23 and Fearful

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free." -Jim Morrison-

In these times with so much going on from protests in Ferguson, terrorist attacks in Paris, and people losing their lives left, right, and center it is so easy to be fearful. Fear is an emotion that many, if not all of us experience. Could that emotion emerge when we don't know what awaits us? When you ask me what I'm afraid of, I say many things, but I think the thing I'm most afraid of is being hurt. If you read my story, you know that I have been hurt several times, but we've all been hurt, right? My fear of trusting and being loved has, in some aspects, pushed me away from people but has also allowed me to connect with people in other ways, one being this blog.

I look at myself, now 23 years old, and wonder when it will be my turn. When will God bless me with that special person that will love me like Jesus loves the church? As I continue to reflect on fear, and as I read my bible, I learn that fear and faith cannot coexist. Think about it; Jesus loved us so much that he died for our sins so that we could have a chance of life in His kingdom. He was not cast down by fear—He believed the word of the Lord. He had a faith so strong that it demolished any fear or disbelief that came His way.

The current events happening in our society may just be proof that many of us are afraid of what we don't know or don’t understand, or what awaits us. So, instead of acknowledging the possibility that we may not know or understand, we put our guard up and sometimes act out in fear or even hatred. Acting in this manner, as a result of fear, can be exhausting.

In dealing with some of my fears, especially trust, I often pretend that I'm so hard and that nothing can break me, that too can be exhausting. Acting like all I need is me, myself, and I, is also exhausting. The truth is, I realize that everyone needs someone, but my fear of loving and being loved keeps me from accepting that as I continue to try and overcome those fears. I sometimes say to myself "I'm waiting for God to do this and to do that," "I'm waiting for God to give me a sign," but, that's just an excuse that I, and probably others, cling to as a means of dealing with fear. I believe like others, I may be afraid that someone may actually just love me for who I am.

Two days ago I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I am still healing. I wonder, aren't we all in some sense healing? Yes, I've come a long way, and I've overcome a lot, but I'm still healing. Healing: From my fears and my distrust while enhancing my relationship with God, an ongoing journey.

Having a soul mate may require being a whole mate, not afraid to open our hearts to people that He has put in our lives and not afraid to look at the past, but, in doing so, not writing off life before living it. Could it be that we attract what we reflect?

I read something recently titled God is the Lasting Source. Whatever we are going through emotionally, He has the ability to fix and repair our broken hearts and torn souls. As I thought more and more about what I read, I began to think about my own life; I began to realize that He is the One that can sustain me and help me as I continue on this path.

 The hurt may have been so bad that feelings of brokenness remain, feelings of a shattered heart, but remember, love conquers all. No matter how bad you've been hurt the love of Our Savior has the ability to heal all wounds, even the deep ones. We are healed by His stripes. I remind myself that the two people I cannot be afraid to love are Jesus and myself. With that comes the love for others!

We must continually pray and ask God for His strength: Strength to heal and love ourselves, strength to believe that we are lovable, strength to believe that we deserve Gods love, and that His love is manifested through others. This, my 23rd year of life, I vow to be open to receiving and giving love; I vow to be open and more accepting of others, and most importantly, I vow to love and honor God through the life I live.

So I ask, what are you fearful of?

Lauren Alyssa