The (Un)Truth of Fear

This post is linked up to Carolina’s OpenMicMonday and Jennifer’s #TellHisStory:

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I’ve always referred to myself as a quiet person. But I’m realizing there’s a difference between being quiet and choosing quietness to avoid facing that which terrifies me. In retreating from Facebook for a short break, after having had my eyes opened to its eating away of my confidence, I’ve now discovered something surprising.

In the past two years, I have learnt to recognize and move away from my craving to be loved and accepted by humans, to replace idol-worship with the worship of a living Saviour. But, in learning to rest in my new identity as a daughter of the King, I am also still learning to release the strings I’m so used to holding tight.

You see, I look at other bloggers and authors on Facebook and I don’t long to be accepted by them as worthy, rather, I look at them and their following and retreat back into my shell. I begin to doubt the path God has called me onto and hold tight to it, rather than walk in it. I begin to believe the mockery and criticism that have been directed at me from close quarters throughout the book publishing process. Lies spoken over me become truth.

And at the root of it all lies fear, fear that I’ll be made into even more of a laughing stock, rejected and turned away. So, I turn to protect myself. When unbelieving friends ask me about my book, I play it down and tell them I’m not expecting much of it. In the back of my head are those lies, rooting deep.

And when I look at other bloggers and authors, I cringe inwardly, telling myself that unlike them, I’m just a fraud…what am I even doing here. You see, I’m used to being the one holding the strings. This, this is all so new.

This blogging and book journey was never the path I chose for myself. I was repeatedly nudged forward to do so, when I’d have much rather just hidden, kept it all to myself. You see eyes directed at me scare me. For where eyes rest, so do memories of rejection.

Cold shoulders, cutting words, singling out, laughter. Every change in my life, and there were many, have been accompanied by the memories of that little foreign girl. “Go home where you came from.” A kiwi girl, child of missionaries, as different as could be from those little German girls in clothing, accent, mother-tongue and faith, the perfect target for mockery and verbal bullying. And with each change, the untruths spoken over me became truths: fourteen houses, seven towns, two countries before my eighteenth birthday. The truth became: you don’t belong here, you’re strange, you’re odd. And my calling became: hide, don’t open your mouth, stop being you because that’s not who they want, you’re an embarrassment. And when my hurting heart, the girl given the gift of feeling others’ pain, was turned away in her own home in trying to protect the one she loved, the rejection piled on as a little girl just cemented tight.

And even though I’m no longer that little girl, or the preteen turned away, those untruths linger and cripple even now…and so I turn to hide. “Don’t say too much about the book, Anna, then there’s less chance of being humiliated.” “Don’t put yourself out there, Anna, because then they’ll see that you don’t belong.” “Don’t ask for help, Anna, because then you’ll look like the failure you are.” “Don’t promote your book, Anna, because you don’t want to steal the limelight from those whose words are much more important.”

And so I keep holding tight to what I’ve been called to release in trust. But I don’t want to live like this. I want to walk in confidence, in strength and in the truth of my identity in Christ. I don’t want to hide the lamp He has called me to shine in the Light of His Truth.

Do you struggle with similar crippling untruths?  If so, will you join me in speaking the Truth of God’s Word against them? Let’s walk together, heads held high, as sons and daughters of the Most High King to the Glory of His Name:

Psalm 139:13-17 “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!”

TRUTH: God has made me as His unique and treasured creation, His masterpiece. I am loved and accepted just as I am. I do not have to change or hide who God has made and called me to be.

Romans 8:14-17 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, “Abba, Father.” For His spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are His children, we are His HEIRS. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.”

TRUTH: Rejection and hurtful words do not take away the embrace of Christ. I am His child, His heir, His beloved. Nobody can take me away from His Love. I have nothing to fear.

John 15:16 “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit…”

TRUTH: He has called me to walk in this path. He has poured out His Love into my book and I am called to release it, so it may produce lasting fruit in the lives of those who read it.

Romans 12:6 “In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well….”

TRUTH: God has given me the gift of writing. He has given me the ability to do it well, an ability I am not called to hide, but to release into the world for His Glory.

Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love!”

TRUTH: He has loved me since before time began. Even when those hurtful words of rejection first hit, He was there, holding out His Love, longing to take me in His arms and speak His Truth over me. I am unique, precious, called, equipped, safe and so powerfully loved by my Abba Father, who will never, ever let me go.

Abba Father, open our eyes to Your Truth. Lead us in Your confidence, Your strength and Your wisdom. Help us to release the gifts you have given us, so that they may produce lasting fruit in You. Lord, break the hold of fear and rejection upon our lives. Let us walk boldly along the path You have called us, our body, mind and soul tethered to Your Truth, to the Glory of Your Kingdom.

Book-cover-full

Fear, Grief, PTSD and the Embrace of Love

Not one of us is immune to suffering. So many of us have experienced loss, rejection, trauma and/or deep hurt. But often we decide to keep working, to keep going and to keep numbing that which we are terribly scared will break us into tiny little pieces. Love Embraced, released on Amazon May 5th, records the author’s own journey through such suffering, in: caring for her mother dying of cancer, grieving her mother’s death, her diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and working through repressed childhood memories. 

