Fear: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

It was early September 2011; I remember it clearly. I flipped the switch at the pantry entrance; and opened the door; the light flickered. I thought, “Great!”, then, “Oh well, there’s enough light that I can see to get what I need.” I proceeded to walk in and turn to my left to retrieve a plastic bag from the fabric bag holder that my grandmother made me many years ago. As I turn, I come face to face with an oak snake on the shelf to my right. The intensity of my heartbeat was so strong I could see my shirt moving.

My next thought was, “I don’t want him to disappear.” I grabbed my phone & a flash light, so I can watch through the crack of the door. I called my husband and got his voicemail. “Where is he? He should be home by now!” I can’t see the snake anymore. Maybe I should just watch the floor to make sure he doesn’t make his way out. “Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.” So now I’m sitting in a chair, with my feet up, watching the floor, outside the pantry; waiting on my husband to get home. By the time he gets home, the snake has worked his way to the very back of the pantry, and wrapped himself so tightly around the wire shelves that my husband had to pry him loose.

This incident made me think about how we sometimes bury or hide our fears and, like that snake, they can grab hold of our heart, and the longer they are there, it seems the harder they are to deal with. Now, I think that the fear of snakes is just a healthy fear, like an internal warning actually, to let you know that you need to back off. You need to respect the fact that they can do some damage to you, and you need to watch out for them. Now, I know, oak snakes are not dangerous. I still don’t want them in my house. I am just using this as an example.

Let’s say, for instance, that you grew up where there was a divorce in the home and the absent parent continuously postponed visits with you. This may instill within you a “fear of abandonment”.

Abandon means “to give up to the control or influence of another person”.

But this fear has been there so long, buried so deep, like that snake, it has wrapped itself so tightly around your heart, you really don’t notice it. It has become so much a part of who you are.
When you felt that were abandoned so many times; your heart was wounded by someone you love. So you have made this subtle agreement to never give up control of yourself to anyone. You will take care of yourself; because you are the only one that you can depend on. What you don’t realize, is this agreement includes God as well.

Over the past two years God has revealed to me, because of past hurts and subtle agreements that I was unaware I had made, that I had developed an “independent spirit”.

Perhaps my particular scenario doesn’t apply to you. Maybe you grew up with a condescending parent, or had a bad breakup in a serious relationship, or were made fun of because of your weight.

My point is, we are all human, and will, more than likely, at various points in life, bestow upon others, some form of pain. And we, ourselves, will almost certainly, be the recipients of some unhappiness, and depending on how deep the wound, how often it occurs, and how it is dealt with, will probably fear being hurt again. If that fear is not dealt with; then an agreement may be made that we may not even be aware of.

We have to “Keep (guard, protect) our hearts with all diligence, for out of them spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

John Eldredge writes in Walking with God

“Agreements are really subtle and nasty things. They pin our hearts down, or shut them down by handing them over to the enemy a sort of key to a certain room in our hearts, and in that place he shuts the door and locks it. In those moments when you were wounded you were really vulnerable for agreements to come in. They come swiftly, imperceptibly, often to some response to some message delivered with the wound. Our enemy is cunning, and after he secures the agreement, he drops the issue for a while, goes underground, lays low for a while so that nobody discovers his work there. By “lays low for a while”, I mean it could be thirty years or more.

To go through this life and feel no sorrow is something I’m sure we all desire, but is not realistic. Pain will surely come, we needn’t fear it; and how we deal with is the key.

Proverbs 29:25 says “The fear of man brings about a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”
2 Timothy 1:7 says “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

I would like to invite you to spend some time with God and ask Him if you have any wounded areas of your heart that you may not have acknowledged. Maybe you wanted to forget about them, they were too painful, but may need to be dealt with now. Then, ask Him if you have made any agreements that you are unaware of. This is very freeing. I have included a short, simple prayer, if you would like to use it.

“Father, show me what sort of agreements I may have made. Show me where they are, when they came in. Walk with me there. I am willing to take a look. Help me to let them go. Heal my fearful heart. I give this to you. I renounce any agreements. I invite you into this pain. I trust you. Heal any wounded areas of my heart. If I have buried the pain so deep that I don’t even recognize it, please help me to acknowledge it now. I give this to you, in Jesus name, amen.”

Be extremely blessed, Sheri Haskins : )

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