Fear: Choose not to be led by fear.

I [Heidi (Foster) DenHerder] was troubled about things in meetings for many years. Finally, about 6 years ago, I just dove into the questions with my whole heart, read through the Bible in 6 months, prayed as honestly as I knew how to, and came to the realization that some foundational points of doctrine were off base in the meetings.

I felt like God gave me a solid foundation, a strong revelation, and from that point, I knew I had to leave meetings (because what I was being taught in meetings didn’t line up.) But it was still a several-month-long process of leaving because over and over again, I would get jolted with this uncontrollable panic. My brain would get hijacked by what I started calling “fear messaging”. I couldn’t work my way through it. I couldn’t think my way through it. I couldn’t pray my way through it.

So finally, what I had to do, even though it was scary, was to say, “God, I know you can lead me through peace and truth, and I don’t believe you want to lead me by terror. So I’m not even going to try to figure out if these thoughts are “true”. If it’s a spirit of fear, I’m not going to listen. I’m not going to be led by fear anymore.”

For me, that was the only way through it. I stopped analyzing my thoughts to see whether they were true, whether they were from God. I just had to make a decision…If it’s fear, I’m not listening.

And through that process, I feel like I’ve gotten my brain back. I’m able to think through things. I don’t feel so brainwashed or conditioned anymore. But obviously it was scary because I was taking the risk that the fear messages really were from God and I was ignoring them. But on the other side, I’ve seen God working in my life so clearly.

He has provided tremendous community and friendships. I still feel convicted in my soul of wrong attitudes and behavior; It’s just not a terrorizing feeling anymore. And it’s specific, not a general malaise.  I’ve experienced so much freedom, a brand-new boldness (for instance in conversations with the workers), and greatly increased confidence in God, and in my ability to hear him, and be heard by him.

So I just want to encourage you, if you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s OK to consciously choose to not let yourself be terrorized anymore. To not follow the voice of fear. In fact, it may be the only way forward.

Heidi (Foster) DenHerder
Seattle, Washington USA
May 22, 2023