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How To Overcome Fear When It Won’t Go Away

Whether it’s a spider or being afraid that something is going to happen to your kids, your spouse or even you—if you don’t learn how to overcome fear—life will be filled with anxiety instead of peace.

And for me, this idea of learning how to overcome fear, keeps coming back to teach me over and over again. Here’s just one story of how it shows up for me.

The room was pitch black. I had just climbed into bed, pulled up the covers and closed my eyes when I felt something on my face.

Thinking it might be a piece of lint or a strand of my hair, I brushed my hand against it only to realize it was a spider! “Ahhh I gotta get this thing off from me!”

I thought I had succeeded, when I started to feel it crawling down into my shirt! I grabbed it—then threw it off me and onto the floor.

After calming myself down, reality sat in; I didn’t win.

I let that spider get away and it will show up again. In fact it did a couple days later—and I snapped a photo. Still, I can’t be absolutely sure that this is the same spider!!!

How do I know how to overcome fear? I've been there. But, I'm an overcomer, not because I've said, "I'm not gonna let fear win." But because of Him. #howtoovercomefear #healthylivingmomblog

Now in case you’re short on time and really interested in getting started in overcoming fear right now—you can quick grab my free worksheet How to Overcome Fear When It Won’t Go Away. It goes right along with what I’ve written in this post. You can grab your copy here.

So how do you overcome fear, when it won’t go away?

Spiders can actually teach us a lot about how to overcome fear. I was at a conference where I heard Carlos Whittaker speak and share about his book, Kill the Spider.

He told his story about how life was literally the best—but then in an instant it turned upside down. During this difficult time, often he would say, “I’m just trying to clean out the cobwebs in my life.” At one point, his dad turned to him and said—“Carlos, you’re going after the wrong thing. You don’t need to clean out the cobwebs, you need to kill the spider.”

1. Cobwebs are a symptom.

2. The Spider is the real problem.

The point is, that fear also is a symptom—it’s a cobweb. Like a cobweb acts as a net for the spider’s catch—fear can make you feel powerless, restricted, and suffocated. You can spend time trying to clean out the cobwebs in your life, but unless you discover what the source of your fear is, unless you kill the spider—fear will show up again and again.

So let’s take the spider and use it to show us how to overcome fear step by step.

How do I know how to overcome fear? I've been there. But, I'm an overcomer, not because I've said, "I'm not gonna let fear win." But because of Him. #howtoovercomefear #healthylivingmomblog

 

 
 
 

 

How to Overcome Fear When It Won’t Go Away

  1. Turn the lights on—identify your fear.

    What fear are you battling right now and what does that fear sound and look like?

     

    It’s like what you would do when your little boy says to you, “Mommy, I’m afraid of the monster in my room!”

    You ask your son, “Oh honey, I’m sorry you feel scared. What is it that looks like a monster?”
     
    Your son: “It’s on my dresser—over there, mommy.”
    You: “Oh! Okay, Peanut. Now look at mommy. When I turn the lights on, what do you see?”

     

    Your son: “Oh! Look mommy, it’s my books and my stuffy.”

    Sometimes what we are afraid of—is simply a misunderstanding or a limited perspective.
    Turning the lights on—identifying what fears your battling right now—helps you to see what it is that you are fearing.
  2. Look for cobwebs.

    Have you ever thought about keeping track of when and where your fear shows up?

     

    The idea of tracking wasn’t something I did either, until I read a book called  Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero. In tracking my emotions, I discovered what emotions were real and it also revealed the ways my emotions were being influenced by people and circumstances.

     

    A couple years later, I started tracking my monthly cycle after reading,  Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge. Tracking showed me that some of my fears were related to my hormones fluctuating during certain times of the month.

     

    In the same way, tracking your fears will help you to understand more what is causing your fear.

     

  3. Kill the spider.

    Overcome fear by resisting it with God’s help. If you only get one thing out of what I’m sharing—by far this is the most important point.
    You cannot overcome fear simply by saying, “I’m not going to let fear win.”
    And this is why:

     

    Because that response is based on willpower—what YOU CAN DO to overcome fear.