But, it also reveals how in starting to face that which she was too frightened to face, she began to embrace and be embraced by a mighty God into:  freedom, hope, comfort, peace, strength and deep joy.

Anna’s dear friend Emily Stephenson is also promoting the book with beautiful handmade jewelry, inspired by #LoveEmbraced. Below is an example of what you can find at The Wildflower Heart:

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17 thoughts on “The (Un)Truth of Fear

  1. I relate to this a lot. Memories of rejection and feelings of inadequacy can be so hard to overcome. Sometimes it does seem easier to hide away and keep quiet. It is so important to hold to the truth of what God says about us. I love the Scriptures and truths that you identify here, and I love that you’re being obedient to God in stepping out into writing and blogging despite your fears.

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    1. Thanks, Carly. Sometimes I think God purposely draws us into situations to help us heal from our pasts. I’m sorry you have experienced similar struggles and pain, but it encourages me to see you stepping out in faith through your writing. Praise be to God!

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  2. I so identify with those crippling lies and rejection, Anna. And how those lies become truths in our hearts. I so easily withdraw and hide, too. I’m so glad God gave you the courage to go ahead with the book. You are so brave! Cling to your identity in Christ and the path He has called you to. I know how hard that is, but let’s keep encouraging each other, ok? Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Trudy. Your words always bless me. It helps just knowing I’m not the only one who struggles and seeing how God carries each one of us forward. I’m going to be praying about this thorn from the past…and I’ll keep clinging to the truth with you. I haven’t felt brave, but thankfully we have a persistent Heavenly Father who speaks courage into us exactly at the right times (often through sisters-in-Christ!).

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  3. Oh, to always be able to hear the voice of the Lord and to recognize THAT voice as truth! God bless you in your journey as you triumph more and more over untruth and share the real truth with others!

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  4. Step into your birthright, dear friend. You are a princess, a child of the King of Kings :). Only let him determine your worth, only worry about making him glad. If you are doing what he asked you to do, he’ll put your book in the hands of the person(s) who need to read it–and really, that’s all that matters!

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    1. Yes, that’s all that does really matter, Anita. But I’m realizing that being tight fisted about it is not God’s will at all…even guest posting on your site was a struggle. When you asked for submissions I immediately saw a match, but just as quickly found myself listening to the voices saying that I should let others who have more important stories go before me…it’s only when you asked me that I relented…And that’s what keeps holding me back. But I realized that this is not God’s will…it is His story through me…who am I to hide that…as I’m not just hiding myself, I’m hiding Him.

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  5. What great truths you’ve shared to combat those nasty untruths. I totally relate – in fact, I think it’s safe to say every writer or blogger has walked through the fog of comparison and fear. Anna, we have a very real enemy and he doesn’t target that which is worthless. He wants to steal that which is of great value to the kingdom of God. That means you! Your words, your heart, your desire that God be glorified are in direct contradiction to his plans to destroy. The more we put ourselves out there, the harder he works to convince us we shouldn’t. But you’ve pinpointed the weapon – truth. May we cling to it above all else and show him that his lies are entirely diminished in the light of Christ. Blessings, sweet friend – press on!!

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    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement, Tiffany. So very true. The enemy hits me where he knows it hurts…making me believe that hiding is being humble. But in fact being humble is stepping forward on the path He has given me, choosing to shine His Light and not hide it. He’s using comparison, fear and lies…but he’s no match for the power of God’s Spirit and Word.

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  6. ‘Hug’
    Prayed for you this morning and God knew why He put you on my heart. I know that all of those lies are from the deceiver and he knows your book and the scripture you use will change people’s lives in ways that only God knows and plans how way He sees fit. I am cheering you on friend!

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  7. Anna, you describe so much of what I feel on a constant basis. Crippling untruths. The reason I feel like a fraud is because I never used to write for the Lord. I feel that sometimes people will read what I wrote and laugh and say, “You should see how hard she was bashing the government in her poem just a few years ago.” I also retreat. And then I stop writing. I think, “What in the world am I supposed to be writing about, dear God?” We’re meant and called to do this. You and I, Anna. Do you know why? Because you are going to change (and are changing) lives. God is using you (us) to bring a message of healing to the world that is so broken and lost in hopelessness. God is the light. Our writing is light. Press forward, beautiful. Never for one moment think you are not worthy. I pray over your book. I pray over your words. God’s got this! Thank you so much for linking to Cisneros Cafe last week. You are joy to my life. Thank you a million times over for the truths you listed because I need those too. ❤ ❤ Onward!!

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    1. Oh Carolina, you are such an unbelievable encouragement to me. Thank you for always showing up, for stepping forward through all the fear and insecurities to bless us all in what you write and share. God is using you too, powerfully. So thankful for your prayers. Been praying God’s strength and wisdom over you too. Hugs from afar. So thankful God uses our hard to bless xxx

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  8. Hello Anna,

    You are doing a great job at your side. It is all happening just because of God’s grace. He is showering a love and blessings on you. Be truthful, nature only sides with truth.

    ~Dr. Diana

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