For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory (Psalm 32:7, NLT).
Friend to Friend
I hold a list in my hand. The words are written in black Sharpie on cream paper in a square, unlined journal. The page looks so small, but the sentences scrawled on it feel big—more than I could ever handle.
I’m going through a process of healing, and my assignment for this week is to write down my fears. The wise, strong, encouraging friend to my right says, “Okay, read your fears out loud.” I panic for a moment. Read them out loud? Where people can hear? For a second, I consider running out the door. But then I think, No, I want to be free. Whatever it takes.
I clear my throat and begin.
I’m afraid of not being good enough.
I’m afraid of disappointing God and others.
I’m afraid of rejection, failure, conflict, disapproval, inadequacy.
What fears would be on your list? When we’re afraid, our natural tendency is to hide. We physically or emotionally retreat to where it feels safer. I’ve done this by literally diving under the covers in my bedroom. Or I’ve hidden my heart by putting on a smiling face when I felt broken inside.
God knows of this tendency we have as humans, and He doesn’t tell us not to hide. We aren’t in trouble for having this instinct. What God does want to change is where and how we hide. God Himself wants to be our “hiding place.”
Psalm 32:7 says, “For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.”
I used to think I had to get rid of my fears before I came to God—that He wanted me to be strong all the time. When I looked at my list of fears, I wanted to run from them. But, instead, perhaps fully for the first time, I realized I can run to God with them. I got on my knees and told Him what scares me most.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)
Yes, I will face fears again in this life, but that moment felt like a breakthrough. Because I know now, whatever I’m facing, I can come to God with it. He is our strength and security. He gives us courage and makes us brave. His love and truth are bigger and stronger than anything we fear.
Dear God, thank You that I don’t ever have to be alone in my fear. I don’t have to hide anything I’m feeling from You. When I want to hold back in fear, help me to run toward You in faith instead, believing I’m loved and You are always there for me.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Fear starts to lose its power when we bring it into the light. Create a list of your fears like I did. Share them with God. Then consider sharing them with a person you love and trust. The point of this exercise is not to make all your fears magically go away but to clearly identify them, which will help you work through them during the days ahead.
More from the Girlfriends
Want to overcome the fears in your life? In her empowering new book Fear, I’m Over You, bestselling author, life coach, and counselor Holley Gerth shares twenty-one spiritual truths backed by psychological insights that will help you find the courage and confidence to face each day with faith instead of fear—starting right now. Fear is a bully, but it doesn’t have to be the boss of you.
© 2021 by Holley Gerth. All rights reserved.