Fear. Unfortunately, it exists. I like to think that I am untouchable by its presence but that simply is not the case. And so it is, thus far on this short journey on planet earth, I’ve yet to be convinced fear will ever be eradicated. From my life and yours.
But I also don’t believe we should do things afraid.
So what does that mean for those of us who struggle with fear?
Here are the four lessons fear has taught me and why I try to do very little afraid.
The sole purpose of fear is to rob me of all things good. I don’t know about you but I covet a place of peace, constant rest and assuredness that I will be taken care of and what I want will turn out good and ok. I like this idea. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Kinda like chocolate and wine. Or something like that. Until life takes over, errors are made, trauma occurs and fear takes root. Not cool. Not cool at all. Fear has been faithful to teach me that when it shows up, there is nothing good it offers my heart. Nothing good at all.
My truth is relative. Yes, I had to think this one through. My truth is not absolute. I have to dig deep into something bigger than myself to truly understand that my fears are most often lies uniquely designed according to my story. They are perfectly aligned to deliver immense heart palpitations and debilitating cripilization. Is that a word? No. I just made it up. You’re welcome.
And so, I have learned through too many moments of this “cripilazation” to anchor myself in what I know is the truth. For me, that is God’s word. His word tells me repeatedly, FEAR NOT.
Fear built my faith: There are possibly some of you that have the emotional strength of a bull. And as much as I have taken great pride in my spitfire personality and fearless soul, my closet of monsters have catapulted me straight into the arms of a God I have grown to love and trust. Fear has a powerful way of telling me I need to be in control. I need to take this into my own hands. I need to manage it on my end. Just to be sure. And safe. What I often forget and the continued lesson to be taught— is to keep my eyes on Jesus. In the pouring rain. In the middle of the raging storm. In the process of being swept up off my place of comfortable, I must keep my eyes on Jesus.
Within my greatest fears, I have unwrapped my biggest blessings. Yup. This is a tough bit to swallow. Have you ever been so terrified of something and once it came to pass and you had time to process it in a healthy way, it became a beautiful blessing? That very thing that terrified you became a transformative opportunity that created something so very beautiful. A failed marriage, a health scare, a tragic loss, single motherhood, the loss of a job, the loss of a home, or a call on your heart so heavy you absolutely couldn’t escape. All these things evoke a lingering uncertainty and a deep inner fear. And yet, so many lives through circumstances such as these have lived to tell about the gift they received on the other side.
O.K, so in all of this, if fear has taught me these four lessons, why would I choose to continue to do anything afraid?
I mean. Seems kinda counterproductive. Right?
Do I still do things afraid? Mmm…yes and no.
I feel fear. I recognize fear. And I counter it with the truth I have come to know.
I don’t want to sound as if I have mastered fear. Trust me, as I am typing these very words fear has knocked on my door and bombarded my heart as early as Monday and it’s Wednesday. I’m afraid of a family business not succeeding. I fear the happiness of my oldest child’s heart. I fear the group of gals I recently met will hear my heart and maybe not welcome it. I fear.
And yet, I am so reminded of the truth.
Regardless of the storm that blows in with a new season of uncertainty, I must be intentional to anchor myself into a God that remains good and faithful in all he does. Even when I don’t understand. Even when I want to drive the ship. Even when I don’t like how it feels.