“Lights out”, the voice drifted up the stairs. Inwardly, I hoped for one more page or even one more chapter. At the same time, the nightly sick feeling gathered in my chest at the thought of turning the lights out. A healthy dose of fear began its ascent throughout my body.
Photo by Sagar Chaudhray on Unsplash
It was my fear of the dark that led me padding down the hallway to my parents’ bedroom, many a night growing up. As I silently turned the doorknob and entered the room, I prayed my dad would reassure me that I was safe and loved. I knelt down by my dad’s side of the bed and whispered I was afraid. His gentle words and calm manner always made me feel better.
My fears as a child felt like the flip of a switch when I heard the words “lights out.” But my fears as an adult look bigger than the dark. My fears, though not always tangible, cause me to shake in my boots in a totally different way than as a child.
Fear of being enough, worthy, qualified for the job, or even the fear of belonging plague my thoughts these days.
I am learning my fears are stories I tell myself. What looks like “I am not enough,” is a story that I created. And this story is easily refuted by God when He whispers from heaven in Matthew 3:17, “this is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well-pleased.”
These same words are God’s promise to me. “This is my daughter, whom I love; with her I am well-pleased.”
Fear fights against us, but God works for us. When our trigger sounds like “Lights out”, God turns around and reminds us that He is the light. His is a love song that sounds like this:
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12, NIV
We live in a world that shouts not enough, not worthy, everyone is better than you, and the threat of whispered rejections that are the loudest battle cries on social media. But God doesn’t leave us in the place of fear and instead shows us His truth.
Take a minute and think of your biggest fear. Now find the truth that allows that particular fear to fester and grow. Where is the truth? Is your fear really fear or is it you telling yourself a story?
Jesus puts our fears to rest with the following words:
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:22-26, NIV
At the moment our fears become bigger than the dark is the perfect time to call on God. When we turn to Him, our fears fall away as He becomes the light we need to scare away the dark.
Fears looks overwhelming, bigger than life, scary, and real. Let me reassure you God is bigger and He is real. God’s truth always overcomes and His love embraces us when life is difficult.
God knows this about you and I:
Who you are is a chosen child of God.
What you do is a choice, but when you choose God first, He leads you closer to Him.
How you live your life is a reflection of your greatest fear or your most gracious God.
When you walk in faith, there is no room left for fear.Fear fights against us, but God works for us. #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
Today we can walk in the light because God controls the switch from light to dark. He is all we need. Our biggest fears have nothing on the One who overcame darkness through the sacrifice of His one and only Son. The truth of who God is will always lead us to the light. Let’s tell ourselves the truth of who God is and let our fear become the happy ending to our story.
There will be no post or linkup next week On June 4. Come back the following week as we celebrate the one year anniversary of Tell His Story and the fact that it’s summer (my favorite season!)
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So thankful that God is bigger – so much bigger – than any of the “what ifs” that want to haunt me. Especially at night. Speaking God’s truth is as comforting as those words to you from your father when you were a girl kneeling by the bed. What a precious thought (and image)!
“Fear fights against us”. Oh, this is a truth I need to sit with a while. Thank you. laurensparks.net
It’s interesting how the dark can so quickly Usher in fear, it’s the unknown isn’t it, that which we cannot truly see that causes that fear.
Then our imaginations take over & fear clasps its cold long fingers around our hearts & minds, bring anxiety & terror close on its heels.
When we have Jesus, we have the known… Him… which ushers in the truth & light of His love even when the lights go out!
Great post Mary,
I must confess when I first started reading this; I thought I better not. I am scared at night sometimes when the wind is howling, and the branches hit the house. As a child, I was terrified of the dark. It might have had something to do with a brother who hid in my closet and waited until I was all tucked in bed with the lights out and then he would jump out.
I do allow the stories I create to cause me fear.
Love your post. Remember this tonight in the middle of our thunderstorm. “Jesus puts our fears to rest.”
The Psalmist said that light and dark are all the same to the Lord. And we are accepted in the Beloved, so we do not need to fear what others think. I know fears can be more real than reality sometimes, but when we realize they are simply lies whispered into our ears by the enemy they lose their power. But yes, it is easier said than done. I have never been able to shake my fear of spiders and bees/wasps. It is irrational, but it is real. I have never had encounters with either that were particularly scary, but I just have to see them and I’m on the run. I am a little calmer now when I see them–as long as they don’t touch me–after nearly 3/4 of a century, but the fear remains.
This is such a wonderful revelation, Mary: “I am learning my fears are stories I tell myself.” It is tough to take a real look at our fears, but you helped us do exactly that today.
Thank you for the kind words. It is tough to take a look at our fears, but so empowering when we do. Blessed to have you as part of this community.
This is a great post, Mary! I definitely relate to your childhood fear of the dark, and I love the description that fear is the story we tell ourselves. I am far too good at telling those stories. It’s so important to be reminded of truth and that God’s light is always stronger than the darkness.
