Growing up, I was a very rambunctious little kid. My dad would probably say that this an understatement.
He would probably right.
I was a screamer as a baby. I terrorized every cat that my family owned, I punched all the other kids in pre-school, I jumped off from the highest point of the playground to land in a big sand pit, I gave myself a bloody nose trying to play basketball with the big kids, I would do flips off the side of our pool, and I would pick fights with my older sister.
I walked on stilts, rode my bike down big hills, and rollerbladed down even steeper hills. I wiggled under electric fences to see how close to the cows I could get before they stampeded me…. give me a break, I lived in Iowa at the time ;-)
I obviously did not think about the consequences of my actions. I had no fear about what could happen to me.
When I was 9 years old, my dad took a job as the director of FEMA in the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. So, my family packed up our Florida life, bought heavy winter coats, and moved to the midwest. It wasn’t long until my dad was coming to my school to teach about being prepared for an emergency.
All I heard was, “A tornado is going to wipe out the whole city and everyone who isn’t in a basement is going to die.”
Obviously, that’s not an accurate statement nor did my dad ever say this, but somewhere in my 9 year old mind I thought the Wizard of Oz was a pretty actuate picture of how tornados work… minus all the singing munchkins.
Though that would take the edge off of having to die in a tornado.
Tornados were a gateway fear. It wasn’t only, “What if our house gets blown away,” but What if our house burned down? What if someone broke in and stole everything? What if that person attacked my parents? What if we got in a car accident? What if mom and dad died? What if I got kidnapped? What if the gas stove was left on and the house blew up? What if I left my curling iron on? What if the toaster fell into the sink while I was washing dishes?
As I got older my fears and anxiety became incorporated into my daily life. In college, I would get nervous and anxious over small issues.
Am I going to be late? What time is it? What if I didn’t do the assignment right? Where am I going to sit? What if I get lost? What time is it? What if the professor doesn’t like me? What if I get reprimands for wearing the wrong kind of sweater. What time is it? What if a tornado comes? There are no basements! What time is it?
Up until about 2 years ago, I really struggled with fear and anxiety.
2 years ago, I was in a car accident where I totaled my car after breaking hard for an animal. I’ll have to share that story in a future post, but I remember laying in my bed a few days after my accident feeling afraid to drive my car.
In that instance, I sat straight up in my bed and said out loud, “No! Perfect Love casts out all fear! Jesus is love and He is living and dwelling within me. So, there is NO room for fear to reside!”
The fear was shut off like a light switch. Peace flooded into my room. From that point on, any time fear tried to inch it’s way into my life, I reminded myself that I have perfect love living inside of me.
Perfect Love casts out all fear.
You guys, God did not create us to live in fear. I’m not taking about the fear of the Lord, but I’m talking about the monsters in your closet type of a fear. There may be times where we feel scared or anxious, but isn’t that one of the Devil’s many tricks? To put ideas in our minds in hopes that we make decisions based off of them?
It goes back to the question, “What are we thinking about?“
Take heart, my friends.
The TRUTH is that perfect LOVE casts out fear.
We don’t have to live afraid. Just follow Perfect Love (that’s God) and it will all be good.