Where are you experiencing fear right now?
What scares you most? Maybe it’s something that haunts you from your past. Maybe it’s the idea of a potential outcome in the future.
Josh and Kit are exploring a new approach. Instead of trying to escape fear, numb fear or minimize fear – today, we’re going to face fear. You can do this.
Facing your fear is a power move to pull back some of that control you normally give it. The rabbit hole of “what if’s” pulls your brain down a long, dark drop of doom. Your past can sneak up on you, trapping you.
The present – right here and right now – We’re talking about trying something very different. Don’t deny fear. Don’t drown in fear.
Today, your next step to becoming whole is Facing your Fear.
Our fears want to be held
It’s a present moment experience of instead of panicking and focusing on what if or if only’s you’re present.
You’re present. You’re inviting God in in that moment. You’re trusting that God is with you and that He’s present and that He’s going to hold this fear with you.
In the moment you’re feeling fear, try GROUNDING: stay still, feet on the ground, pay attention your breath and notice what you are smelling, seeing, hearing, feeling.
Pray this prayer: “Father,
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
~Charles de Foucauld
“The thing that frightens us just wants to be held” – Mark Nepo
“The humans live in time but our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present — either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.” The Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis
Click for Full Podcast Transcription
Alright, so great news today, listeners, we are going to talk about fear. And I say it like that, because it’s kind of scary to talk about fear. Fear is daunting. I think a lot of us are experiencing a lot of it these days in many different forms. So as we start, I want to just ask you to reflect in yourself. Where are you experiencing? fear? And I mean, in all seriousness, where is fear rising up in you in your life these days? Is it in something with your kids? Is it in the state of the world does it have to do with race or politics, that have to do with safety or finances? Where you experiencing fear bubbling up in you, or even maybe overwhelming you? And Kilmer and I are here today we’re going to talk about fear. So kill me asking you where were you? Where do you find fear bubbling up? in you? Would you say bubbling up? Or would you say, overwhelming? Where are you feeling fear these days? and to what degree?
You know, it’s it really is such a good question to take time to ponder because we can be like, Oh, where are my fears and then kind of move on. But it you know, really just staying with it as I have been, as we’ve been thinking about today, and even in this moment, when you’ve been asking the question, and it’s an interesting, a lot of a lot of stuff came up, a lot of fears came up. And for me, I think, you know, children is at the top of the list, even though I have adult children, you know, you just really I continue to just struggle with wanting to control, you know, are they going to be okay, and what are they going to do? And what are they not going to do? And so I have fear around that I have fear on state of the world, you know, just so much going on? And what’s my part and health issues? And you know, and then there’s this basic kind of underlying fear that I realize kind of haunts me sometimes in my work or in my parenting or in my marriage? Am I good enough? Am I doing well enough? Yeah, this fear. So Wow, I mean, lots of them that I’m on kind of all over the place. But it’s a good question.
I can actually really appreciate that. I think there’s, I’ve, I’ve acclimated my life around fear so much. And I don’t think I realized it until adulthood how anxious I can be. And I, somebody asked me the question about what are you afraid of, and, you know, almost like a magnet, like, all find something. But I think for me, the two things that come to mind most right now, I also have a parenting one. In general, about, you know, how my kids will will fare in the world. But recently, one of my kids was in a, in a situation where they were physically in danger. And thankfully, they they walked away unscathed. But as I reflected on afterwards, and I wasn’t actually me, reflecting so much I was talking to a group of men. And I just shared that I was feeling some anger at God. And one of them graciously said, What’s, what’s that about? Tell us a little more about that, as I reflected on I was like, I don’t know what to think about the situation that my kid was in and I and was it just luck? They they walked away? Was it to God intervene, like, intervene there? Why does he always intervene? Like you mean? And all this stuff? Kind of, you know, data is a really basic theology of evil kind of, where does evil come from? Like, and why does God allow me all that kind of stuff coming up? So my lack of control my kids? Yeah, and the other area for fear for me right now is, as you know, kid, I’m kind of looking down in June, my first book releases and I feel such incredible fear about like, Is it gonna suck? Is anybody gonna care? And it’s crazy how much my ego gets wrapped up in there. So yeah, so those are those are two areas where I’m currently experiencing fear bubbling up and sometimes washing over me and unwelcome way so. But we, before I keep going here, like you you in encountering something with fear kind of approaching fear in a different way recently, that really prompted us to want to do this podcast. And so let’s just get into the meat of it. Talk a little bit about what you’ve been learning and how that’s been experienced how you’ve been experiencing fear differently. It’ll give us all some hope.
