Befriending Your Monsters – Facing the Darkness of Your Fears to Experience the Light
By Luke Norsworthy
Monsters hiding in closets and lurking under beds are a fear that plagues children from an early age even if a parent has best attentions of protecting their children from all things scary and evil. The monsters that begin as childhood spookiness or night terrors stem from real-life fear whether a child develops it in their subconscious or in the curiosity of their imagination. Still, the fear exists and it is as real to a child as the PB&J sandwich they eat most days of the week.
These fears never go away on their own and often grow in strength or in number if not addressed or confronted. It is not until a fear is brought into the light that the fear is able to go away or be discovered for what it really is, much like a parent using a flashlight to show their beloved there is no monster living under their bed. Once light shines in the darkness, truth is seen, comfort revealed and over time, courage developed. These fears will never completely be eradicated but if befriended, you’ll be able to understand where they are coming from and why they want to make their presence known.
If left alone, however, these fears only become scarier and will continue their quest to haunt in the deepest corners and darkest shadows of a person’s life.
The book Befriending Your Monsters – Facing the Darkness of Your Fears to Experience the Light tackles the concept of breaking free from the things that hold a person back from becoming who God created them to be. Pastor and author Luke Norsworthy shows the reader how to face the biggest “monsters” that invade a human’s psyche, such as the monster of comparison, the monster of more, and the monster of success, in order to battle the created and receive a stronger, more intimate connection with the Creator. Using the three universal “monsters” (I am what others say about me, I am what I have, and I am what I do), Norsworthy guides the reader to discover how their biggest fears are actually warnings that can guide you towards receiving God’s best for you.
I was immediately intrigued by the theme of this book and was familiar with the author after reading and reviewing God Over Good last year (see full review here). I appreciated Norsworthy’s perspective, enjoyed his sense of humor and related to his writing style in God Over Good so I believed reading Befriending Your Monsters would be just as personally gratifying and spiritually productive.
It most certainly was.
Over the last three years I have been seeking the root of my [for lack of better word and desire to be blunt] problems so I can deeper understand why I am the way I am and how obtaining that wisdom can lead me towards becoming the woman God intended for me to be. The idea that fear can reside within me and grow and strengthen over time if pushed aside, buried or ignored resonated with me so much that I found myself dog-earing many pages and highlighting numerous statements throughout this book.
“Your monster is the metaphor or the proxy for what prevents you from becoming what you were created to be. You were created not just good but very good; yet disordering and distorting forces pull against and subvert your Creator’s best intentions for you. To live this good life, you can’t continue to run away scared. You must turn around and go back into the dark, so you can experience the light.” ~ Befriending Your Monsters, pg. 25
If we never face our fears, they will continue to haunt us.
If we don’t call out our guilt or shame, it will morph into our identity.
If we leave our monsters in our closet and refuse to open the door, we will never discover the potential new or different clothing ensembles can bring.
Befriending Your Monsters is packed with powerful truth that points back to God’s word and His purpose for those He has set apart. Using the infamous story of Jonah and the whale as support, Norsworthy reminds the reader that receiving God’s best is not always the easiest thing to do, the prettiest thing to consider, or the clearest thing to decipher. Jonah refused to go where God wanted him to go and while he had his reasons (mainly, he was scared) God had other plans in mind. It wasn’t until Jonah finally surrendered to God’s call and direction that he was able to experience the fullness of life worth living.
Friends, I could not get enough of this book and found myself soaking in the words I read while contemplating the wisdom and applying it to my own life.
Bottom line – God created us good and to do good things but our fears hold us back. Fear hides and distorts but light shows something for what it truly is. Satan wants to keep our fears in the dark because he knows confronting our fears will make us stronger, freer and more confident.
God is calling you into the light because He wants you to become the person He knows you to be.
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review