If I were your enemy, I’d magnify your fears, making them appear insurmountable, intimidating you with enough worries until avoiding them becomes your driving motivation. I would use anxiety to cripple you, to paralyze you, leaving you indecisive, clinging to safety and sameness, always on the defensive because of what might happen. When you hear the word faith, all I’d want you to hear is “unnecessary risk.
I would love to pretend that I’m some crazy insane, “have no fear” kind of person. Ha. That is just not me at all. The craziest thing I ever did was bungee jump at Six Flags when I was 14. Let me say it again…I was 14 and therefore completely unaware of my stupidity. At one point I said I wanted to SkyDive, too. However, I’ve since flown numerous times and the idea of jumping from a plane at an altitude higher than about 10 feet up scares the jeepers out of me. I’m also that almost thirty year old chick who covers her eyes to go in the haunted house during Halloween. Ever seen Ellen DeGeneres Halloween videos where she sends Andy into the various Haunted Houses (which are absolutely hilarious by the way)? That is what I am like in those circumstances. Hence…why I don’t go.
I could also go deeper into my severe thalassophobia (fear of the ocean), but I will refrain from that.
While those things are quite trivial in terms of eternity, they are still fears. Still things that worry me and things that leave me feeling anxious. However, my deepest fears are much greater than that. And much harder to conquer than simply staying out of the ocean or not strapping a parachute to my back and barreling out of an airplane.
When I sit and really let myself think about my fears…things like my children and my marriage come to mind. Some of my greatest fears are probably not very different from some of yours…
And if I’m honest, the surest form of fear for me…bigger than the things above that only God can control in the first place is the fear that is totally and completely in my own hands:
I don’t think that any section in this book could have felt more like it was being written about me or at me the way that this specific chapter in Fervent was. That whole conversation and spill that Priscilla writes about with her friend Shawna was a conversation that I have had with myself time and time again. About the same exact thing.
My life’s goal and dream and ambition (and every other word that you can think of that is synonymous with those few words) has always been to be a writer. And not only to be a writer but to publish books upon books and speak at Women’s conferences and tell other people about my God and what he has done for me.
I’ve almost tried a few times. And yes, you can “almost try.” You can sit down with your shiny new laptop, hot cup of coffee in a house of sleeping children and start to write. You can start to form ideas and put them on screen and then, when you think you may have something, you stop. Because the fear creeps in.
What if this is really not anything any one would want to read? What if I can’t finish and entire book? What if I start writing this and something happens and it all disappears? We all remember what happened to Angie Smith last year…What if I do get a whole book written and then ::gasp:: no one wants to publish it? Then I will have failed and all of this time away from my job and away from my family and everything that I put into this would be worth absolutely nothing. Nope. I think I will just sit here and stalk the other women out there who aren’t as scared as I am and are making it happen.
And then the cursor on the screen continues to flash…taunting me with it’s evil little flashing line…reminding me that I am the only one standing in my way of doing the one thing (aside from having a family) that I have always wanted to do. There are a million reasons that I can always manage to come up with to not do the thing. And none of them are ever really legitimate excuses.
I am always astonished time and time and time again that the phrase (or some variation of it) Do Not Fear appears in the Bible 365 times. That’s one verse for every. single. day. of the year. Those kind of things can’t be made up. Those kind of things don’t just happen. Fear is a very real and very dangerous weapon of the very real enemy that we are battling. And I’m not just preaching or talking to you. I’m preaching at myself more than anyone. Because like I said, I’m a big wimp. I’m a big baby when it comes to the idea of rejection and not succeeding at the things that I set out to do. I don’t like failure. And because the enemy knows that I don’t like failure and that I shrivel up under the idea of failure, he makes sure to keep me paralyzed with the staggering fear that I am not going to be good enough.
The words from Fervent echo loudly as I close out this post…
What is fear keeping you from?
What is the enemy holding you back from accomplishing?