God has been speaking to me a lot lately about courage and resilience. It's definitely something that we are all growing in at this time, and for many who have lost jobs and homes at this time, it has stretched them to the end of their courage and beyond.
Closing the door on Fear. What is fear anyway? Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm.
Fear can cause us to FIGHT | FLIGHT | FREEZE
God’s had His finger on this issue in my life lately. When I become aware of fear, I either run away or freeze up. I knew it is time to lean in to what Father is saying to me about fear. He wants me whole and well. By now, I’m well aware how much fear has robbed me of all kinds of possibilities, but I wanted to know why I have this problem with fear. This has been a known enemy to me for as long as I can remember.
Fear comes in when there are doors of destruction open inside of us. For me it’s mostly jammed open because of trauma. When we started going deeper and investigating the causes, I can honestly say, I didn’t like it. It is only because I knew God wants to heal me completely from those traumas, that I’m persevering and surrendering. I trust Father more and more as I see evidence of His good nature towards me.
I would like to share with you what I’ve learnt so far in how to deal with these open doors. I hope that this will encourage you to seek Father if you are struggling with fear.
IDENTIFY THE DOOR AND CALL OUT THE FEAR COMING FROM IT There are doors in my life that I’ve chosen to forget. It’s too painful and I’d rather have them buried deep so they are out of sight out of mind. But the thing is, the longer it sits there, the more it festers and influences many areas in my life. I know that God has me covered. I trust Father has a good reason for taking me to those doors. So it’s okay to identify and call out those fears.
CONFRONT THE FEAR WITH THE WORD OF GOD The Word of God is a double edged sword so by decreeing God’s word, I cut away the lies. 2 Tim 1:7 says that God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. What this looks like to me is that I can confront that fear coming from that door and renounce it. Fear is not part of my identity! But power, love and a sound mind is! So, I then choose to love more and focus on what is good and positive. 1 John 4:18 says that God’s perfect love drives out fear. I’ve noticed when I feel fear rise up in me it is because I lack a manifestation of love around me. It’s not always possible to get love from everyone. We are all human, but God is Love. I choose to sit in His love. I often ask Father to give me tangible love. I need to feel it not just know it. Like today, I was completely overwhelmed by His loving touch. It was like His presence hugged me. I cried hard, not because I was sad, but because it was overwhelmingly beautiful! Only He can move me like this. Because of my experiences with Father, I know that He is always with me and that He will never leave me. (Heb 13:5-6). When my love tank is full, I notice fear isn’t ruling my emotions.
FORGIVE, RELEASE, BLESS. REPEAT I’ve asked Father how do I forgive when I still feel the pain and trauma. See, it’s easy to forgive when pain and trauma isn’t attached to it. Jesus said to bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:28). I wanted to rebel against this. It’s a crazy idea! I got angry, because I had other ideas about dealing with these people that hurt me.
But then I had a change of heart. Maybe, I should try it Jesus’ way. Whenever Holy Spirit brings someone up, I would forgive them, ask Father to bless them more than me and then I would release them. Sometimes I have to repeat this process more for some than others until my heart truly aligns and brings me to a place where I really mean it and feel that release myself.
In some cases, I would kick against this process because all kinds of uncomfortable emotions rise up like anger. I don’t feel soft towards that person at all. That’s when it becomes a choice – I have to forgive. I have to remember the bigger picture. The thing is. If I don’t forgive, that trauma can’t be healed properly, and therefore that door stays wide open for fear to have free access to me.
Over the last few years, I’ve been going through this process a few times. It was the hardest to forgive myself. I’m still in that process. I didn’t realise that I held a grudge towards myself, until I become aware that I beat myself up quick and harshly and constantly. I realized the intensity of this when a friend told me to look at myself in the mirror and say to myself, Venessa, I love you. I told my friend that it’s a crazy idea! I actually got mad, and then I had so many questions, like why am I getting upset about this? My reaction is crazier! Then the penny dropped. Oh Lord, help me to forgive myself.
FORM A HABIT OF COURAGE Lastly. Fear is a habit, but so is courage! I choose courage. Overcoming fear and staying above it, has not been easy for me. I’d rather run away, but I know it won’t help, so I choose to be brave and let Holy Spirit lead me to every door that needs to be closed.
By now, I’m quicker to go through this process and not allowing a door to stay jammed open. Keeping the doors to fear shut, is a practice that continues. It becomes easier and quicker with practice. Perseverance is paying off. I’ve become more whole and stronger. I’m becoming who I am supposed to be.
