bondage into a new way of doing things that brings freedom we must take these simple steps:
Open the door
Reaching out to open the door can be one of the hardest parts of this process. It takes great courage and faith to be obedient. Opening the door simply means to let God into this area of our life.
Did you know that one of the reasons most people fear public speaking is because of the root fear of rejection and failure? When I go toe to toe with my fear of speaking, I know it is not the speaking I am fearing but rather the fear of man.
Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man proves to be a snare but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” I call these verses “power verses” because they enable us to stand on God’s word as we open that door to reveal what is keeping us in bondage.
Finding freedom in whatever area fear has us in bondage starts by confessing that fear, or sin, to God. Start by opening that door.
Step into the light
Once we’ve opened the door we must step into the light. God is a good father who loves his children, no matter our age! When we open the door to areas of our lives that are in bondage, he gladly sheds light, or truth, on those areas. This light now overpowers the darkness. There is nothing more powerful than bringing fears and sins out of the darkness and into the light because the enemy loses that territory.
As we step into the light, God also equips us with tools to be victorious in our battle. One of my favorite power verses that helps me overcome fear (that my girls now have memorized too) is 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give you a spirit of fear or timidity, but power, love, and a sound mind”. This verse reminds us that fear is not from God so we can simply decline to receive it when the enemy brings it our way!
After we’ve opened the door and stepped into the light ourselves, we must turn around, go back and bring our girls through to freedom with us. The question is not “if” our girls will wrestle with fear (or other sins) but “when”. If we have done the heavy lifting by fighting for our own freedom, then when our girls need us all we have to do is simply walk alongside them on their journey to freedom.
Are there any areas of your life that you need to fight for your freedom? Or perhaps a hidden sin that you need to confess to God and trusted friends or family?
If so, take a leap of faith and open that door of your heart to the Lord so he can bring you, and your girls, into the light to live a life of freedom.
Ready to start walking in freedom? Join True Girl founder Dannah Gresh on March 18th for a moms-only online workshop! We'll tackle the top 3 lies moms believe and equip you with the truth that will set you free. Register today at mytruegirl.com/parentsworkshop