Updated: Sep 10, 2018
God has not given us a spirit of fear
I always wrestled with fear growing up, I don’t know if it had something to do with the movies I watched as a child, or if it’s because my parents never really taught me that I shouldn’t be fearful through the word of God, but all I know is that I was a very fearful child. I was scared of the dark and I couldn’t sleep in my bedroom alone, I often begged my brother to come share my room with me at night, bribing him with money and all sorts of things.
Once it got to about 3pm during the day, I started with my negotiations “please come and sleep in my room tonight, I will give you money or I will buy you suya (roasted meat)”. I felt the happiest when I knew someone was going to spend the night with me or when daddy was going to be out of town, so I could move into my parent’s room and spend the night with mom.
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The Fear Factor
I recall one incident when my mother and I went shopping all day. After we got back home; I put away all the groceries, tidied up and went to nap at about 5 pm because I was exhausted. This so called nap lasted 7 hrs, as I found myself awake at midnight. I realized that I slept off in my room and made haste to my brother’s room to continue the night there. In the morning when my dad was about to leave for work, he walked by my brother’s room which happened to be open and saw me asleep there.
He was so disappointed; he could not understand why I didn’t sleep in my room that night. I was 17 and about to leave for college in a different continent, so there was cause for concern. How was I going to survive? When I got to college I had a roommate (thankfully) and after a year, my brother joined me and we got an apartment together. It was a small 2 bedroom apartment and it was no longer a big deal for me to sleep by myself in a room at night. I had also grown up a little, so some sense of maturity kicked in.
When my brother moved out after college, I got a one bedroom apartment. Even more perfect! I loved my little space. I often wondered how my married friends who lived in big homes coped, whenever their spouses were out of town. Living in a 5 or 6 bedroom house alone wasn’t even a thought in my mind.
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Fast forward to a couple years later, I moved back home. The only living space that was available for me was a 5 bedroom house. I wanted to get an apartment, but this was more cost effective as it was free and no one was living there. I low-key was freaking out and stalled as much as I could before I eventually moved in. By this time I was 29. You would think that fear was a thing of the past, but it came with full force.
The first night I spent there, I left all the lights in the house on (my electricity bill, yikes!), I made sure the TV was on as well, and I prayed like I had never prayed before. I was so scared; Once I entered the room and shut the door, I didn’t leave the room for nothing! I still battled this same fear I struggled with as a child.
Free from fear Indeed
Then one day my father called me randomly and said he was coming to visit. I was so excited; someone else was going to be in the house with me. Just a mere thought about it, gave me confidence. He came and that was it, the fear left. Although we didn’t share the same bedroom, I turned off all the lights in the house. Even if his room was across the hallway from mine, I was still calm.
Then I began to ponder how powerful someone’s presence is. Just because my father was in the house with me, even if I didn’t see him sometimes, I felt safe. I now wondered how much more powerful God’s presence is. Although I can’t see Him, I know He is there according to Hebrews 13:5-6, which says “Let your life be without covetousness, be content with whatever you have, for He has said “ I will never leave you nor forsake you” so you can say with confidence that the Lord is my helper I shall not FEAR, what can mere man do to me?''
That means, God is always with me and I have nothing to be afraid of. The same way my father was with me, and I did not fear, is the same way God who is more powerful, who protects me from things seen and unseen, is with me. God says in the bible that whoever fears has not been made perfect in love. Maybe perfect in love means, I will protect you, I will defend you, I will cover you and I will fight for you.
Then I found my freedom! I began to see that the light I carried on the inside was more powerful than the darkness around me. If I could be by myself during the day, why should night time be different? From that time on, I became fearless! People often asked me “You live in that house alone?” or “Why don’t you get one of your cousins to come live with you” to which I respond “Yes I live alone, and nah! I can do bad all by myself."
God doesn’t like fear, because it indicates that you don’t trust Him completely or you don’t know who you are in Christ. If you are battling fear or anxiety, just know that you are not alone; God is always with us, and always for us. Don’t let the enemy lie to you, remember that greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). In fact the enemy should be the one afraid of you, because you carry explosive power on the inside of you as a Christian.
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