     

    I like how @boundariesbooks says it,

     

    “The problem with this approach is that it makes an idol out of the will, something God never intended. Just as our hearts and minds are distorted by the fall, so is our power to make right decisions. Will is only strengthened by relationship; we can’t make commitments alone. God told Moses to encourage and strengthen Joshua (Deut. 3:28); he didn’t tell Moses to tell Joshua to “just say no.”

     

     

    Your fear will show up again and you can resist your fear by taking action on those things you’ve learned in steps 1 and 2 but the real answer for how to overcome fear is to do so with God’s help.

    How do I know how to overcome fear? I've been there. But, I'm an overcomer, not because I've said, "I'm not gonna let fear win." But because of Him. #howtoovercomefear #healthylivingmomblog

    As a Christian, you have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of you. God has also given you the tools of scripture and prayer specifically to replace fear—with the truth of God’s word.

     

    Two books that have helped me learn more how to do this, are Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth and Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore.
  4. Persevere. Don’t quit resisting the fear. Call in reinforcements.

    After you’ve armed yourself with some truth and started a path of resisting fear with God’s help—there’s something else that is true of spiders that I think is true of fear.

     

    There may not be any evidence that a spider is crawling on you—but after they’ve crawled on you once, it’s really hard not to “feel” like you have a spider crawling on your skin. Am I right?!

     

    Fear is like that too!

     

    There might be no reason for you to be fearing something—but it’s hard to shake that feeling. Fear can wear you down especially when you feel overwhelmed by life as a mom.

     

    Now is the time for you to call in reinforcements to encourage you and pray for you—calling out the lies—especially when you are feeling defeated. Who is someone that can pray for and with you? Write their name down today and give them a call or text.
 

How do I know how to overcome fear?

Everyone can relate to fear—and everyone can overcome fear with God’s help to identify, observe, resist and persevere.

 

Even though I’ve given you these steps, I’ve been challenged whether this really works or not. I have a fear that just won’t go away and it doesn’t seem like it will go away anytime soon.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Sonya@HealthyLivingMom.com (@sonyarottman) on

The picture above was from after my third visit to my gynecologist— you can read more about that day on my instagram @sonyarottman.

 

Nine months ago I started bleeding. At first I tried to ignore it and then it got worse. It was my episiotomy from four years ago.

 

Yes, I said four years ago. I did NOT just have a baby and this definitely is NOT normal.

 

My fear sounded like this:

 

“What is wrong with me?”

 

 

“Is the bleeding EVER going to end?”

 

 

“Is it cancer?”

 

 

With each visit my doctor assured me, there’s nothing to worry about.  A few weeks after each treatment, the bleeding would start again and my fear would return with it.
 

How do you overcome fear—when it keeps beating you up?

 
I have done everything that I’ve shared with you—

 

1. Identified my fear
2. Tracked my fear
3. Resisted my fear
4. and Persevered.

 

I’m overcoming—not because my circumstances have changed, but because I’ve killed the spider.

 

 

At first glance, I thought my spider was the fear that I might have cancer. But as I went through the process I learned that my fear of cancer, is just the cobwebs.

The real spider was my wavering belief that God can’t help me.

Using the steps I shared about how to overcome fear, I’ve been given peace. Even if I have cancer, I know and believe that God is helping me and is with me—and I’m not alone. I have a group of people around me supporting me.

How do I know how to overcome fear? I've been there. But, I'm an overcomer, not because I've said, "I'm not gonna let fear win." But because of Him. #howtoovercomefear #healthylivingmomblog

My journey has been creating in me a trust in Him no matter the outcome.
It reminds me of the MercyMe song, Even If from the album Lifer where the lyrics read:

 

“I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone”1
God is our hope. He longs for us to come to Him first with all of our fears.

When fear is weighing heavy on you—is God the first to hear about it?

As the scripture says in Romans 8:15, cry out to your heavenly Father. Tell Him your fears, all of those things that are going on in your head.

