The Fear Monster
You know that monster. It’s the one that from a young age you thought was living under your bed or in your closet. But what most people don’t realize is that as we get older, that monster continues to live within us – in our brains, in our hearts – as FEAR – and keeps us from going out on that limb and taking those chances and leaps of faith.
It is truly amazing how debilitating the Fear Monster can be! It can paralyze us and keep us from opportunities that have come our way. I know if I look back on my life, I can see many times when the Fear Monster got the best of me.
One of my early memories of giving in to this cunning creature was when I cancelled my opportunity to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts as a sophomore in high school. I had auditioned and was thrilled to be accepted. I was assigned a room and roommate, and we had talked and made plans over the phone. But as the summer wore on, I grew more apprehensive and the Fear Monster took hold. I totally gave in to it on the drive to North Carolina, and we turned around and came home.
The Monster had me in its grip for years, and caused me to live with countless “what ifs”. What if I would have stayed at Indiana and continued with the Singing Hoosiers? What if I would have stayed in Florida and followed through with my Disney audition? What if, what if, what if! The Monster says nothing.
Ever since I was very small my mom has often quoted Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Though I was always encouraged by my family, I turned my back on what God had provided to me and gave in to the Fear Monster. I felt like I was being suffocated by fear. I wanted so much to be that confident successful daughter, that well-spoken sister. But by the grace and strength of God, he has helped me overcome the Fear Monster. He knows it’s there and doesn’t desert us. He just loves us and waits!
With His help, my grip on the Fear Monster slowly loosened. No more what ifs! I finally let go and let God, and began to give him a chance to work in my life!
I started my Music Together Business, then Julie K Music. I created my first children’s album, and then a second. When I first started performing my own music to an audience, I clearly remember the Fear Monster paying me a visit. I was singing for a special event at a local boutique and the owner directed me to this tiny, cramped dressing room. A friend stopped by and saw my digs and said, “Julie, is this what you are going to do now, sing in closets!” She didn’t mean any harm, but it was enough to make me look that Fear Monster in the face again. In my fragile state, I questioned myself and my decision. I could barely contain the tears, but I knew right then I had to quit or trust – release the Monster, or trust in God.
I chose God. I turned the Fear Monster over to him, and was amazed to see how He tossed it aside and worked to sustain me through my fear of these uncomfortable, challenging first steps. I realized that He is stronger than Fear, and will help me overcome and get me through, even when I question myself.