An invitation to all: make a comment

This blog is different.  I would love for all of you to make a comment after you read it. There are 677 of you following this.  It could be amazing what happens.  Here we go.

I called this blog “Landmarks” because it is the based on the title of a book I hope to get published.  The idea is pretty simple.   There are landmarks, places in the journey we must pass, if we are to keep walking with God.  There are nine landmarks I describe in the book: story, idols, scars, sex, identity, battle, bond, mate, and quest.  To make your way through each of these landmarks requires leaving behind known territory and stepping into unknown.  And that brings us face to face with with one of our biggest enemies.  Fear.

Interestingly, the most common command in the Bible is not “Love God.”  Nor is it “Love others.”  It actually has nothing to do with love.  It has to do with fear.  Here it is.  “Do not fear.”  God commands it.  And then gives the reason why. “For I am with you.”  That’s it.  That’s all.  But that’s enough.

Fear has done some crazy things in my life.  It has warped reality, shut me down emotionally, kept me from enjoying so much, and emasculated me as a man.  To walk through these nine landmarks has for me been an epic tale of fighting fear and breaking out of its grip.  Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of mockery, fear of abandonment, fear of the future, fear of being without money, fear of being without significance, fear of death, fear of grief, fear of letting go, fear of losing control, fear of being judged, fear of making mistakes…on and on and on.  It has seemed almost endless at times.

But as deep as the fears have been, deeper still has been the Father’s presence.  The only reason I could write the Landmarks manuscript, the only reason I can write this blog now is his presence.  Literally, his being with me has rescued me from so many fears.

So…here is you chance to respond.  I’d love to hear from you about your own fears.  How has fear shaped you?  What fear is most pressing on you now?

PS.  Don’t feel like you have to comment a lot.  Even just a sentence would be helpful!

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About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
This entry was posted in Landmarks, Walking with God and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to An invitation to all: make a comment

  1. My biggest fear right now is that God isn’t. That none of this is real. For most of my Christian life, I had the gift of faith. I believed and trusted seemingly without effort. Doubts followed some disturbing church situations, long time unemployment, lack of spiritual movement, and, most especially, a loss of that felt presence. Before this, I thought I was brave and bold, but realize in hindsight that a risk-averseness kept me from embracing certain responsibilities and being all that God called me to be – I was afraid to step out and be a leader.

    • Coach D says:

      Your doubts are understandable. And often they are leading us on into something deeper…a new sense of who God is and what he is about. I tell my students that doubt is like temptation…it can be good or bad depending on what you do with it.

      • I’ve been told that the doubts of old faith are a necessary chasm to cross to the depths, myself. Have head the “dark nights” term used by a few. I’d call it dusky evening.

      • Coach D says:

        I think real, solid faith often comes out of moments of darkness and doubt. Doubt has been a huge theme in my life. So I perhaps understand a bit of what you are describing. It is definitely one of the fears I face.

  2. Kevin Hagan says:

    This is an easy one Bill. Fear of failure as a father in charge of taking care of the family. Can I support them, can I give them what they want, do I love them well enough? How do I make the right decisions? It seems that most factions of life are driven by fear and I am always struggling to overcome it, whether directly or indirectly, at the front of mind or the back.

    • Coach D says:

      Kevin,
      I think most of us as men decide life out of fear instead of faith. The two seem to function as opposites at so many levels in the Scriptures and in our hearts. For me, bonding to the Father has been my only relief from being driven by fear.

  3. Katy says:

    Nothing exposes my fears (and control issues!) more than raising my boys. I LOVE them SO much. Humbling, inspiring, and amazing that my Father in heaven loves them and me infinitely more.

    • Coach D says:

      Children have a way of revealing so many things to us. Our love for them becomes a visual mirror for how the Father love us as his children. The analogy is penetrating and beautiful! Staying in his love is also the only relief from living out of fear.

  4. chris nischan says:

    My greatest fear is is one of failure. I do not want to fail or let anyone down. I realize that I let my Father down all the time, yet he is always there for me. I just need to realize this in my heart. I feel ashamed when I care WAY more about how I can jump through hoops for others.

