Note from Ann: It is so hard to be free of fear, and what Janie shares gives me such hope. I hope and pray it does the same for you!
Freedom from fear is a key element of the spiritual journey. How, then, can you be free of fear?
Fear is the opposite of love, not hatred, as many think. God is a God of love. Therefore, to be transformed into His image, which is the goal of the spiritual life, we must be delivered from the bondage of fear.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
I have been sharing about my own journey of finding freedom from fear by the presence of the living Christ. In the first post of this series, I wrote about fighting fear with faith. Then I shared what I found when I looked up the word “fear” in the Bible.
In this post, I want to tell you about how my personal journey was confirmed by a Christian psychologist.
God truly delivered me from fear. I finished college, married, and four years later, my husband and I (who is an ordained Presbyterian pastor) led in the startup and organization of a new church in Wellington, Florida.
At the time, Christian psychologist Dr. Larry Crabb was working nearby. He offered an intensive training program to equip church staff in helping their congregation with common issues that trouble parishioners. Several of the elders at our church⏤myself included⏤attended the program.
It was a wonderful training. Larry Crabb is an insightful therapist and man of God. After we finished our final exam and were about to wrap up, Larry sat on the stool in front of the room. He was pulling together his final comments and farewell to this class. We watched him struggle with something he seemed to want to say.
At that moment, I knew somehow that whatever Larry was going to say next was something that I needed to hear. Finally, Larry said, “There is one more thing that I must say before I dismiss you.”
I watched him intently, waiting for his words. He said, “I want you to understand that the root of all fear is the fear of losing control.”
That was all he said…and I received it!
I walked out of the conference with a great gift. I was astonished.
I was riveted back to that first year of college when I struggled so deeply with this “irrational” fear. I knew that the grand mal seizure represented much more than just the fear of epilepsy. It was the epitome of loss of control for me. I had stared into the deep black void of terror and had found a place of safety.
I don’t know what you’re struggling with or what you are most afraid of, but my hope and prayer is that perhaps I have been giving you some tools to deal with your own fears. I want so much to help you find freedom from the black void of seeming “nothingness” into the bright, loving, secure, and safe face of Jesus, the radiant One who is full of light and life.
Jesus knows your name, sees you, understands you, accepts you, and cherishes you. He calls you into his arms of love.
Will you answer His invitation? He says gently, “Do not be afraid.”
Remember, He loves you perfectly…and “perfect love drives out fear” (I John 4:18).