Fear is a helluva thing isn’t it? Think about just how POWERFUL it can be. It can make people do pretty much anything – and yet at the same time – can make people NOT do pretty much anything. It is both a burden, and a defense mechanism. Everyone has it – yet it doesn’t really exist. It only has power, when you give it power. Crazy, really.
I have come to regard fear in my life as being USEFUL. However uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unwanted as it is, I just can’t deny that it is incredibly useful most of the time. The times that I have been the most afraid of doing something, I’ve known I was ON to something.
It’s those times when I’ve stepped completely out of my comfort zone into the unknown (a.k.a the SCARIEST place you can possibly be) that I actually see the miracles happen. Conquering fear is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (if rainbows were scary, of course). I’ve never been more afraid in my life than when I had my surgery to remove my carotid artery tumor. Yet, if I could go back in time, and have the choice to go through this or not, I would ALWAYS choose to go through it. It was in my darkest hour, that I saw the brightest light. I will forever be (wonderfully) changed by that experience, and I would NEVER choose to take it back.
Do you all feel me here? Can you think of that time that you were scared stupid of something, pushed through it anyway, and came out victorious? You came out fresh, fulfilled, more full of life than ever before? And yet, when fear creeps back in again, we head straight back to doubt. And sometimes we let the fear take over. What if, during those times, we use our past victories to REMIND us of the truth we knew then? What if we use them to empower us to take the first step? What if instead of focusing on the doubt and negative, we really focus on the MIRACLE brewing on the other side of fear? What if we did this EVERY time we are afraid?
Thinking about fear reminded me of the verse 2 Timothy 1:7, that says “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
I thought, does this mean we aren’t supposed to be afraid at all? So I looked into it a bit more.
Another translation I have says, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
So instead of FEAR, they used the term TIMIDITY. I looked at other versions, and they used other similar words like FEARFULNESS and COWARDICE. This says something about COURAGE in the face of fear. Having POWER, LOVE, DISCIPLINE and SELF-CONTROL, a SOUND MIND in the face of fear. So, it’s not a question of IF fear comes into play, but WHEN it does.
Remember those times when you thought all hope was lost, but it wasn’t? Remember how amazing it felt to be strong, confident, and in control? Think about the times where you ‘felt the fear and did it anyway’ like my lovely friend Lara Casey would say. If you’d like, make an actual list of these victories. USE these as ammunition to gain the confidence to fight the fear the next time it arises. Whenever I’m afraid, I think about my story; about my diagnosis, my surgery, my recovery. Honestly, I’m afraid of a lot of things… so I have a TON of these stories of victory to think on; my MIRACLES at the end of the roads PAVED in fear. I have PROOF that conquering the fear was WORTH IT. I meditate on the amazing people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, the love I’ve experienced – all as a result of pushing through the fear and doing it anyway.
Is there something you’ve dream about doing, or starting, but you’re afraid? I’d love to encourage you today to step out of timidity. To have a spirit of COURAGE and of POWER – you’ve done it before. Use that courage to do that thing that you’re afraid of, and make it AWESOME.