For as long as I can remember, I've been afraid of heights. Even as an adult, I just figured it was part of me, kind of like brown eyes and brown hair.
Even after learning how to work with God to bring much healing of emotions that had been brewing since childhood, I never thought to ask about my fear of heights. It was just part of me.
I lived with my fear. It became me. And I just let it remain, like a tenant who wouldn't pay rent. I was too afraid to kick out.
Then, one day, I was in our community pool where I go at least five days a week to exercise. The pool is in a huge building more than two stories tall. Around its perimeter, on the second story, is a walking track. It has windows on both sides looking both outside and into the pool area. When walking the track, it feels like you are walking outside without a railing to hold you in if you fall.
This day, I glanced up at the track, and I felt like Jesus whispered to me, "Go walk that track." My first thought was, I can't. I'm afraid of heights. But I sensed He wanted to set me free of that issue.
So I asked, "Why am I afraid of heights?" In an instant I was taken back to a time when my dad, mom, brother, sister and I were in the Colorado mountains on vacation. My brother and sister wanted to stop at an overlook.
Dad, knowing my mom was scared of heights, parked as far away from the overlook as possible. The three of them jumped out and ran to the overlook. Mom and I got out of the car and watched them. As soon as they got to the edge, they vanished.
My mother went crazy, yelling that they were dead, crying and screaming. In that moment, I saw that as a girl of about 12, I partnered with her fear and allowed it entrance. Of course, my dad, brother and sister had just stepped down to a landing we couldn't see.
As soon as Jesus showed me where my fear began, I knew what to do. I symbolically gave the fear she gave me back to her. I took back my lack of fear from her, washed through the blood of the Lamb.
That day, I walked the track, and since then, I've done many height-related things I wouldn't even attempt before, the most exciting of which was going up in a hot air balloon.
Recently, I was working with a client who happened to be a little brother in the lineup of children. One time, his older brothers climbed through their bedroom window to sit out on the roof of their house. Since he was always wanting to do what they did, he went out the window too.
Then, the older brothers went inside and shut the window, leaving their little brother out on the roof. His next statement was, "And to this day I am afraid of heights."
This was just one issue in a long line that he needed help with regarding his status as the little brother. As a matter of fact, he felt as though this was not the most important issue. He said they wouldn't let him in their window, and he had gotten back in the house through another window but didn't even remember that window being in the house.
When my client asked Jesus what His truth was about all the things he endured as a little brother, Jesus told him that He loves him, created him, made him His and brought him back from sin.
Then, my client asked Jesus, "Will you catch me when I fall?" I was thinking that he meant if he fell into sin again. But Jesus' answer was, "I will steady you, so you won't fall." Jesus was addressing the fear of heights issue.
And to be sure, my new friend asked, "Jesus will you take this fear of heights from me." Jesus answered a solid, "Yes."
After several more questions, my friend asked, "Where were You, Jesus, when I was a scared little boy sitting on the roof?"
Jesus answered, "I was there." Then as a clarifying question, he asked, "Can You show me where You were?"
Jesus answered. "I opened the window."
"I cried to God in my distress and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears! Gaze upon him, join your life with his, and joy will come. Your faces will glisten with glory. You'll never wear that shame-face again" (Ps. 34:4-5, TPT).
I'm not sure what fears you have, but I know we all have them. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, God wants to meet those fears and replace them with the truth that no matter where we are, He will catch us if we fall or make a way for us to get to safety.
He's done it for me and for those I've coached in so many areas where we feel there is no possible way for Him to help us get free from the doubts, shame, anger, isolation, fear and feelings of worthlessness.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of seven books, all available on Amazon. Her latest book, Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God, is available now, and Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds is the No. 1 Christian weight-loss memoir. She is also a writing and weight-loss coach, blogger, speaker, wife and mother. Visit her online at TeresaShieldsParker.com to find her books, coaching programs and free gifts.
This article originally appeared at teresashields parker.com.
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