    • Coach D says:

      Chris,
      I think once we begin to feel the love of the Father in our hearts, we will not be so bound to please others, to jump through hoops, to fear failing them. This idea has been such a fork in the road for me. Thanks for your honesty!

  5. ben rucker says:

    I know it is broad, but mine is the fear that I don’t have what it takes to be the man God created me to be. And while I know that none of us have what it takes – that we have to rely on God to give us what it takes – I still find myself in fear too much of the time.

    • Coach D says:

      Ben,
      Being driven by fear is a lot like the oil light in our cars. It is a warning that something is amiss in us. The Bible often contrasts fear and faith. I know that when I feel close to the Father, it not only takes away fear, it is the place where I become the man God wants me to be. Thanks for your honesty.

  6. terry says:

    Guess I could say I have several fears, but the one that seems to make the biggest impact on my life is the fear of letting God take total control of everything- relationships, money, health, actions, etc. My fear of not being the one in control!

    • Coach D says:

      Terry,
      I think we all want to play God in our lives at multiple levels. It is not only a life of constant anxiety, but one that blocks us from experiencing the peace of God in our lives. I know I only experience this when I take the most fearful things I seek to control and just let them go. And sometimes I have to keep letting go for days before it sticks! Thanks for your honesty.

  7. Abigail Delvaux says:

    in a few short words: fear of letting go and fear of the future. how is it manifested? the dreaded anxiety

    • Coach D says:

      Abigail,
      I can be so anxious about the future also! But the only time I can experience the presence of the Father is now…in this moment. I can’t feel his closeness in the future, only now. This has helped me a lot with letting go of trying to figure everything out. I am a lot more joyful…and a lot more present in each moment. But I still struggle here!

  8. Jessie Rucker says:

    I think a fear I deal with is fear of failure. Sometimes this fear holds me back from stepping out and trying new things or opening myself up to new relationships. I don’t like to disappoint anyone especially God. This fear can become bondage! I say out loud often , “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but He has given me a spirit of power, love and a sound mind.” Then I just do what He calls me to do even if I have to do it afraid. He called me to build a church for my African pastor. Have I ever built a church before? NO! I have done it, and He has been there to help me every step of the way. The fear has lessened, but it still rears its ugly head from time to time!

    • Coach D says:

      Jessie,
      You are so right. When we step out in faith, it doesn’t mean that fear just vaporizes. What it does mean is that we no longer are bound to obey its voice. The more we do this, the stronger the Father’s voice becomes in our lives and the more risks we are willing to take. This is the path I have had to take also!

  9. Luke says:

    Great post, Bill. I love the premise for your book. In fact, I’d much rather talk about that than my fears. Because I fear my fears. I fear vulnerability. I fear being known deeply enough that I feel the wind hit my naked soul in front of another. And then again, I fear responding to that fear with living life isolated to the point where no one knows me. I fear loving enough that I will feel pain when I lose it. I fear letting my heart show up in any given moment. And I fear the consequences of not showing up. I fear the glory of God just as Moses could only survive by seeing his backside. I fear my needs and desires. And I fear using the new heart He’s given me. I fear the consequences of my pride and blindness. I fear missing the life God offers, and I fear the inability to see the effects of my own sin. I fear my wife, my kids growing in wisdom to point of seeing my failures, and I fear just about everyone I meet. And I fear hitting “send” on this comment. Other than of everything, I really don’t have fear.

    • Coach D says:

      Luke,
      I could almost have written this myself…I think you may write it more eloquently than I ever could! This is the human dilemma. We ache for connection and intimacy and are terrified of it at the same time. This push/pull drives so much of our behavior and personality. To push through the fears here is how we become men of faith, strong, without guile, so that who we are on the outside is who we are on the inside. I have had to name my fears and then ask the Father to coach me through them. He has been doing that for a long time now. He wants to. That’s the deep hope.

  10. Polly Smith says:

    I fear that the past (my past) will repeat itself in the future. Maybe I haven’t learned from my mistakes, maybe I’m not doing the right thing and will find myself right back where I was….

    • Coach D says:

      Polly,
      I know this fear can be powerful. Sadly, when we let it control us we sometimes tragically end up repeating the past anyway. I know that this has happened to me. Letting others know my past and experiencing their love has helped me so much to become free of it.

