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Four Letter F Word


There are some things that are just humanly universal.

The need to be loved.

The desire to be accepted.

The longing to be heard and understood.

Fear is on that list of common denominators for the human race.  Different brands and various depths, but we all are plagued in some way by this four letter F word.

And from now on, that phrase is how I will think of the word fear.  Foul.  Offensive.  Inappropriate.  Unnecessary.

My writing has been interrupted this week with sweet and Divine appointment.  People.  And there was not one person, friend or stranger, who didn’t share with me their struggle with fear.  Without my asking, each person this week opened their hearts, each having a component of the F word.

Yesterday on my way out of Tully’s (I just started taking one-on-one drawing classes there!) I stopped to talk to a woman sitting outside at a table, enjoying the sunshine with her adorable dog sprawled across her lap.  Amazing what can happen when you ask someone about their pet. 🙂  She is a retired therapist, and for the next hour and half, she shared how every person that came to her wrestled with fear in one way or another, once again confirming the idea that no one is immune to its touch on this earth.

When I got home, I called my mom and dad and we continued the discussion.  So many sources of wisdom in my life on the subject.  Once again, my dad, a retired pastor, offered up the same diagnosis – fear being the human condition.

And then he shared this with me.  A quotation that my grandpa had in his camera shop – “Fear knocked at the door.  Faith answered.  There was no one there.”  Oh, I do love that!  As my new therapist friend told me, 90% of the things we fear never even happen!

When fear knocks, what if faith DID answer the door?  Do we really believe that there would be no one there?  Or will we cower inside just assuming that an awful monster is out there waiting?  If faith answers the door all monsters, whether real or imagined, run away.  That four letter F word is just a taunting mirage that disappears in the presence of truth and the knowledge of the presence and love of God.

Yesterday was a day where I opened the door widely and fear never came in the room.  Why?  Because not only was no one there when faith answered the door, but there also wasn’t even standing room because of the massive presence of truth and love and light.  It was like an absolute party in my heart yesterday.  No pit in the stomach.  No dread in my mind.  Just an excited calm.  A spiritual excitement that felt like physical and mental healing.  My entire being experienced the difference.

I have no doubt that fear will come knocking on the door again.  And I WILL answer the door.  But not by myself.  I will let faith do the honors and then I’ll grin when the door opens to an empty porch.  Faith and I will give each other a high five and get back to the party of living.  Really truly living.  Fearless.  Fear’s ugly name only a discarded cuss word, traded in for a beautiful five letter F word – FAITH.

Romans 8:37 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us….

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…

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2 thoughts on “Four Letter F Word

  1. Hi Jana,

    I love this writing!! The quote from your Dad is priceless! I always enjoy your blog although sometimes it really hits me.

    Live Life Abundantly Gloria, Lori’s friend and client

    • Oh thank you, Gloria. That quote really hit me, too. Love catchy little things that express truth and are an easy visual to remember!

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