But even when I am afraid, I keep on trusting you. | Psalm 56:3
I believe the Holy Spirit has been leading me to write this post about Fear for a while. I was holding back because I don’t want to admit how much Fear played a role in my life. But, when the Holy Spirit wants something, He lets us know and it makes it awful hard to avoid His gentle promptings.
I was at Mass on Friday and as I mentioned in my 7QTs, it was the feast day of St. Ignatius of Antioch. Our priest, Father Ray, based his whole homily on fighting Fear and how St. Ignatius of Antioch is our model in doing so. As you may know, he was martyred for his Catholic Faith in the year 107AD. He was empowered with such courage because of the grace he received from Jesus in the Eucharist. He, like all Christians of his day, knew the Eucharist is the body and blood of Jesus. He died, rather than renounce this truth. Now, that is a man with Fortitude!
Back in the late 90’s, I belonged to an on-line group of girls called the WUMTHS (Waiting Until Marriage To Have Sex). My code name in the group was Fortitude. Not because I had so much fortitude but because I wanted to have it.
You see, I knew that Fear was an issue for me. Sure, I was afraid of never getting married but for me, the fear I experienced had more to do with getting married.
Yes, I was afraid to get married.
Paralyzed By Fear
I was emailing with a girl recently who is dating a nice catholic guy. He has a job, interesting hobbies, friends, nice family, is cute and practices his faith for real. So, what is the problem? The problem is that she is not sure if she feels a spark or not.
As I have stated before, romantic love cannot be explained. It is mysterious and beautiful and confounding. It cannot be manufactured. However, as I was writing with this girl, I felt the Holy Spirit’s prompting in asking her about her fears. Could her fears be keeping her from getting serious with this guy?
I do think our fears can paralyze us. I felt that intense paralysis as a single girl. I wanted to be married but I felt stuck because marriage requires so much intimacy and exposure. I am not just talking about the marital embrace. I am talking about everything!
This dear girl responded saying that yes, she does struggle with fear and that she struggles with perfectionism.
I understand the pressure to be perfect. I was one of those girls who struggled with it and just could not imagine being loved with all my faults. I believed that if I could just get rid of my faults, then I could get over my fears!
You have faults too. Maybe you are not the best housekeeper. Maybe your legs are not silky-smooth. Maybe you have cellulite and hair all over your body. Maybe your double chin becomes pronounced in your sleep. Do you have strange eating habits? Maybe you are not always kind or positive. Do these faults make you fearful of 24/7 intimacy with a man? Do you believe you will be rejected once the faults are discovered (and they will be in marriage)?
Even with these faults, you can be loved by a man. In fact, these ‘faults’ may be exactly what endears him to you. These ‘faults’ give you that beautiful human dimension which will do two things. First, they will calm down the fears your husband has about himself. Second, they will give you the daily dose of humility needed in marriage.
But what should this girl do?
To be continued…..here
Next week I will continue this post. In the meantime, will you ask yourself if your fears are keeping you paralyzed and keeping you from trusting God? If so, let’s discuss some potential causes. I will then share how the Lord healed me.
And of course you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
God love and bless you!
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