  11. G says:

    I suppose, right now, my greatest fear is what I can’t control. This naturally defeats the purpose of trusting God, because you have to trust He is in full control. It leads to a lot of problems if you consider the lengths one might go to maintain control of their life– Or anything else they feel they need to manipulate themselves. I can get a job, go to school, be there for my loved ones, but when bleep hits the fan and I’ve done all I can it’s a very terrifying thing.

    • Coach D says:

      I think you are so right. Faith in the Father is the opposite of fear, especially when it comes to control. A life of manipulation is at first easy and ultimately exhausting. A life of trust is at first terrifying and ultimately freeing.

  12. Bob says:

    I have lived my entire life as a fear-driven person. How can I make a real spiritual connection to God or other people if this is the primary emotion and source of my actions? Seeing myself as cared for by a loving God who is really in control takes the fear out of most of my interactions and gives me freedom to live as I was meant to live — as a precious child of God.

    • Coach D says:

      Bob,
      Only the love of the Father has freed me from the bondage to so many fears. You are so right here. Connection to him is our deep source of strength as men.

  13. Gene Carleton says:

    Fear…I fear insignificance, loss, failure. I fear the inability to achieve but far more I fear that I am, in fact, truly insignificant. Why would God love me. Why would he deign to lo think on my circumstances. Due to this fear I find rebellion in my hear against God and against His control of my life. For if I am so insignificant that He probably doesn’t even know my name, why would He be interested enough to care. If He doesn’t care how can anything He would want for me be good. If nothing he want’s for me is likely go be good, WHY WOULD I LET HIM HAVE CONTROL OF MY LIFE!!? In the final analysis I simply do not trust God to be good. I wold love to believe in his goodness and in His unconditional love for me. I do mentally ascent to this belief. But the longest journey in life is the 12 inches from knowing in the head to knowing in the heart. I have not yet completed that journey.

    • Coach D says:

      Gene,
      So much of my life’s journey as been that 12 inches. In fact one way to look at the Landmarks book is just a way to describe that journey. Thanks for your honesty here. Let’s press on. It’s so worth it!

  14. Bill Scott says:

    It seems to me that there may be others like me that don’t have dramatic abuses or injustices to others that shame their lives. It may be that the
    sin that blocks us from Christ is more mundane, like finding our “life good enough” or having come by a “having to measure up” attitude from a simple and even helpful comment (or at least meant to be helpful) from a loved one. These are hard to uncover and therefore difficult to share. Possible?

    • Coach D says:

      It is possible, Bill, but the cost is being lulled to sleep with “the good life” while so many others are drowning around us. On the converse side, I have come to believe that we are all touched by suffering. It is inescapable. To go there and own what has been lost in our lives is both terrifying and wonderful. For me, it was the start of real intimacy with the Father.

  15. Ed Freeman says:

    I read somewhere that a good solider should not pretend to be fearless (only fools are without fear); but a solider should be courageous, marshalling his courage to overcome his fear of the forthcoming battle. Based on your blog about the frequency of God’s commands to us concerning fear, I suspect that fear is simply apart of who we are and therefore plays a vital part in our existence. Of course like everything else, something has gone wrong in its role. Perhaps the Lord is using my excessive fear to once again remind me of my need for Him; that I simply am not that courgeous on my own.

    • Coach D says:

      Ed,
      You are so right. Excessive fear is like a red light on the dashboard. There is something wrong we need to attend to. And feeling bonded to the Father is the only sure path out of our many phobias.

  16. Trey says:

    I fear I won’t lead my children to Christ. It does not shake me, instead it just gnaws at me relentlessly. I fear I would somehow lose the ability to do my job. Those are the biggest two for me.

    Trey

    • Coach D says:

      Trey,
      The greatest thing you can do for your children is to stay close to Jesus. Let him lead you through your fears. It is his presence, in place of your fears, that will intrigue and attract them both to you and then to Him. The job thing, I totally understand. I’m getting ready to let go of my own steady job for 20 years. I vacillate between terror and wonder!

  17. Trey says:

    God bless and keep you as you prepare to leap! Thanks for the sound, Godly advice.

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