So I heard these words the other day, and I and it resonated so deeply within me and I thought, oh, that really is speaking to what God’s been Trying to show me in the quote was, our fears just want to be held. And I realize that, you know, generally speaking, I’ve lived my life wanting to minimize fear, deny fear, escaped fear namit. You know, and, and what I, what God’s been teaching me over these last few months, in some pretty incredible experiences is that these are fears want to be held and if we can hold it, and if we can take it and lean into God with it. Fear dissipates. So that’s a remarkable change for me because I would go into hyper vigilant alert to fix it, instead of being able to calmly lean into God with my fear and hold it with them.
Alright, so let me push back and press in a little bit to what you’re saying because I part of me feels in response to that a a something Invitational something intriguing. Another part of me. I can feel and see inside me, part of me recoils from that, like, Well, hold on, hold on, like, our fears just want to be held, like, my fears mean me harm. They, they’re trying to hold me back. They’re trying to get me, you know, to to ruminate on things I can’t control. They’re trying to get me not to trust God like me, there’s so many ways I’ve approached fear in my life as an enemy to be fought against. And so the idea of holding it sounds different now. So just respond to that a little bit how how does? How does, holding our fears differ relate, connect to introduce a brand new path of dealing with fear than than the idea of battling fear?
Well, I mean, I think for one thing, when we, when we are afraid of fear, we get intimidated. We want to control, you know, we’re always right, we want to the good invitation for us is to, to surrender to trust, and to bring it to God. And so it’s not that you’re not, you know, you’re acknowledging that there’s fear, we all have fears, life is hard. Life is full of challenges. And so you’re not denying that there’s fear as much as you’re allowing it to become something you can bring to God because that very act of leaning into God. It’s like, okay, I can I can release it to God, I don’t have to try to manage it and control it and use all my energy like that. And when we lean into God with it, there is a relief. And that’s a spiritual experience, Josh, so it’s even a little bit hard to use words for it. But the experience I had when I was having a physical experience with some health issues, and I was fighting some of the symptoms, and I leaned into God with it, holding it leaning into it, instead of trying to own it and control it. And there was a there was a calm and a relief that came
I think I think something I hear and what you’re sharing is the the let’s battle fear approach. Keeps does one of two things either it keeps me unaware of fear because I’m living in denial or pushing it away that we know it’s knocking at the door and I just kind of you know, open the door and throw something at it, you know, don’t even really face it. Which can can be a form of denial, a form of posturing or posing. On the other hand, the other the other way that fighting can be is I am aware of it and it’s it’s almost like it’s it’s stuck to me, it’s clean to me and I’m wrestling and do all I can to get rid of it. And what I hear you inviting people to is the idea of where God says do not fear instead of holding that as like okay, now I need to battle this thing. You’re giving some space to just listen to it a little bit to to acknowledge its presence without it becoming this striving against it kind of thing. And you you keep using this expression, lean into God with it.
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So maybe maybe describe a little bit or give some words to or examples of like, when you say lean into God, with fear.
What does that look like? What is that?
