Perfect Love Cast Out Fear

Last week I wrote a story about a dear friend and her struggle with fear and anxiety. When I sent the post to my friend, Bailee, she responded with, "I remember this so much! I literally got emotional reading this because it's sooooo not where I am anymore." After her response, I asked if she would write this weeks blog about her journey with fear and anxiety for all my readers. I am so excited to celebrate what God has done in her life! Here is her story.

When Emily asked me to sit down and write this blog, I honestly had no idea where to begin describing my 20 year journey in overcoming fear and anxiety. The last thing I would want to do in a post like this is to make it sound like there was just one day someone cast out the spirit of fear and I walked away completely whole and delivered. Though I absolutely believe this is possible with the power of Jesus, my journey didn’t look like this. 

There have been years of struggle, tension, and tears. Lots and lots of tears. There were many days I thought fear and anxiety were friends that would never leave and I would have to live with them and get comfortable in my coping. 

However, God is faithful, He is good, and He has delivered me from my fear and anxiety.

If there has been one thing I have come to truly understand as I’ve walked towards freedom is that it is the love of God that casts out my fear.

When I was a little girl, I knew I was created to do great things. I knew I wanted to live an extraordinary life, I knew I wanted to see impossibilities bow to the power of Jesus, and I knew I was a lover of Jesus. One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to lay out on the grass in the summer sun and watch airplanes in the sky. For some reason, airplanes would take me on wild adventures with Jesus where I would imagine all of the places we would go and all of the things we would do together for His kingdom. My other favorite thing to do was to shut myself in my bedroom at night, light a candle, turn Kim Walker-Smith on (probably her version of How He Loves Me), and worship. I would watch my shadow dance across the walls and imagine Jesus dancing with me. 

Though these are precious times of my childhood where I developed deep intimacy with Jesus, I also remember fear and anxiety creeping in, too. The sound of coyotes howling in the night sent me running to my parents’ room. I hated falling asleep if I couldn’t see light shining down the hallway to ensure that my dad was still awake. I hated math class because I couldn’t figure out long division and was afraid I would look like a failure to my friends.

Yes, these are common childhood fears but after years and years of becoming accustomed to the presence of fear, I spiraled out of control and fear manifested specifically in the area of my worship. I don’t understand how it was such a fast fade into fear but the enemy came in to destroy me and wreak havoc in my life. 

I began living in turmoil and constant tension. I knew all the scriptures, I knew the truth, I knew what I should believe, so not only did I struggle with the fear of singing and worship, shame slid in as well reminding me of all the ways I was falling short in spite of knowing the truth. I believed God was disappointed in me and I would never overcome. 

I remember the time I was asked to sing “Tremble” at a worship night and I practiced for weeks. I threw a piano bench down.

I remember the time Emily asked me to play and sing a song I wrote. I played one chord and burst into tears. 

I confessed my struggle, I tried shooting it down with scripture, I did “quick-feet” with Emily in the kitchen, people prophesied over me, yet I was still crippled in fear. 

Through all of the struggle, pain, and torment that fear inflicted on me, there was one thing I knew to do– shut my door, light a candle, and lay my heart out before Jesus. I did it night after night after night and the more I did it, the faster I came to the end of myself. At one point, I was so broken in despair that I told Jesus He would have to come into my heart in such a way where it would have to begin beating completely different and my mind would have to believe a new reality. I was too weary to help, He would have to do it on His own. I laugh looking back on this now. 

This was the beginning of my surrender to Holy Spirit and allowing Him to have permission to turn the tides of my life. 

Jesus knew the yes hidden in my heart to overcome. Breakthrough came when I surrendered and yielded to Holy Spirit in understanding that it was not by might nor by power but by His Spirit that things began shifting. We have to trust that He is the only one who can do anything about our conditions. 

It was in the place of intimacy with Jesus, spending time knowing Him, that I realized His love was constantly pouring into my heart and pushing back everything that did not belong. 

As I began feeling the touch of the Holy Spirit, He imparted the reality of His love to me in such a way where I understood He wasn’t disappointed in me and there wasn’t anything He wouldn’t deliver me from because He showed me that the thing I feared the most was actually smoke and mirrors.

I couldn’t make myself less fearful or anxious. It was only the Holy Spirit inside of me that did the work. It was then my responsibility to be obedient to whatever He asked. 

Jesus was after every part of my heart and He went after every lie that tangled me up because He cared more about the condition of my heart before anything I did for Him.  

Today, imagine His love pouring into your heart and washing out all of the fear and anxiety that resides in you. Look at the face of Jesus and pour out your heart and struggles. I have come to understand that the longer I look at Jesus, the less and less fear has power in my life because the two cannot reside together. The truth is, there is no fear in love and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is truly freedom. 

Written By Bailee Dexter

1 John 4:18: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

2 Corinthians 3:17: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

A few years ago Bailee was crippled with fear when it came to worship, and now she is co-leading Varcity Young Adults at Heart of the City Church, leads worship on weekends, and writes worship songs.

Published by Emily Rodewald

Emily is a writer and worship leader. She has written several worship songs, she is a co-author or two children's books and has begun writing about the light of Jesus in her blog at She is a co-founder of Parallel Ministries and a mom of two boys, George and Oliver. She has been married for 13 years to the man of her dreams, Daniel. She and her family live in beautiful Montana where they enjoy taking the boys fishing, going on adventures, and renovating their new home.

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