How to Face Your Fear Head-On And Conquer It Every Time

Fear is an everyday enemy that can confine us to prisons with high fences. But fear is not meant to drive our lives.

Fear

I was reminded how fear could rear it’s ugly head without a moment’s notice last October as I cared for a friend’s three dogs while they traveled.

Our time together started out no differently than all the previous times. That was until Monday night. We went out around 9:30 pm for our last potty run of the evening but our usual routine got turned upside down.

Keep in mind that my friend’s house is in the country. Although there are neighbors nearby, they are either not home or in bed this time of night, so it is very dark.

Staring Danger In The Face

Did I emphasize how dark it was? I’m talking no pole lights and on this particular night no moon or stars either. No problem, I have a little flashlight I use to light their path while they take care of business.

Out we go one at a time. Rocky. At 13 years of age gets to go first. Next, it’s the (at the time) 16-week old puppy, Murphy, followed by Max, a 15-month-old rambunctious teenager.

A field of weeds borders the house in the back and on one side. Murphy and Max both like to explore the weeds but not tonight.

Murphy went to the edge but stopped before entering the weeds. Then put his nose straight up in the air and took in a scent for a long time. I should have known that something was up.

Things got really interesting during Max’s turn. Max headed for the back weeds but stopped, turned, and began to walk cautiously towards the weeds to the side of the house. He came to a complete standstill just at the edge of the field. Not moving a muscle, not making a sound.

I shined the flashlight out in front of Max, and that’s when I saw it. What? No! Whoa! Crap! Two pairs of eyes glowing eerily back at us. It is amazing how many thoughts your mind can process in a matter of nanoseconds.

Imagination Run Amok

Downright creepy. For a moment I felt like I was standing in the middle of the moors facing the Hound of the Baskervilles. All kidding aside, what were they?

Fear

All I could see were glowing eyes. Maybe deer but they didn’t seem large enough. What else might they be? In this area they logical assumption, Coyote.

One of the critters lowered its head and took a couple of slow steps toward Max. I quietly said, “Max we need to go inside.” as I gathered the slack in his leash. Since Max is a lover and not a fighter, he had no objection.

We made a slow, deliberate retreat to the house as I walked backward to make sure we were not being followed.

Fear Is A Liar

Tuesday night we decided to go in the front yard since there is a light on the corner of the garage. But the results were the same. As I aimed the flashlight at the field, they were back, two pairs of glowing eyes staring at us.

Wednesday, I brought a spotlight with me. I was going to get to the bottom of this, so I left the boys in the house and went outside. I pointed it in the direction where the critters had been the previous two nights.

There they were, moving along the edge of the field. The spotlight drove back the darkness so that I could see the truth. With great relief, I saw that they were, in fact, deer and not coyotes.

Fear

Light exposes fear for what it is, a liar. My experience with the boys was a great reminder that fear is powerful and can be paralyzing, but it doesn’t have to be if we fight with the right weapons.

In Psalm 119:105 the psalmist tells us, “ Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” And in John 8:12 we are told “Jesus spoke to the people and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

Light pushes back the darkness and reveals the truth.  Jesus is the light which drives back the darkness of the fears we face in our daily lives, no matter what they are.

In turn, He wants us to reflect His light to others so that they can draw close to him and live in faith, not fear. See Matthew 5:16.

Starve Your Fears

God’s most frequent command is “Fear Not.” There are over 300 occurrences in the Bible.

“Feed your faith, starve your fears.”  – Ann Voskamp

The best way to starve your fear is to slow down and be still, spending time in scripture. The more time you spend in the Word, the more you will find yourself talking to God rather than thinking about what you fear. Without the fuel of your focus, your fears will die of starvation.

When I saw those glowing eyes, I feared the possibility of attack. But the truth is the only thing attacking me was fear. We don’t have to worry about what‘s up ahead or fear what is around the next corner because Jesus is already there lighting the way.

What fears in your life do you need to illuminate with the truth of Jesus? How can you be a light to push back the darkness for others this week?

I’m a writer and storyteller. Each week I write about and invite readers to join me on an extraordinary adventure to discover and live the unique story God has penned for each of us.

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5 thoughts on “How to Face Your Fear Head-On And Conquer It Every Time

  1. I love your message about getting still as a way to slow down your fear. But what about when your fear is that you are BEHIND, that you have LIMITED TIME AND SO MUCH TO DO — (hear the crazy there?). Taking small actions helps, but curious about your thoughts. Thank you!

    1. I can certainly relate to that fear. I had a boss that used to try to help me with the same struggle. He once told me I was trying to do 80 hours of work in 40 hours. Then he would look at me and ask, “How do you eat an elephant?” I would sigh deeply and respond, “One bite at a time, but you don’t understand. I have to eat the whole elephant by Friday.” And we would both chuckle. But he did teach me that God will never call me to do more than He gives me the time to do.

      I don’t always get it right but when I start feeling overwhelmed I try to step back, take some deep breaths and look at the big picture. Then I pray and ask if there is anything I’m doing that can be eliminated or exactly what my priorities are. As time has gone by I find the more I keep my focus on Jesus rather than my to-do list the fear and anxiety really do subside. Like I said I don’t always get it right but I’m growing.

  2. Love this! “Light exposes fear for what it is, a liar.” How true! It’s taken me many years to get beyond fear – I’m still working on it. Thank you for this cool post.

  3. Very good post! Enjoyed the read! As someone who spent years overcoming many fears and anxieties; this post resonated with me! I’m happy it was just deer you ran into while with the dogs!
    Like the picture, you captured of the deer! So cute!

    You’ve referenced two of my favorite verses is Psalm 119:105 and John 8:12
    They were among the many that carried me through anxious days and nights.

    “Feed your faith, starve your fears.” – Ann Voskamp (one of my favorite quotes of hers!)

  4. My biggest fear has to do with not having enough as I get older. I’m on disability due to chronic illness. When my son graduates from high school next June, his child support and social security payments will stop and I will have to move as I can’t afford to stay in my house. In my head I know that God will take care of me as he has been doing, but fear keeps tripping me up.

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