You know? Yeah, there’s cuz it’s not that it’s, you know, it is life is full of battles. And fear can be a battle. But the difference between you owning the battle, and allowing God to be in the battle with you, for you is a very different thing. And so when you lean into God, you’re literally, you know, allowing him to be in it with you because he reaches promised isn’t, you know, that you’re not you’re, you know, he doesn’t say, you’re not going to hear what you want to have trouble. You want to travel in the world, he says, I’ll be with you in the trouble. So the very act of inviting him into the fear into what’s going on, allows the trust of him to become more important than, than the fear itself.
So take take, take us through it. Like so one of the fears you just described, that has been bubbling up or Yeah, or coming into your life. Yeah. And maybe you could even even very specifically juxtapose like, Well, you know, in the past, this is what I’ve done with that fear here. And, and this new way of approaching it, how that’s how that, yeah, walk us through that.
So I had some significant blood pressures, issues this summer, like my blood pressure was out of whack and going up and crashing. And it’s a long story, I’ve got a theological predisposition to that. I also was feeling anxious about some significant things that were going on. And it was kind of a perfect storm. And so they were having a hard time managing, figuring out, you know, my particular nervous system and, and the medications that were going to help me and I was having heart palpitations, very scary fast paced heart palpitations. And some of that was a response of anxiety towards my blood pressure. And some of it was some side effects to the medicine. And some of it was my body responding to high blood pressure. And so anyway, in the past, I would be like, Oh, no, no, no, this is terrible. This is terrible. And I kind of panic and start breathing, you know, probably heavy. And instead, I felt God inviting me to lean into the palpitations, and to trust him in it. And as I did that, um, some of the anxiety and some of the fear began to dissipate. Hmm.
Yeah, I mean, you describe a perfect storm, both kind of circumstantially in your life, also, just, you know, bio biologically and then the, as you start to experience, the heart palpitations, fear is not going to lower your blood pressure, decrease your heart rate, right. So all the all the more like reason to, to experience some fear. And I know, I know that, that people who walk with anxiety, there can be anxiety when they begin to feel anxiety so that it can have compounding impact. And I’ve experienced that and others have experienced that. And so you’re describing leaning into it, which is a, I guess, I must get this picture of like, there’s this, this music, this loud, kind of beam of music in the in the next room. And, and instead of, you know, trying to close the door, instead of, you know, staying away, instead of being pushed into it, just like you’re, you’re leaning into to listen to the music a bit. Is it is what you’re describing. Because the other side of that, I think, is I want to press in a little bit more specifically, like, I think some might hear what you’re saying and say, I’ve done that it doesn’t work. And what they’re describing is really ruminating on some of the sources of their fear so so you know, if I have a fear about my child, or a fear about my future, I’m thinking about all those negative things that might happen. Kind of just staying in that space. It’s that you’re describing something a little bit different than that
present moment experience, you know, it’s a present moment experience of, you know, instead of panicking, and you know, focusing on you know, what if or if onlys you know that you’re present, you’re inviting God in in in that moment, you’re trusting that God is with you and that he’s present and that he’s going to hold this fear with you.
Hmm, that’s that’s powerful right there like I cuz I think So much of fear is about what’s going to happen. Yeah. And, and it gets us. So focused on potential, sometimes even very unlikely, sometimes likely outcomes in the future places that are utterly outside of our domain, because we cannot live in the future we were not there. And so when you say it’s a present moment, reality, what a, what a difference. So I am, I’m experiencing the fear and not going with it to the potential future outcome, but rather experiencing the fear and staying in the present with it with God.
