Fear’s Masquerade

casper

Casper was so adorable, but that bathroom mirror scene in this movie scarred me as a kid…

Hey y’all, it’s spoooky month!

I personally don’t know how to feel about October because I LOVE fall but I HATE scary stuff. It does not provide for me the peace and joy I seek in life.

The scariest movie I can watch and actually enjoy is Hocus Pocus. I get nightmares from the trailers of horror movies. Yes. You read that correctly. I can’t make it through a movie preview without my imagination being corrupted. Haunted houses are a hard no, only the love of my life could convince me to walk through one of those and even then, I’m not sure if I’d do it.

I was once convinced to watch Insidious at a friend’s movie night a couple years ago and wow…that was the worst the decision I may have ever made in my entire life. I had to watch Winnie the Pooh for the rest of the night until the sun started shining again I kid you not. Peer pressure is not worth it people.

Danny-DeVito-Nope

So what better topic to chat with y’all about this time of year than fear and the ways it disguises itself in my life and probably yours too?!

As I was living my little life a couple months ago, a friend of mine interrupted my flow and said, “Anijah, I think you’re living in fear now.” I paused, considered it, then I sifted that comment through a few more people to see if they’ve noticed it too. Turns out it was hiding in plain sight, veiled beneath my wise words and new cautious demeanor. I fooled myself and others pretty well, but it didn’t escape the keen eye of a few caring detectives in my life.

I’ll map out where the little fearlings have been hiding and maybe it’ll help you discover where they’ve been sneaking around for you as well. Let the investigation commence!

mystery

Wisdom

When you go through a bunch of stuff, you learn a bunch of stuff. It’s a fact of life for most people. Now that the dust has settled quite a bit in my life, I’m seeing errors in judgement, weaknesses in myself, and what possibilities a decision could yield. These are great things, but I noticed fear had latched onto wisdom to keep me from trying something new. Fear has some sly ways of speaking:

“Maybe you should refrain from anything you’re excited about, are you guarding your heart?”

“Considering what has been revealed in your character, is this really a blessing or are you deceiving yourself?”

rapunzel

Contentment

This one is huge. Especially for a restless wanderer like myself. I’m always wanting to go somewhere new or do something crazy. This phase of life has partially been characterized by me learning how to be still and rest in God. I think it’s working because now I’m low-key afraid of putting myself out there again in many ways. I believe fear was able to disguise itself the best in my struggle to be content in my circumstances since I’m historically bad at it.

“Let’s not stir the pot, just settle, you’ve done enough in the past haven’t you?”

“Adventures are meant for someone else not you, why can’t you be content?”

Humility

As I’ve stated in previous posts, I have more clearly seen the perfection of God which has in turn highlighted the depravity of myself. It’s a necessary realisation to get to a heart of deep gratitude. After seeing the gravity of sin, it’s incredible to even take the next breath knowing God gave it to me. Yet even as I’ve been growing in humility, fear found a way to twist it to its advantage.

“Why try? You’re too sinful for this to work out well, you can’t handle good things.”

“Who are you to ask anything of God? You deserve nothing.”

Maturity

I have a vivid imagination full of many versions of myself and my life. I could dream up pretty much anything and fantasize about how it would all work out perfectly. That’s the way I’ve lived my most of my life, even with its difficulties. But there’s something about being on the brink of adulthood, allllmost having it together, then squandering it all. This year killed a chunk of my dreamer heart. In some ways it’s needed because we all must grow up, but the fear of optimism appeared with my newfound maturity.

“There are more important matters to pray about, why is your head in the clouds?”

“Life is not a fairytale, don’t you think dreaming is a bit dangerous?”

Focus

I’ve noticed fear use focus a lot lately in my heart and mind. It’s so easy for it to masquerade as discipline since I’m such a flighty person. An idea or new interest now causes a paranoid response within me. Working to overcome a lack of focus has blinded me from seeing where self-control ends and trepidation begins.

“This is a trap, what is this trying to distract you from?”

“You can’t confront this right now, you don’t want to lose your focus do you?”

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It’s so tricky because each of these doubts have a ring of truth to them. Many times these are in fact very reasonable and helpful in life. So the question becomes, how can you tell what is true and what is fear?

Personally, I’ve come to learn that it’s fear when it comes in direct conflict with who God has revealed Himself to me as. I can see it in my prayers when I start withholding desires, worries, and thoughts from God. It is written many times that God wants us to share everything with Him in confidence and vulnerability. He’s a good Father full of grace, compassion, and wisdom. I realised I have been playing God by deciding how little I deserve and what my future outcome should be. My fear has been manifesting itself by trying to premeditate God’s thoughts and figure out what’s going to happen next so I can brace myself.

Wait…

It seems there is something pulling the strings of fear…

Couldn’t be…

It’s PRIDE.

plottwist

He’s always lurking somewhere when things are getting off track.

Pride drives overthinking. My mind drowned out the sound of my heart calling to God for peace, comfort, and direction. I need to depend on God, but pride says, “You can figure this all out if you think hard enough, ignore how you feel.” I’m learning more and more that thinking and feeling are meant to work in tandem. It seems they’re both trying to communicate that I am struggling with the fear of change and the temptation to grab the reins from God.

After all of the mental and heart-ical gymnastics, the answer was clear: I need to face fear head on and bring it all to God. Now that I know the masks fear can wear, I’m able to thwart its terrorising ways much sooner.

unmask

Yaaaaas Velmaaaa expose 👏 them 👏 

My time of solitude is coming to a close and I’m afraid. I have loved having a low-key season of learning about God and growing closer to Him. But He is moving me to change surroundings, mindsets, and goals to embrace what’s next. Just as Elijah had to leave the cave and Moses had to return from Midian after a time of healing so must I. The future is a bit scary, but I want to be able to glorify God in it. May you also be able to do the same.

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

-Psalm 94:19

 

Moore Awaits ♥️

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