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The Color of Scared - The Final in Seeking Spiritual Renewal
Friday, October 14, 2022 by Cindy Sproles

Image by Grae Dickason from Pixabay Over the last three weeks, I’ve tried to be very vulnerable in my spiritual walk. I sat with a dear friend recently, talking about our spiritual growth and getting past the roadblocks that snag us. Each thing we discussed rolled around to my admitting, “again...my fear.” 

Perhaps one of the greatest fears for many is learning vulnerability. The American way is to put on the ruse of “life is perfect.” Actually, I’m learning that’s not the American way, but it’s the evil one’s way of separating us from one another. Drive a wedge between our willingness to share with others –  telling us we really are STRONG enough to manage alone. Pppfffhhh. That’s not true. We need support. We need to lay out the fear at the feet of the Savior. We are not strong enough on our own.

Strength is found in vulnerability. Paul was the perfect example of that in his life and travels. Every time he was at his most vulnerable, God graced him with great strength. The man withstood huge obstacles in the name of Christ Jesus. And yet, in his letters, he continually talked about his weakness, but also being strengthened through those. He was, after all, the one who said, Rejoice in the Lord always.

Let me be clear about what fear is: Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived danger or threat. The working word here is perceived. Fear is what we perceive it to be. What is scary to me, probably isn’t to you. I think it’s important to understand that all fear is not the type of emotion that leaves us huddled in the fetal position, shaking and hiding our heads. Rather is that perception that pushes the buttons of uncertainty and misunderstanding.

Even in my childhood fears, (and for the record, almost every child experiences fear of some sort – mine was no different from others’ experiences), I knew I was safe. My parents were loving and kind and helped me try to understand the fears I faced – even if they were somewhat silly. I never felt any safer than I did when my dad would snuggle me under his arm asking me to tell him about what frightened me then, walking me through that fear.

I’m unsure why this pest has followed me into adulthood but I can say, I pinpointed it when it became a visible reality for me. It was when we were faced with the rocky pathway of cancer for my husband (aka, the Prince). We were forced into that walk, and as we all know, even the best-laid plan for cancer treatment can go south quickly. I’d lost one relationship to divorce and suddenly I faced losing a second to cancer. My husband is the most gentle, laid-back man alive. He is kind and so willing to do for others. This was an unfair sentence for him and not only did it scare me silly, but it angered me. Why on earth would cancer be his fate? My fear did not send me carrying a grudge at God, instead, it drove us both to ask, “Father what are you teaching us? We are afraid but we walk this path holding hands and we RUN to You.” We learned quickly the hardest prayer we would pray was, “Thy will be done.”  But in my fear, I found refuge in the strong tower of the Father. Remember, rejoice in the Lord always!

The question then becomes, how do we find our way out of fearfulness? I’m hardly an expert on this since. But I am learning this. Finding my way through fearfulness is not the problem because God has always brought me through my fear. Instead, ending the fearfulness begins by saying, “Yes, Lord, I want to be free of this burden.” As Henry Blackaby says, when we say yes to God, be prepared for the crisis of belief. Do we believe God will do what He says He will do? Still, this “spot” is where God grows us into full bloom. It may take time, but inch by inch, we take hold of the Master’s hand and squeeze His fingers a little tighter. 

Fear for me is uncertainty – the what-ifs, the moments when I cannot be in control. We could each name a fear that we own. I had a friend who didn’t get her driver’s license until she was 30. She feared taking the written test. Fear is stifling no matter what type it is.

God takes the fear and flips it in His favor. My crisis of belief came when I laid out this fear before God and asked if He would free me from it. I distinctly remember the impression I felt and called His answer. It was a question. Things get real when we let God ask the questions. That impression was Do you truly want to be free of this? Without hesitation, I said, “Yes!” God spoke to my heart and said, “Yes is all I need. The battle is mine.

Since then each insecurity that seeps to the surface, that question comes to light – “Do you truly want to be free of this?” In this crisis of belief, I am learning so much. I am setting spiritual goals for myself and battling through them. When I hit a wall, I have to back away and sort through the muck to see where I stepped off the path God has set me on. 

I didn’t expect all my goofy fears to fade away overnight. I understood that when God leads, He generally takes the long road. But I am learning and growing in my spiritual life like never before. God may not end my fears. They may become my constant reminder of when I’m about to veer from the path. I have learned to voice my fear to God and to Tim. I might say something like, “I dread the wait on that yearly cancer screening for you. It scares me silly.” But Tim will say, “I know. But it will be fine. We know this.” And he is right. I accept that and believe that the battle is God’s – just as He promised. My fear eases! That is a victory I can claim. 

Fear is a part of our lives. My friend and agent posted a photo on Facebook of what I call the perfect Halloween. I think it puts an end to my fears of Halloween. In fact, it probably puts an end to all my fears because I can just bag them and load them in a vending machine and if I really want one, PAY TO GET IT. (For the record – I’m cheap! That wouldn’t happen!)

I’m learning to put my fear in perspective – to perceive it differently. Every part of our Christian walk is a growing experience. It isn’t easy, but we know how it ends. Well worth the journey, I’d say.

 

 

Photo 1 – Image by Grae Dickason from Pixabay

Photo 2 – Image by Pexels from Pixabay 

Photo 3 – Meme from Facebook author unknown 

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Comments

Edwina Cowgill From Newnan GA At 10/15/2022 10:49:41 AM

Cindy, This has been an excellent series! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your experiences and growth!

Reply by: Cindy Sproles

It's a walk. I hope it is useful.

Vickie Wilson From Kingsport At 10/15/2022 8:26:23 AM

Great post!

Reply by: Cindy Sproles

Thanks. I am grateful for the growth.

Mountain Breeze Writer


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