Discovering Courage

Remember that one sleepless night I mentioned a few weeks ago? The one where I admitted just how crazy I am deep inside, and how I stayed up from midnight til dawn because I was housesitting alone and scared?

Well, I wanted to follow up…

The next morning I started blaming my very protective upbringing. I’ve been raised to fear. I wish I were like some of my other friends who were educated but given confidence. Now I’m stuck like this.

No. I felt God gently directing me. You are not going to blame your childhood anymore for the decisions you’re making as an adult.

He was right! I’ve spent so much of the last year searching for the root of my insecurities and it’s easy to point the finger and give up. But we don’t have to be the product of our childhoods; we can choose a different path as adults. We can choose to pursue healing and overcome the obstacles placed in our lives by circumstances and other people.

No more excuses.

I was determined to beat this. Later that day I enjoyed a light swim in the pool with my younger brother and felt complete tranquility.

What was I even thinking last night? I’m safe—I don’t know anywhere else I’d feel so relaxed. I’ll sleep just fine tonight.

Hours passed, my brother left, and the sun went down. As darkness crept in, so did my fear.

Are you serious!? Again? No…

But I could already feel it everywhere. My hope of overcoming lifelong “worst case scenario” fears was dwindling—and quickly. It was getting later and I was terrified of never sleeping again. I decided to try a friend who had sincerely encouraged me to call anytime. Because I’d noticed the 3 AM timestamps on her Facebook posts, I figured she meant it.

I gave her a call and fought the shame urging me to be silent. “I’m ok… this is really dumb… it’s nothing really… but I’m staying alone and I’m scared.There. I said it. The statement sounded ridiculous, but it was true.

Grace met me through the words of my dear friend on the other end. “That’s not dumb, that’s real.

She told me I wasn’t alone and that she had once learned how to sleep by herself in the midst of a crazy neighborhood with very dark nights. She encouraged me that this fear was a spiritual attack—this refreshing housesitting gig was a gift only God could grant me and the devil was trying to take it away. Satan can’t snatch what God has given someone, but he can try to scare them into forfeiting their gift.

My friend instructed me, “Anoint the doors of that home with oil and claim Psalm 92 over your situation. Blast praise and worship music, sleep with the light on—whatever you have to do to feel safe—and know that you are.”

As we hung up I felt a boost of courage. The fear was smaller, and an ember of faith was burning within me. Hope permeated my soul and for the first time in forever I had total confidence that I would destroy this fear—once and for all. I brought my frankincense oil, Bible, and phone to play “Christ be all around me” and approached the first door.

“Lord, this represents the protection You’ve already promised me.” As I smeared the oil on one doorpost after another, I thanked God for the faithfulness He’d proven my entire life. I expressed gratitude for the gift of this temporary home and His promise to keep me safe. After covering each door, frankincense was soaked in my fingertips and the home was filled with its royal scent.

Although peace and protection were always available to me, they finally seemed tangible. Inspired by this new awareness, I place the oil on my chest and prayed, “Lord, seal and protect my heart. Keep me from fear.”

The scent of frankincense had already become a calming reminder of protection, so I placed one small drop on my wrist and climbed into bed.

That night I slept with a tiny flashlight nearby and a worship playlist on repeat. I woke up twice a little panicked. Both times, like a child looking for comfort, I smelled the oil on my wrist and was immediately soothed. That simple smell triggered peace by reminding me that the house was surrounded by the God of Protection. I fell back into a deep sleep.

It’s been more than three weeks since that night, and I’ve been sleeping soundly. This blog post is a testament of victory Christ has claimed in my heart and mind. Never in my life have I felt so much peace, confidence, or security.

Sure, we’ve all been influenced by our upbringings. But I am finding increasing joy in being influenced by my Heavenly Father who never intended for us to live in fear. He created us for freedom, and by His grace I’m one step closer to that today.

I truthfully didn’t imagine resolution so quickly when I wrote the last post. I expected to reference that blog months or years down the line. Little did I know my Father wanted me free even more than I did! My natural response is praise and gratitude to the One who doesn’t leave us broken. Thank You, Jesus, for continuing to set me free!

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