 

“The Spirit that we received is not a spirit that makes us slaves again and causes us to fear. The Spirit that we have makes us God’s chosen children. And with that Spirit we cry out, “ Abba, Father.”—Romans 8:15 (Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission.)
 

Final Encouragement for How to Overcome Fear

For today’s post, How to Overcome Fear When It Won’t Go Away, I’ve created a FREE worksheet to help you overcome fear. You can grab your copy here.
 
Sweet mom, don’t let fear win. With God, you’ve got this!
I’m not the only one who is sharing how to overcome fear.

 

This post is a part of the From Fear to Freedom Blog Tour hosted by www.flourishingtoday.com. You’ll find over 30 blogs written by other women who have stories how they have overcome fear and embraced freedom.

 
Find more at the From Fear to Freedom Tour home page.
1. Even If lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Music Services, Inc
How do I know how to overcome fear? I've been there. But, I'm an overcomer, not because I've said, "I'm not gonna let fear win." But because of Him. #howtoovercomefear #healthylivingmomblog
How do I know how to overcome fear? I've been there. But, I'm an overcomer, not because I've said, "I'm not gonna let fear win." But because of Him. #howtoovercomefear #healthylivingmomblog

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18 Comments

  1. Fear can paralyze us. I have had so many fears including fear of getting pregnant and driving .Praise God I killed both fears and am a mommy who can drive today 🙂

    Kill the spider !!!!
    Loved your post ,Sonya !

  2. Sonya!!!! I love your analogy of the spider. It’s such a great illustration of the effects and symptoms of fear. Your points are spot on and are so very helpful for battling fear. Thank you for sharing and being part of this tour!

    1. Thanks Alisa! I’ve loved this analogy too—for myself. It is so helpful to help wrap our minds around fear. 🙂 Thank you for your comments—and for inviting me to be a part of this tour! I know it is and will continue to bless many.

  3. Sonya, This is so good! I need to remember this and so wish someone had shared it with me years ago. I lived far too much of my life overwhelmed by fear. With God’s help, I have killed the spider and with His help … I will kill it when it shows up again. Blessings!

    1. Thank you so much, Deb! It’s funny because this is something that I think will never get old for me. I’m so encouraged to hear that you have killed the spider with His help too! Blessings wise one—thank you for stopping by!

  4. Such a great post Sonya! Love the spider analogy! (But yikes!) 😉 This was extremely insightful. I am grateful for your wisdom on this subject. Kill the spider, not just the cobwebs – I couldn’t agree more!

  5. I always know that God can help me, but will He? That’s my largest fear, that He will allow something bigger than I can tackle alone and then leave me there to tackle it and recover. Simply because life. Because I wasn’t prepared for the biggest blows and I felt like He was only there when the dust settled, not always while I was fighting. I didn’t even recognize that until I typed it out just now. Guess I found my spider. Now it’s my time to persevere and give it to Him, over and over until I can get that sense of true peace.

    1. Brittany, thank you so much for your transparency. Laying your fear out there then in the process literally discovering what the true spider is—wow! I love how God is already helping you to see that He is with you. I pray that as you persevere and give it to Him that His peace will become very real and tangible to you.

  6. Great tips to get to the root of the problem. The God we serve is bigger than anything we will ever face. Keeping that at the forefront of my mind has been so helpful when I feel fear trying to creep into my life. Thank you for being transparent and sharing with us.

    1. Thank you, D’ondra! I love that you’ve been able to set your eyes on Him to continually overcome fear. ❤️ I’m so grateful my story can encourage others to do the same.

  7. Such a great step by step approach to dealing with fear. I’ve never thought about it in this way. Towards the end what a profound reflection from you. It wasn’t a fear of cancer but a fear of God not helping you. Wow! I’m going to remember that the next time something causes me anxiety. It is likely a cobweb and not the actual spider!

  8. Wow this is really good Sonya! I tend to try to address the symptoms more than killing the source, the spider. I have been overwhelmed with fearful thoughts of a specific loved one dying the last few weeks. God brought this post into my life at just the right moment. Thank you so much! ❤

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