And God has even said to me, so, you know, I also can experience this with safety with my children, if they’re, you know, traveling far far or, you know, I have some reason to, you know, be concerned about one of their safety and to instead of be like, you know, go with the panic, you know, God will whisper to me, we know what that is that fear that’s coming up, that anxiety is coming up, we know what that is, it’s okay. And settled in with him with that, inviting him into it, you know, holding it with you, then you’re not down the road on your own doing all kinds of stuff, you’re with him, acknowledging it, letting him into it. And it can’t comes
should just reminds me of a couple things. One is I know that that therapeutically, one of the exercises that people can do in the moment of feeling fear is, is what’s called grounding, right? where you sit, and you literally spend time paying attention to what you feel that your feet are on the ground, that your hands are on the arms of your chair, I mean, all those things, pay attention to breathing. Yeah, this is a way of staying in the present. It also reminds me of that great CS Lewis line from the screwtape letters where one of the characters talks about how how the enemy’s goal is to get us focused on the future in the past, because those are two places that we actually cannot be. As opposed to when we are present to the future. That’s the that’s the one place that we can experience God’s grace. And I know for me, as I, as I fear, I’m thinking about the future. Where there, there is no grace for God, from God for me yet, because I’m not there. And not not that I don’t mean that there’s a graceless future for me, but rather, I need to experience God’s grace here today, because that’s where I am. And instead of seeking it somewhere with I’m not,
and this is also a very becoming very, very aware of the fact that this is all very much a mind body spirit experience. And so when you mentioned grounding, like, God is not, I’m not interested in not involved in grounding. He wants us to use our bodies, even to know that we have bodies that he’s given us to, to use to help you know, it’s to invite his spirit in it also includes our mind how we think about something and our body and what we do with it. So these things are not disconnected and they’re they’re all a part of God wanting to help us.
Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s so helpful to kid I appreciate you bringing that in. It’s not It’s not like you know, you have the spiritual way of dealing with it, which involves God and then the secular way which involves the body right if you think about it, like God is the designer everybody and not only that, but it’s been kind of a new idea for me even this last year and I think john and Tristan Collins for this that that we we actually experience emotions in our bodies and so we that’s where we’re experiencing the fear it’s not in some ethereal plane it’s we’re experiencing it in ourselves and we are you know, body spirit creatures. So Kitt, thank you so much for this I’m challenged by it for sure. It’s it’s not an area that I have a lot of experience. I’m grateful that you lead the way in so many ways in this ministry and in talking about fear today, you have a prayer that you’ve come across and I think just because it’s it doesn’t directly talk about fear might might benefit people as we were gonna close out with it, but might benefit people to hear just a little a little setup. Just kind of lead us into it. And then and then when you close us in, in reading through the prayer,
yes. Yeah, it’s a it’s really become a favorite of mine. But I have to completely confess that when I first read it, I was like, Oh, God, I don’t think I can pray
prayers like that. Yeah.
And, but eventually, I really felt like he was saying, you know, come on, let’s do this together. Again, I’m with you. He’s reminding me so much. You know, I’m we’re partners, I’m in this with you. And the the prayer really is about abandoning ourselves to Him. It’s about trust, which of course is all about fear. So it you know, it doesn’t specifically mention fear as much as it really just allows us to be in a posture of Surrender. So I really do. Yeah. And I hope that it blesses people.
So before you start hit one word to listeners, and I’m going to do this here as well. But we started off by saying, you know, where’s fear coming out for you. And we’ve talked in the last 20 minutes about the importance of leaning into it not pulling away for so, as kit leads us through this prayer. Let’s do that. Let’s, let’s be aware of what’s bubbled up, and stay present to it in the present with God who is present with us. And so, kid, I’ll let you close out with this.
And we’ve also talked about mind body spirit, so get comfortable, and try to, you know, just get in a comfortable position, close your eyes if you can, and just allow this to wash over you. Father, I abandoned myself into your hands. Do with me what you will, and for whatever you may do, I thank you. I am ready for all I accept all. Let only your will be done in me as in all your creatures. I wish no more than this. Oh Lord, into your hands I commend my soul. I offer it to you with all the love of my heart. For i love you my god and i so need to give myself just surrender myself into your hands without reserve and with boundless confidence for you or my father.
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Original music by Shannon Smith. Audio engineering by Gabriel @ DelMar Sound Recording.
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