Written By: Alora Yee
Recently while driving, my husband pointed out how terrible my road rage had become. With every car speeding past or cutting in front of us without the use of a blinker, my every flinch and sigh was magnified. “I don’t have bad road rage as much as I’m paranoid of the terrible drivers around me that I can’t trust.. so I’m always driving defensively and with caution,” I replied.
My husband then brought up a very good point to me that I had never considered applying to driving. “Why are you allowing what you cannot control to physically cause you so much stress?” Good question. Fear.
When my third child was 8 days old, we were rear-ended two times in a row! The first hit I expected because I saw it coming in my rearview mirror, knowing they weren’t going to be able to stop in time, however, the second was completely unexpected. The car behind me had also been rear-ended, which caused them to unintentionally hit me a second time. At the second impact, I screamed out loud in shock.
My baby boy slept through the entire event. As for me, well, I believe I’m still reliving that incident every single time I get in the car. Although this accident happened once, and I have had hundreds of accident-free car rides since, I still seem to fear it will happen again. Or worse. Have you ever experienced a situation in your past that is still controlling your present? There is a word used for intense and negative past emotions resurfacing by influence of similar situations or experiences today. This is considered a trigger and in many instances called anxiety.
The easy part is noticing panic or your own ability to shut down and not have the ability to breathe. Panic attacks, worry or stress that cause physical shaking or sweating cannot be denied or ignored, however, discovering its cause is not so easy. I’ve heard of anxiety being explained to the simplicity of one word: FEAR.
But fear of what? When? Where? How?
These are important questions we must seriously dig into to find within ourselves. Finding the answer to my constant high stress levels while driving is simple in contrast to my experience with being rear-ended. This is a realistic fear. What happened then can happen again. It is possible. Or it could never happen again. If I want to be free from my anxiety while driving, I must face the truth that fear is a liar. At least in those hundreds of accident-free car rides, fear was a liar.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love and a sound mind” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Here is where I leave you with some encouragement. Whatever fear you may have, it is most likely a lie that you have chosen to give power and reign to in your life. What is a fear in your life that you can identify as a complete lie in your experiences today or in your character of who you are in Christ? It may very well be, “That car is gonna hit me, that car is gonna hit me!” It may sound more like, “I’m gonna fail, I know I’m gonna fail.” Or “If they knew the real me, what I’ve done, they could never love the real me. I’m unlovable.”
No one escapes the uncontrollable. No one escapes falling short and making mistakes. With these truths, let’s also acknowledge that what happens to us, does not define us. Falling short in one area of our life does not diminish in any way the places where we flourish. Shame for mistakes of the past were forgiven over 2,000 years ago with the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. The Son of God died for our sins yesterday, today and forever. While we were still sinners He chose to forgive us and cleanse us by His sacrifice. You are forgiven. You are fearfully and wonderfully made with gifts and talents from God Himself when He created you in your mother’s womb.
That, “sound mind” part of 1 Timothy 1:7 is also translated “self-control”, as well as “self-disciplined”. If the mind can be trained to fear, the mind can be trained to discernment, love and dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit. Choose today to persistently believe in what you know – the Word of God – and not in what you feel or fear. This is not a one-step-destination-solution, but a one-day-at-a-time-journey. A transformation process that we are taken through in our walk with Jesus. The more we choose His truths over the lies, the more we will give access to the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
How do we find and stay in truth to combat the lies day to day? The Word of God. Meditate on these scriptures today and allow God’s Word to fill you with gratitude of all that is true (Philippians 4:8).
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God endures forever.” – Isaiah 40:8
“Therefore, anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” – Matthew 7:24
“The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14
Written by Alora Yee