Thank you, Lesley! I wish I wasn’t so good at telling these stories, but I am there with you. I am finding that consistency in God’s word keeps those stories away. Thank you for being such a blessing to this community.
Fear, terror and torment the unholy trinity. Not from God, Isaiah 54:14. I wish someone would have told me to confess the righteousness of God years ago, and of course, we are righteous through HIm. That really, helps. I know the shaking in your boots. I always tell people that caution and normal concern is one thing, the oppressive fear, tell it to go in His name. And learn to discern it in children. Have a good week off.
Thank you for sharing the verse from Isaiah. Practically I know when a fear is a fear, but there is the emotional side that can take over. Your words are a wonderful reminder that God is God and He is truth.
Just when I think I have a handle on fear – it comes knocking on my door. UGH.
Ugh, is right! It tends to sneak up on me even as an adult. In fact, it tried this afternoon, but I was able to squash it pretty quickly.
This resonates with me, Mary. Fear of not being enough and fear of rejection are among some of the big ones for me as well. The enemy of our souls knows exactly where we are most vulnerable, doesn’t he? But this… “Our biggest fears have nothing on the One who overcame darkness through the sacrifice of His one and only Son.” Such a comforting Truth! Thank you! Have a refreshing break! It’s hard to believe that Tell His Story has been here for a year already! Love and blessings to you!
The enemy does know my weak spot, but God knows my strengths and that will beat the enemy any day. It’s hard to feel beat down by lies, but we have a God who knows and is the truth. Thank you for joining in the conversation. I am looking forward to a week off. 🙂
I haven’t thought about it, but “Lights out” definitely has a fear element for me too. 🙂 I love the light. But when it’s time to sleep, I do want total darkness. So thankful that Jesus used the light analogy to describe himself! It helps me. Thanks, Mary.
I never liked the call from my parents to turn the lights out. There was no reason to be afraid, but something about the dark set my heart tripping inside myself. Isn’t it just like Jesus to give us the words that He is the light of the world. It is a beautiful reassurance that all is well.
It’s so true that we spend our lives being re-storied by God. Even if the thing we fear most happens to us, we find it’s not the end of everything and “lights out” as we had suspected. I do tend to resist the push into that good hard look at my fears, but thanks for this nudge today in that direction.
God does re-story us. I like that term. In the process of God walking us to His truth, we can look back and see our fears were nothing to be scared of because God was with us every step of the way. I believe it is important to name the things that cause us to question what we know to be true. In the naming, we deflate the power that our fears normally try have in our life.
Oh, that image of that scared little sweetheart has been etched on my heart, Mary. We do carry our childhood wounds with us, yes.
Your faith is beautiful and healing. Your story will impact many …
Yes we do. I spent many a night tapping on my dad’s shoulder because I was scared. Thank you for speaking such truth into my life here in this space. Happy beginning of summer and all that brings.
Mary, this is your best piece of writing, ever! Seriously! A great story, one clear takeaway that addresses a need ALL of us have! Wow! Good job, my friend!
“Our fears are stories we tell ourselves.” I never thought of that!!! But it’s true.
Wow! Thank you for your kind words. I believe we are all affected by fear in some way and knowing what it looks like as a child and as an adult, I am grateful God helped me find a way to share it so you all would leave encouraged. May we allow God to write our story with His truth rather than believing the stories we tell ourselves.
Awww, Mary. What a powerful post. I’ve lived most of my adult life telling myself a story based in fear, stories similar to yours. Sometimes the story feels so real. And my thoughts embellish it until I can become immobilized. But God . . . as I’ve grown older, I’m learning to identify when fear is telling me a lie, and I bring it to my Father for help realigning my perspective.
Your encouragement to find a verse that addresses that fear is so good. God’s word can refute every fear, every lie. Thank you for these words, my friend. Have a wonderful time next week!
I am also learning to recognize the lies and replace them with God’s truth. God pulls me back to him over and over. He knows what I need. I’m thankful this post spoke to you and blessed you. I am looking forward to a little break. 🙂
I can so relate to the fearful thoughts that run through your head. Remember, too, that it is not only your thinking, but the enemy knows where your Achilles heel is – what is important to you – and he goes for the jugular to render you unable to move in your fearful tracks. When I feel that anxiety rise from my toes, I ask: 1. Are these thoughts making me anxious and fearful? 2. Are they condemning? 3. Do they line up with what God’s truth says about me? If the answers are Yes, Yes, and No, then I know they are the enemy’s lies and I can kick him and his lies to the curb. But, believe me it is HARD!! What life-giving thoughts you gave to ponder!! Also…how are you? Did the tornadoes reach to your part of Ohio? Keeping you and those who live there in my prayers!!
The questions you ask yourself are perfect for changing perspective and getting to the truth. You are right that the enemy digs into our weak spot and works it until we either cave or kick him to the curb. Even though I do not like the dark, God is my light and He will always lead me the right way.
Thank you for checking on me in light of the weather that came through. I am thankful it was north of me, but the area that was hit was hit hard.