Devotionals : Overcoming Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

From childhood to my teenage years my mom moderated my media. She allowed me to watch shows on PBS like Mr. Rogers, Reading Rainbow, Dinosaurs on ABC, and scary movies. To this day, I never really understood why she made an exception for scary movies. I think it was because they were her favorite, as well as my grandma’s and my grandpa’s. On the weekends we would eat snacks and watch movies like Candy Man, Hellraiser, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Myers. These movies didn’t scare me until I got older.  Once in my 20’s, I started having nightmares and decided to stop watching them.

Growing up, another fear of mine was bugs.  This fear started when I was about ten years old when my stepfather moved our family to a house near a community garden. Every day, it seemed as though things that were in the garden crept into our house. If it wasn’t a centipede, an ant or a small mouse would come in. I disliked living there. Every night I would clutch my baby brother and try to fall asleep. When we finally moved, I was ecstatic.

Fast forward to my twenties. I was living life and having fun, but fear was still there. There was fear of making a family member or partner angry, fear of speaking up, fear of rejection and so much more. Then in my 30's, there was Covid. Then came, fear of germs, fear of getting sick and even fear of traveling. 

 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline." In this chapter, the apostle Paul wrote a letter from prison to his mentee and spiritual son, Timothy. He  encouraged him to walk a Godly life and to continue spreading the gospel that he had taught him despite his circumstances. Paul was in prison for spreading the gospel but told Timothy to not be fearful or ashamed. He continued in verse 8 "So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God."

While praying to God yesterday morning, I thought about the time that I took a solo trip in 2016 to a sustainable resort in Hawaii. To build my self-independence and overcome my fear of bugs, I stayed in a jungle on the big island, Pahoa for one week. In the jungle, I experienced what it was like to live in an environment only off of natural light, slept in a camper with geckos, saw my first water bug, hitchhiked, and even camped out for a night in Volcano National Park. Thinking about the experience made me laugh to myself. I had conquered my fears then and would conquer them now.

As I continue to reflect on this memory and all of the other times I have pushed past my fears, my prayer is that we will be encouraged by reflecting on the times we were strong and remember that God is mighty, strong, and bigger than any fear we may ever have. It is okay to be afraid sometimes but we can’t let fear take over us. Keep pushing on. For more on my trip to Hawaii, see here.

Be Encouraged,