Fear, the thing that keeps most of us from doing the thing that we truly love. Why do we fear? What causes us to truly be afraid? Are we afraid of the unknown? Are we afraid of risks? Are we afraid of failure? Are we afraid of what others think? These are the many questions popping up in my head right now, but I am learning that I am not alone in this. There are several friends who also have their own leaps of faith that need to be taken.
In looking through the Bible (using http://www.crosswalk.com) and looking up verses that contain the words fear or afraid, I was amazed at the number of verses talking about fear. Some talk about fear of others, some being afraid of something and many talking about the fear of the Lord. What I also found amazing, was that we are told over and over again to not be afraid and yet, it’s a battle that I fight frequently. My fear is not crippling in the sense that I can’t leave my home or interact w/ others, but it does often keep me from doing things the Lord has called me to do. This is a trait about myself that I honestly want to change. Sharing my dream out loud on FB and in a blog post caused a great deal of anxiety. Why? Because I am afraid of what people think? Yes. Because, I have no clue what this will all look like? Yes. Because I am afraid of failing? Yes. Fear keeps me from being who I should be in the Lord and prevents me from doing certain things b/c I am often to afraid to do them.
This past year has been interesting for me in my walk w/ the Lord. He has had me on a quest for authenticity as well as not being so fearful. Too many times we walk into church and put on what I like to call our “happy camper” faces. Things at home and work could be a total mess, but if asked our response is “I am so blessed.” While we may truly be blessed there are days when we need to be able to share what is on our hearts and b/c of the fear of the reactions of others, we often keep things to ourselves. I do think that authenticity and fear go hand in hand. We are too afraid to be open and honest about what is on our hearts that people only see a portion of who we really are. We are too afraid to ask for people to pray for that things that hold us back from being all the Lord has called us to be and therefore sometimes struggle to move forward in life.
I’ll be honest, I am so not where I thought I would be at this point in my life. I never thought that in my mid 30’s that I would be essentially starting over where work was concerned. In talking w/ a friend today, I told her that I am completely terrified of what the future holds and yet, at the very same time, I feel like I actually have some control and power over what will happen, if that makes any sense at all. I have not been completely happy on the work front for a couple of years, not that I have not made many wonderful friends along the way, but I have felt like there is more that I could be doing. I still have not heard back from the one company about a second round interview. Yes, I still think if they called me back for a second interview and then offered me the position, I would struggle w/ the answer. It would be easy to say yes and keep doing what I have been doing for the past six and a half years, but I would also struggle w/ knowing that my dreams are once again being put on hold. So, do I go forward w/ what is easy if the opportunity is presented or do I take the giant leap of faith, that makes me totally 100% dependent on the Lord? Easy or hard? The strong Christian responds in faith and the weaker one, may respond w/ safe and dependable.
I can’t find anywhere in Scripture where the Lord has called someone to do something and then left them to do everything on their own. Many times it doesn’t look like they thought it would, but the Lord was there every step of the way. I find it funny, although I really shouldn’t, that all of my devotional reading, scripture passages and even several sermons have been on taking leaps of faith and dealing w/ the Lord’s call on my life. I know that He has a call on my life and now I am praying that I can move forward in faith and put fear behind me.
If you are in a similar position, I encourage you to dig into the Scripture and research passages on fear and see how the Lord speaks to you. Also, I would like you to feel free to send me messages via email, text or facebook and let me know how I can pray for you. The Lord didn’t create us to walk through this world on our own. We are built for relationships and I think if we would truly be willing to walk w/ each other through the good and the bad, we would see a change in the church and I am pretty sure that relationships would be created and built that astonished even us.
All of this to say, and yes, it’s a little scattered, that I pray that you and I would pray and work to overcome our battles w/ fear and watch the Lord does in and through us.