photo by Tobias Tullius

We’re all afraid of something — spiders, failure, isolation.

Rather than face one of my fears, I’ll procrastinate by doing housework, laundry, gardening, etc. Last week, I polished a silver pitcher, for crying out loud.

I heard a creative once describe how he tries to do one really scary thing each year. I mean, really scary. Shaking in your boots stuff. It’s part of how he feeds his creativity.

You see, he feels he needs to experience what it’s like to be really scared – like jumping from a plane (with a parachute, of course) – so that he can remind himself no matter what he faces, he can make it through. He can face his fears and survive them.

Fear is one of the big pitfalls in the creative life and the spiritual journey. It stops us from moving forward. If we can somehow make it through the thing that scares us, we exercise the muscles we need to repeat facing fear again. That muscle strengthens every time we use it and although we still are afraid of the next scary thing, we now know (from experience) that we can persevere and emerge stronger from the experience.

Forcing yourself to face your fear and move through it is part of the creative process. I know if you’re not a writer, writing probably doesn’t look scary to you. Trust me, it is. And putting our personal work out into the world, that gives us an actual ache in the pit of our stomach.

Fear is one of the effective weapons Satan uses to keep us away from connecting with our heavenly Father.

He knows if he can conjure up some image of a judgmental God or get us to believe we are never going to be worthy enough to be loved by God, or forgiven by God, he’ll succeed in keeping us stuck in darkness for a long, long time.

So, these days most of us feel like we’re facing something really scary with the pandemic. Others just don’t believe it exists.  For those of us facing our fears, we are living history. If we’re reading a World War II novel or another themed historical book about people who’ve had to hide for fear of being found or infected, we have a whole new appreciation for the fear they dealt with.

Anne Frank’s diary has a fresh feel to it these days. Check it out.

Tip: do you know you can add a link to your public library to check if they have a book you want in stock?

Facing your fears helps you in your spiritual journey as well. Recognize that fear is one of the Enemy’s greatest, most effective tools. When you sense fear, make the sign of the cross or some other outward action to train your brain to recognize a subtle attack from the enemy. Refuse to allow the devil to scare you.

When I’m afraid, I place my trust in you.

Psalm 56:3

Woman’s Day magazine has 16 more verses on trust. Click here.

The light that we carry as children of God will always overcome the darkness of fear. Someone will surely not like you. Be yourself anyway. Write your story anyway. Talk to your Father in heaven and seek His peace. He’s longing to give it to you.

What scary thing can you do next to help you practice the art of facing your fears? I’d love to hear from you and support you in my prayers.

Read more about overcoming fear:

Facing Your Fear: Creative Meets the Spiritual

Calming End of Life Fears