There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
As a young girl I had an extremely heavy spirit of fear on me. If you could name a fear, I most likely had it. To name a few: I was terrified of fire, bees, and wild animals. This may seem like a general statement to you, but this was just an outward expression of a much deeper fear. A good portion of the adults and older kids in my life thought these fears were cute due to the way I reacted. Let me tell you though; there is nothing cute about an 8 year old child feeling absolute panic to a candle burning in the kitchen, and NEEDING it to be blown out each time it was lit. I was so terrified of bees that I couldn’t have the color yellow in my wardrobe due to it resembling a flower. If I heard a buzzing sound in my bedroom, I would go sleep in the bathroom until a parent would find me and bring me back into my room.
I remember one time a neighbor thought it would be funny to let me know that there was a giant skunk living underneath our porch. After a solid week of me having night terrors because of this, my dad ended up going next door and requesting that I not be told about where animals were living near our house. I tell these stories not to get sympathy, but to show how mighty our God is, and that He cares about even the most minute detail of our lives. If it matters to you, it matters to the master. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7 “ for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline.” We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). When we realize that God is for us, and have a revelation of just how much He loves us, then we know that nothing can come against us (Romans 8:31).
At the age of 28, I still struggle with some fear, but by the grace of God it no longer grips or controls me like it once did. I often sing and bop around at work to the break up song by Francesca Battistelli. When I look back on my childhood I often wonder how I made it out from under my fears. Then I remember the well know poem ‘Footprints in the Sand.’ Jesus carried me through all of my fears then and now into adulthood, even before I knew Him; He knew me and loved me (Romans 5:8). No matter how big or small or silly you think your fear is, God cares about every single detail of your life, and wants to carry you through those fears (Psalm 23). There is no shame in confessing our fears, we all have them, and God knows each and every one.
For so long I lived with shame and guilt. My fears I let control me to a point where I created a false sense of security for myself through any means necessary. My coping mechanisms were unhealthy, and I developed addictions as a result. I was very much engaged with the book series Harry Potter from the age of 8 all the way to the age of 27. As most children were also addicted to these books; being a big seller, it didn’t seem abnormal. There is a generational curse from my mother’s side of the family, that was very involved with witchcraft and fortune telling.
Ironically I had grown up in a church setting, so I had heard about God at a young age but didn’t understand it fully. I didn’t know that once you accept Christ into your heart that you should continue to live for him and He would be an active part of your life. I thought it was a one time deal. I was a people-pleaser at best, and was known as the “good child” out of my siblings, but no one knew the war going on in my heart and mind. I hid in the shadow of my younger sister who was known as the rebellious one. Once I left my parents house in 2011 the other addictions started rolling in: obsessive drinking, snacking, smoking weed, and eventually pornography all became part of my daily life. I thought I was living my life the way I was supposed to. The whole time I was going through this, I was attending church on Sundays and hid my secret life because I feared the shame and guilt that would come with this revelation. I stored it in the trunk of my mind, and went through the motions. This was the devil at work, trying to keep me from realizing God’s delivering power.
On March 4th 2018 my life changed. God used little Briah Rose, and her dedication to bring me to Open Door Fellowship Church. At first I thought everyone there was a bunch of whack jobs, and I would never set foot in the door again after the ceremony. But, God kept pursuing me and convicting me, bringing me back time and time again. I could not deny there was something special here, something I needed. For a while I would have to travel in the back of my sisters van, climbing through the trunk to get in the car, just to get to church. It is a running joke with my aunt that God brought me back to him through the trunk of a car. I likened myself to a dead man in a trunk; now a woman of God, raised back to life as God once intended, free of addiction and fear. I praise Him everyday for His faithfulness and deliverance! He loved me enough, while I was yet a sinner, to pursue me, and bring me back. He left the fold to seek me out, that ONE sinner that was lost (Luke 15:4). That’s how much He loves each and every one of us: Yes, EVEN YOU! It doesn’t matter what you have done, or where you have been. I left that dead man in the trunk, I am now a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jonah found His way back to God through the belly of a whale, me through the trunk of a car 🙂 God works in mysterious ways.
In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry. Jonah 2:1
I was listening to a sermon earlier this week and these words that the Pastor spoke really touched my heart: “It’s okay to not be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way.” It’s okay to not be okay, but you need to tell someone. Go to your brothers and sisters in the Lord that will hold you up in prayer, and most importantly Jesus is always there to lean on, He wants to carry you through (Matthew 11:28-30). While I may not be okay at times…… Jesus is always okay!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
As we continue to walk through this pandemic of COVID-19 I ask that if you’re feeling lonely, fearful, anxious, or depressed that you reach out to your brothers and sisters in Christ. There is no addiction or problem that is too big for God to deliver you from. There is no shame or condemnation in Christ (Romans 8:1). You are not a bother or a burden, and we are called to bear one another in love, and encourage one another in the Lord (Ephesians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:11). While we cannot be together physically, we can bind together in prayer as the body of Christ. “We are all in this together ( John 15:12).
“With much love and hugs, your sister in Christ Gillian“