Venessa Smart is a very special friend, a creative and a prophet, who has given me endless encouragement and friendship over the last several years, and it is an honor to post this testimony of a part of the journey she has been on. It is her hope that this article blesses someone else.
TRIGGER ALERT: This article speaks of the need for our healing as women in the area of sexual sin and iniquity either as victims or perpetrators. If you feel it is for you to read, ask God to protect you from triggering as you read it.
‘Live your life not as a wandering generality, but as a meaningful specific’. Zig Ziglar
You and I are created for purpose! God never made us to live our lives without reason, without passion and without fruit. He made us to be a solution to every problem, and to impact this world with His love, glory and wisdom.
People who know their passion and have identified their purpose have hope. The Bible says a people without a vision will perish. Millions of people, including Christians, have no hope because they do not know what God’s vision or purpose is for their life. When we as believers know our vision and purpose we are able to encourage and impart that same hope to others.
When we operate in our passion and purpose we also impact future generations for the better. Those who come after us will only have what we leave them. We are stewards of this world, and as such we are called to leave it better than we found it, even if it is in, what we may deem a small way.
God’s encouragement to us is to take the responsibility of creating legacies that will take the next generation to a higher place in Him. We are His ‘sons’. We carry all the authority, power and government we need to bring His kingdom down to earth and in our spheres of influence. Purposefully making our contribution towards others breaks the grip of selfishness and aimlessness that can become a lifestyle of becoming fat in the things of God without bearing fruit. It keeps us focused on the big picture and on the long term impact of our journey on this earth and our inheritance now and in eternity.
We all have dreams of who we want to become or what we want to achieve. We all have a passion about something that drives us to want to make a difference. We all have a purpose - the ultimate end goal of our life that enables us to say at the end of it, ‘I did what I was meant to do, I’ve run my race and reached the goal’. Heb 12:1-3
When we combine our dreams, our passion and our purpose with our gifts, talents, abilities, anointing, calling and life journey experience, we have all that we need to become what God has created us to be and do.
God has deposited in you all that you need. He has given you the Holy Spirit, and an anointing to do what He’s called you to do. We are Sons of God, carriers of His glory, carriers of His presence and authority to affect the lives of those around us and see many come into relationship with Jesus and receive their inheritance in Him.
Most of us will carry out our mandates from the Lord away from the world’s eyes in our families, work places and communities - some in our church family, some locally, some nationally, some globally. We may never be famous here on earth, but God rewards our humility when we allow Him to position us in that place and way that is perfectly designed for each of us individually to play our part in building His kingdom here on earth.
If you’re unsure of all the goodness God has put in you to carry out your purpose, assignments and mandates, let me know. I have an E Book called Activate Your Purpose that can help you. Just drop me an email.
A friend of mine, Amanda Wells, has this declaration we can speak out: ‘Today and all through the year I can do ALL things that are in my design and purpose through Christ who strengthens me...I am not helpless or hopeless, I have a destiny, a design, a purpose and I am not without power. Nothing is impossible for me as I align with my future!’.
THE LOVE COMPONENT:
It is an active, conscious choice to value, respect and affirm people without prejudice or judgement. It is choosing to say, regardless of how you treat me, I’m still going to treat you the way I would like to be treated
Now sometimes that can be hard. It means that I have to recognise that I am not responsible for the way people respond to me (as long as I have not been ‘unloving’ in some way), and that sometimes even in my caring, I may still have to put boundaries around our relationship for our my own protection or even yours.
The Love Component recognises that you may have struggles and history in your life I’m not aware of, and those have made you who you are today. It recognises that you may still be processing your ‘stuff’ and growing in your maturity and working through your healing. It gives you room to make mistakes and to try again, and when we have disagreements I’m going to still value and affirm you but hope that we can work together to create a win-win situation for both of us.
The Love Component also considers how my decisions will affect others and I make adjustments to my attitude and behaviour so that I protect our relationship. I am going to appreciate our differences and recognise that you have strengths I don’t have and together we can build a whole. I will endeavour to set aside my preconceived ideas, mindsets and prejudices that may cause me to make wrong assumptions about you.
The Love Component chooses to always move towards positive, healthy communication and relationships even when it feels scary and makes me feel vulnerable and fearful. I make the choice to always choose that we will relate.
Choosing to live my life with others through the Love Component will always have its challenges, but choosing to always respect, affirm and appreciate others, no matter the differences between us, will always reap rewards in my life. My relationships will always be that much more enriching and satisfying and I will feel a sense of belonging and community with others.