Since I posted my last piece about living life to the fullest, I have been thinking about the topic of fear. It’s been on my mind quite frequently, for various reasons. I realize that it is what’s kept me from posting things on this blog and on my personal blog. It’s what’s kept me from opening my mouth and speaking up many times, when I know that the Lord was telling me to. It’s what keeps me from letting people in and keeps me from being vulnerable. It keeps me from going where I need to go and doing what I need to do. It cripples me. I’ve let it win more times than I would like to admit.
I wish that I could say that I have been brave and courageous every single time. I wish I could say that I have faced every fear of mine, but that is not the case. I have allowed it to consume me, and I have used it as an excuse to not do things.
Why do we let fear win? Why do we let it keep us from doing what we want and what we know we are called to do? I’m tired of giving in. It’s exhausting to keep giving into my fear and letting it keep me stuck and complacent. I feel as though it is keeping me from truly living life. This is part of what inspired me to write my last piece.
It also was the topic of a devotional that I led at work. This is one of the bonuses about working in a Christian environment: We get to have a daily devotional before starting the work day. Still, I was terrified out of my mind leading up to doing the devotional, which is why I knew I needed to talk about the topic. I couldn’t shake it. The Lord blessed me for obeying him and sharing about that. I’m pretty sure I came away from leading that devotional even more encouraged than my coworkers. Plus, I was praying so hard that day to get through each devotional. I was talking to God so much that day. I knew that I didn’t do it on my own strength.
I am terrified of speaking in front of large groups of people. I would much rather do something like this, where I can hide behind a screen and write. At first, this terrified me, too. I was scared of what people would think about what I was writing. I was scared I wasn’t going to be adequate enough or that people wouldn’t appreciate what I was writing. I was focused on me. I have been letting my pride get in the way.
Every so often I get the motivation to face a fear head on, and I get a bit of gumption. It’s exhilarating. I feel like I am experiencing life. I feel like I am able to do anything and then something brings the fear and insecurities back to the forefront of my mind. Sometimes it’s quicker to shake away than other times.
Recently, I have been able to kick it a bit quicker. But I realize it’s not me kicking it. Jesus is kicking it for me. I’m getting Lynn out of the way and letting Christ do His thing. Hence, me doing the devotions at work last week, me starting my blog, me applying for the mentorship I am part of, me stepping out of my comfort zone, and a great deal of other things.
There is no limit with Him on my side. He can do anything he wants. If He wants me somewhere, no matter what others may do to stop it, He’s going to make a way. It may not be easy, and it may not happen how I think it is going to, but he’ll make a way. But I had to get over me. I have to continually get over myself and step aside. I have realized that I can no longer let fear dictate my life.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
My fears have kept me in this town, my fears have kept me in bad relationships, my fears have kept me from traveling, my fears have kept me from writing, my fears have kept me from speaking, my fears have kept me from meeting new people, my fears have kept me in my apartment, my fears have kept me closed off, my fears have kept me from loving, my fears have kept me from living…My fears have kept me from so much.
My fears have caused me to disobey God and in turn have kept me from growing in Him. They have kept me from experiencing His fullness and the blessings that He has for me. Thankfully, He is gracious, and in spite of my fears and shortcomings, He has still worked things out. However, I can’t help but think that Hewants to give me so much more.
My fears will continue to creep up, but now is the time to face them. I am sure that the fears will creep in for you, too. As for me, I’m going to try and face them one at a time head on. I will work to not let my pride or my insecurities get in the way. I will not let others talk me out of what I need to do and where I need to go. I can no longer worry about pleasing everyone that I meet, but instead, I will focus on pleasing the Lord. I will work to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and trust in His strength and guidance. And when I fail, because I am human and I will fail, I will not let it keep me from getting back up and moving forward.
It’s a blessing to start to face your fears. As I said, it was such an encouragement from everyone in my office after I shared my devotional. Large groups terrify me. One-on-one and small-group conversation are my preferences, but I did what the Lord asked me to do, and He blessed me for it. He blessed me in unexpected ways through unexpected people, and it was so encouraging. I can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do next.