The Smell of Fear

Lately, I’m seeing an underlying theme in many of my posts. I’m being reminded of the same important lesson over and over. A few weeks ago, I wrote a guest post for Jon Stolpe where I said this:

It never fails, I’ll write about something that is on my heart and it becomes the learning portal for the day. The books and blogs I read, the conversations I hear, the sights I see, and the people I encounter seem to offer one more important piece in the learning puzzle. Every experience sheds more light on the lessons I am intended to learn.

I am currently being taught this lesson again:

When we choose to take the “safe” route…
When we choose the path of least resistance…
When we choose to make decisions based heavily on avoiding the hypothetically unpleasant “what if” scenarios…

then we are not living by faith…we are living by fear.

I’ve been guilty of this way of living so often in my life, that now I tend to recognize it when I see it. Hmm…maybe fear really does have a smell.

These recent lessons have been a great reminder to me that I don’t want to shrink back in fear. I know what the consequences have been in my own journey each time I’ve made decisions based on fear. Even though my goal was to avoid pain and aggravation, it never worked out that way. Had I just trusted God in the first place, I would have avoided a lot of headaches and uncomfortable lessons.

What about you? Have you ever been tempted to shrink back in fear when God was calling you to step out in faith?

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Linking up with Jen at Finding Heaven

11 thoughts on “The Smell of Fear

  1. Julie (@InciteFaith)


    I can’t even really type right now I’m so elated! If you were here in front of me I would seriously grab you and give you the biggest HUG ever! (I know slightly creepy, right?)

    I’m seriously floored right now. This may not make any sense to you but hear me out. Starting Wednesday of this week I have seen the verse 2 Timothy 1:7 repeatedly. Every time I turned around I was being hit with the verse from every direction. In conversation, cross referenced through another verse, in devotionals, on Twitter, in a random Christian magazine I received in the mail on Thursday. The icing on the cake after I had an extremely lengthy conversation about it with a friend, I saw it again before bed randomly quoted on Pininterest. I thought for sure God was getting my attention, I just didn’t know about what.

    So, I prayed fervently about it to God. I asked God “What are You trying to tell me? I know it’s something big, but what is it? “What do You think I’m afraid or timid about? What is it You want me to be doing right now?”

    All these questions have sat deep in my heart the past few days. Then I realized what I’m afraid of. There is something in my life that I want to pursue. In my mind it’s pretty big. I don’t know where to start or begin and I doubt sometimes whether I’m capable. This is the point where I want to lay it all to God and say, “God, here is my fear and anything that keeps me back from Your purpose for my life. Take it and use me.”

    I’ve played it ‘safe’ most of my life. These past few months I’ve been challenged and stretched. Stepping out in the unknown of God’s plan for my life is scary, but beautiful at the same time.

    Eileen, if I can encourage you right now because I don’t want this to be all about me. Because really, I’m not all that great. God will and can do amazing things through His children. All we have to do is believe and trust. God is using you right where you ARE. Focus on what’s in front of you. The route you’re on is leading you to something bigger than your scope of understanding right now.

    Take heart Eileen, God’s got you!

    Love, Love, LOVE YOU!


    1. Eileen Post author

      Wow, Julie! I’m sitting here with my mouth hanging on the floor. God is good! I rarely post on Saturday anymore but this post had to come out. Too many Godincidences this week, not to write about it. I can so relate to your words. I LOVE the prayer you have been praying…it’s beautiful. Julie, I know God is doing mighty things in your life and in your heart right now. Oh, and I have to disagree with you…you ARE “all that great” πŸ˜‰ Love you too. Thanks you so much for your encouragement and friendship.

      1. Julie (@InciteFaith)


        It’s incredible! Funny enough I noticed this post in my inbox and realized it was you. You’ve been on my heart the past few days & I decided to check this out. I don’t think it was random at all, I think God’s hand has been in this from the beginning.

        The power of the Holy Spirit is amazing and I love the work it can do between two people who have never met. You may not be physically near me but you’ve helped me more than you know.

        About a year ago I prayed for God to put more Godly women in my life. I realized that a majority of the people I have been connecting with have been men by default. It just kind of happened. But I need the encouragement from women more now in my life than ever before. I am thankful for you beyond measure Eileen.

        Eileen, God is doing some amazing work through us BOTH. Please hold on to that truth. Whatever God is doing right now it’s huge!

        God is never late, never early, but always on time.

        Love you, Eileen!!

        1. Eileen Post author

          I feel the same way about you, Julie. There are several people I have never met, you being one of them, who I KNOW have been placed in my path for a purpose so much bigger than I understand. Thanks again, Julie. Looking forward to seeing how God continues to unfold things. Holding on and trusting! Happy Sunday to you.

    2. Kim

      Julie, You are on the right path, so just keep putting one foot in front of the other! I was where you are a while back, and was frustrated to tears I could not grasp what I needed to move towards. I knew I needed to move away from where I was, but I had done too much running away from in my life rather than running towards goals.

      Prayers and tears and finally a major spiritual crash led me to a Christian life coach (my previous me, hire a coach? No way!) who helped me see my gifts and encouraged me to move towards them. I have never been so excited about what I do, nor afraid of not being up to the challenge.

      I wrote about “time to tell my story” last September on my blog, along with the discovery of my one word for 2012 of follow.

      Blessings and good luck to you, and remember Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

        1. Julie (@InciteFaith)


          Thank you for your words of encouragement. It’s funny because I’ve been having conversations with others lately about the gifts God gives us and how to better utilize them.

          I haven’t had a spiritual crash yet, but I am holding on to the verse that God does have plans to prosper me where I am.

          Thank you again. I really needed this today πŸ™‚

  2. Allison

    Well said Eileen…He has been calling me to step out-in what way, I’m not sure yet. That’s the hardest part, trying to figure out what He’s wanting me to do πŸ™‚

  3. Kim

    I love the picture you chose to illustrate this post, Eileen. I laughed loudly and nervously, as I am sure that is how I appear to God all too often.

    I felt his nudge in January last year, and spent until July running from it, second guessing it, and terrified of the consequences if I moved on it. Leave my job and my income? ACK!

    I am putting this 2 Timothy quote right next to my Jeremiah 29:11 quote. What a wonderful message they bring. Thanks for adding to my encouragement today!

  4. Dionne

    Hi! This is my LIFE story…always afraid or doing it afraid. Well, at least the doing it afraid is obeying God and trusting him (at least some right)? I so agree with you that when God is trying to say something he seems to do it with FB, blogs, sermons, a repeated verse, something someone says and so on…I love it when He does that though b/c then there is NO denying that He is speaking something to me and I need to pay attention and listen. Love the post!!


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