Fear. What comes to your mind when you think of this word? Do you think of your fears, common phobias, or do you automatically feel uneasy? When I think of fear, it can mean two things: Forget Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. How we handle fearful situations says a lot about our personalities, and how strong we are in our faith. This is a scary, uncertain time that we are living in, and as young women, it can be overwhelming to process and handle everything correctly. Luckily for us, God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control (2 Tim. 1:7).
Let’s go back to the meaning of fear for a minute. I ask you to take a second to pause your reading for this short reflection. I would like for you to reflect on your life and examine the fearful, stressful, scary situations that you have faced. How did you handle them? How did they make you feel? How did you feel when you got past them? After you have finished this, continue to the next paragraph.
Thank you for engaging in this reflection with me. I believe that it is important for everyone to reflect on their life and examine these situations because you can’t measure a plant’s growth if you do not know what its base measurement is. The same is true for our spiritual growth. Now that you have reflected and examined these past situations, which definition of fear would you say that you utilized? Did you forget everything and run, or did you face everything and rise? Either answer is acceptable; we cannot change the past, but this article is meant to help your future experiences reflect the “face everything and rise” approach, regardless of your past successes or failures. Romans 3:23 states, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” We hear this verse a lot, but we don’t often hear it cited with the following verse. Verse 24 continues by saying, “…and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Even though we fall short, we are redeemed through our baptism in Christ. If that refection left you feeling down, ashamed or worried that you handled something wrong, let these verses give you peace. We are all human, and as young women, we will make mistakes. If you don’t, please contact me because I’d love to hear how you do it!
Since we all are human young ladies and navigating through life in the COVID-19 era, how can we ensure that our approach in these scary times is one where we conquer and rise, and don’t sink into the fear? The key to this is having strong spiritual roots to help us stand strong when the wind and rain are trying to tear us down. 1 John 5:4-5 states, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
While I was preparing to write this article, I came across this verse, and I couldn’t get it out of my head. This verse is filled with hope and strength to conquer anything. If we have been born of God – saved – then we can overcome the world. Not just the storms, the corruption, or the evil, but the WORLD. I don’t know how this verse makes you feel, but it makes me feel big. It assures me that, with God, I have nothing to fear. He will be with me through everything and he will lead me to victory. He did this for Joshua after the passing of Moses in Joshua 1. Verse 9 of this chapter reads, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” This is God speaking to Joshua, commanding him to lead the Israelites into the promised land. He was with the Israelites throughout the Old Testament because they were his chosen people. Today, we are all his chosen people. We should have full assurance that he will be with us today, as he was with them at that time.
A strong foundation in the faith means that our house won’t fall when storms hit. This sturdy foundation means that when we face scary or uncertain times (like the one that we are living in right now), we will be able to conquer it and rise above any challenges that we may face. We have no reason to run because God is with us. We know his word, and we know how to apply it. We have peace and comfort in the knowledge of his word and our salvation. Our strong foundation in the Word creates a bond of love that goes both ways. We know that God loves us because God is love, but we must also extend love to God to have a full relationship with him. This relationship of love banishes all inklings of fear in our lives. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love (1 John 4:18).
So, how is your foundation? If you feel overwhelmed or afraid of situations in the world, try to open up the Word and make sure that you have a solid foundation and are standing strong in your faith. With a solid faith, we can overcome the world. An unknown Navy Seal once said, “under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion; you sink to the level of your training. That’s why we train so hard.” Have you been training your faith? Without proper training in your faith, you will forget everything and run; with proper training in your faith, you will face everything and rise.
By: Allison Fredman
Allison Fredman lives in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She is a college student enrolled at the University of Oklahoma where she is earning a a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a camp counselor at the Shawnee Family YMCA. She is engaged to Hunter Hill, and is excited to experience this stage of life and share her knowledge with others.