Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fear: Five Minute Friday

Another week, another chance to write on a one-word prompt for only five minutes. We set timers, type quickly, and let it flow without criticism. Then, we link-up our posts so we can read others' posts and they read ours and we have a community that grows from one word each week.
Five Minute Friday.


I have a Fear. A fear of failure. As a perfectionist type A firstborn daughter, I want to do everything right. The first time. No mistakes. No do-overs. (So, God is teaching me about Grace.)
And? My good-old fall-back sin is Pride. Pride and Fear battle each other for prominence. Proud of success, Fear of failure.

Enter parenthood. Oh yes! God has a big plan and did not give me children who would puff up my pride, but instead would humble me and send me crawling to Him on my hands and knees, weeping. Failure became my first thought, until I began to listen.

If we want to conquer fear, we must face fear and name it. What are you afraid of?
*My child will never be able to control their emotions and will throw tantrums in adulthood.*
Okay. Let's say that comes true. Now what?
*I was ridiculed and don't want their ridicule.*
The root issue? I have a fear that my children will be hurt as I was by peers.

The answer? The truth of God.

Psalm 34. So good. I won't quote the entire chapter, but I should. There's not a word that isn't worth reading, that won't speak life to you.
Paste function? I thank you for keeping me to the five minute limit.

Psalm 34:1-22
I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
    and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.

18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
(I did. I couldn't leave anything out.)

We may not understand how the Lord delivers us. We are afraid of dying, of separation, of "the end", but for those of us in Christ, it is actually "the beginning".
I want to make the most of every waking moment I have on Earth, but also to live in the freedom of purpose of following God's plan for my life instead of the plans others have put upon me.
My children will experience pain, sorrow, disappointment and heartache, and though I long to spare them, it is in those times where they will find God for themselves. It is my job to point to Him as best I can (and shepherd them so the falls are on grass instead of glass). It is their job to choose.

Timer lets me know that it's time to go.

Be encouraged!

“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before Your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?”
~C.S. Lewis, "Til We Have Faces"


  1. Tammy, I so appreciate your post. It resonates with me. Yes, I've struggled with fear of failure. I've tried not to feel like my children's behavior reflects on me as their mother, but it's hard to separate those when I want everything to look "perfect."

    A dear friend of mine quotes this: "Motherhood: Perfection not required." Thank goodness God doesn't require perfection, huh?!

    I loved what you said about how our children will learn best when they have to walk through heartache, sorrow, pain. We shouldn't try to shield them, because we rob them of the blessings God has for them. The character he wants to nurture within them. I needed that tonight. Thank you!

    1. Jeanne,
      thank you for your encouragement. I'm looking forward to the "Inside Out" movie that just came out (we're going next week). I think this message is in there.
      So much we want good for our children, as God does for us. Glad to be on the journey with you, sweet sister!

  2. Beautiful post Tammy! I'm one who is often afraid of failure too. But you're so right we must experience those heartaches etc to grow. I'm your neighbor at FMF this week. I'm #8!

    1. Tara,
      oh how much I appreciate you! :) We all struggle because we want to please God. His pleasure comes in our dependence on Him. I feel like a slow learner, but am glad that we are learning together!

  3. Hello from FMF #6!

    I used to fear failure, until everything fell, career, and many aspect of my personal a few years they all went south, big-time, and virtually none can now be recalled to life.

    And it's ok. The sun will come up tomorrow.

    1. Andrew,
      you came to mind as I was typing. So thankful for your visit and feedback. Praying with you and your wife as you have another day yet to glorify God. (And rejoicing in how you are spreading life and hope. He is not finished with you yet.)

  4. Thank you for this beautiful post. I too am a recovering perfectionist. You totally pegged the connection between fear and pride. Thanks for sharing that beautiful and encouraging Psalm.
    Blessings, Elizabeth
    @Blessed Beyond the Mess

    1. Elizabeth,
      thank you. I look forward to reading your post (and the others as well). Oh perfectionism, God is calling you out for an early death this year! And not just in me, but in many. :)
      So thankful for your comments.

  5. "I want to make the most of every waking moment I have on Earth, but also to live in the freedom of purpose of following God's plan for my life instead of the plans others have put upon me."

    Words I so badly needed to hear!! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Amber,
      I am so glad to have helped and encouraged you! I look forward to reading your post as well.
      Usually everything that comes out of my fingertips on FMFparty is something that I needed to hear myself. :)
      So thankful God is working through us to encourage each other!

  6. I recall having the same fears when my kids were young. Ultimately the fear pointed back to my pride and - YES, fear of not being in control of the situation. But God. Thank you for Psalm 34 (and yes, copy and paste is a FMF participant's BFF!!
    Good to see you again, Tammy!

    1. Ruthie,
      oh I thank you for light at the end of this valley. I feel like my girls are at an age where the path is headed upward and I'm seeing the sun reflect off a glorious peak (though it's still a ways off).
      I look forward to reading your post as well! :)

  7. "It is my job to point to Him as best I can (and shepherd them so the falls are on grass instead of glass). It is their job to choose." Love that. Just a perfect post. Honest. Hopeful. Sincere. Encouraging. Oh dear - should I tell someone who strives for perfection that her post is perfect? Yes, I'll take a chance and do it. I'm parked over in slot #48 of FMF. xo

    1. Susan,
      you made my heart leap with your compliment. What God can do in five minutes is amazing, no? (If we are listening)
      Truly, I thank you for your comment today. It really lifted my spirits. (and perhaps a little bit of that pride...)

    2. I watched the Jumping Tandem video. Girl, I could never ever do such a brave thing. YOU ROCK!

  8. Great writing and truth. parenting is a very hard job.

    1. Thank you! Can't wait to read your post as well!

  9. Spot on, Tammy! This year of Grace & Truth has been all about naming fears that have been lurking in the shadows and mocking me and speaking the Truth of God over them.

    1. Asheritah!
      Oh what a joy to hear your response. :) I shall quickly hop over to hear your post now.
      Praise God that you are naming those fears and speaking truth!
      "But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one."
      2 Thessalonians 3:3
      Love you!!