Sometimes I Still Sleep With a Light On – How to Conquer Fear
Commencing Self Humiliation Now – Sometimes I still Sleep With A Light On
Have you ever heard how talking about our problems and sharing our shortcomings is supposed to make us feel better? Well, after writing the phrase, “Sometimes I Still Sleep With a Light On” I can definitely say that is NOT always true.
In fact, my internal wuss meter just pegged the other side of the scale. Part of me wants to give you the exaggerated list of every seemingly manly thing I’ve ever done now. I wrestled for 5 years. I’ve gone cliff diving. I have tattoos. I’ve ridden a mechanical bull with a broken hand (not smart by the way), and I recently changed the rack and pinion on my minivan.
Truthfully though, about 15 years ago I began a long battle with fear. I typically don’t talk about this much because, as a man, I’ve always worked from the perception that we’re supposed to be brave and fearless.
Nearly every waking hour though, I lived with a constant worry that something tragic was moments away from happening.
I feared being alone, so I would go to ridiculous measures to always have someone around. I would panic if I even had to leave the house alone or be anywhere by myself.
I had the constant fear that every ache or pain was a sign of something much worse. My sore back was a heart attack. My headache was a stroke. The freckle was skin cancer. Even the infamous flesh-eating virus made it onto the list.
I was always afraid of dying. It seemed like every innocuous activity that I was involved in was morphed into fatal scenario within my mind.
Working on the car and the jack fails. Walking beside the road and someone veers of and hits me. Any type of construction site was a guarantee of unlimited and gruesomely creative ways that I was surely going to meet my demise.
I could keep going, but I’ll end the short list by giving my biggest fear of all. God. I wasn’t just afraid of God, I was terrified of God.
I wasn’t just afraid of God, I was terrified of God.I committed my life to Christ, at age 17, as He showed Himself to be the very definition and source of love.
When I gave my life to Christ, I did so within a Christian organization that essentially believed and taught that every activity outside of praying, reading your bible, and eating church potlucks would send you straight to hell.
Eventually, that teaching, which was all I knew, had a severe impact on me, and I began to see every failure as a reason that God would kill me and send me to hell.
I pleaded with God. I begged God for mercy. I fasted. I prayed. I read more and more of the Bible, but everything I did was motivated more and more by fear. The loving Savior I had fallen in love with seemed to be more of a bait and switch ploy compared to the God who I now feared.
The loving Savior I had fallen in love with seemed to be more of a bait and switch ploy compared to the God who I now feared.
My fears became so extreme that there were times I would literally collapse on the floor in absolute terror. Today I believe that God is the perfect answer to fear, but in those moments my understanding of Him was so distorted that even the act of looking to Him was a source of more fear.
Over the last 6-8 years, God has brought teaching into my life and an understanding of His perfect love that has really set me free from this overwhelming dread. Admittedly, it’s still a work in progress, but my life is filled with much joy and happiness and only intermittent moments of fear.
So yes, sometimes I still sleep with a light on, but that is infinitely further along than I was 10 years ago.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…” – 1 John 4:18
— Jeremy Binns (@Jeremy_Binns) October 23, 2012
The purpose of writing this today is to tell the person out there who is battling fear that you aren’t alone, and there is hope for a future without the constricting chains of fear tormenting you.
I have planned two more posts talking about How to Conquer Fear. In the next post, I’m going to talk about why it is necessary to proactively conquer our fears, and then the final post will explain why and how you can live free from fear.
Right now though, if you are one of those people who are plagued with fear, I understand the torment that overwhelms you at every waking moment. Because of that, I want to end this post with a prayer specifically for you.
Father, in this moment, I’m asking you to do something that no one else can do. I ask that you would surround the person reading this right now with your perfect love. If they are having difficulty believing in that love, then I pray that you would bring people into their lives who would demonstrate that love in real and life changing ways. Also, right now, I pray that you would surround them with a supernatural protection. I pray that you would stand between them and all of the things that they are afraid of. And Father, if they are afraid of You like I once was, I pray that you would show them your beauty. I pray that the lies they have been told and the fear that has been placed into their lives would be crushed by the overpowering presence of your love and truth. You are my best friend, and I pray that they would know you as more than a Creator. I pray that they would come to know you as friend.
Have a thought about this post, I’d love to hear it. Leave a comment below.