As I recount the stories of others, and I look deeply at my children, I finally pick Captivating back up and continue reading. I do some self-reflection and I am left full of questions. Questions, none can seem to answer. The answer, I can ultimately sum up into one small word with vast implications: FEAR.
Fear attacks us in so many ways and the effects can be debilitating. The sad thing is, we often do not recognize what is happening within us as fear. We see the resistance as everything else in our narrow minds. Instead of fear we have numerous names/ excuses for it: we aren’t ready, doubt, we’re too small, we aren’t equipped, we don’t have the resources, and the list goes on and on… When at the end of the day, it all boils down to fear. Didn’t we choose not to start that paper, that project, that assignment, until the last minute, telling ourselves: If I don’t pass/ If I don’t get that ‘A’, it’s because I procrastinated; because we were ultimately afraid of failure. What kept you from starting in the first place? A fear that you wouldn’t get a passing grade – wouldn’t get that ‘A’? This pattern is often seen amongst honors students. Guilty as charged. Even after this was pointed out to me, the pattern continues.
Fear deceives us, sending us false messages to stop us in our tracks, reinforcing deep rooted messages, fears from our childhood. Fear can take our voice. Shh, quiet down, you’re too loud. What child hadn’t heard that growing up? Yet, too the one child who heard it so much, who was never able to express himself, who heard, you’re too much, instead of, let’s use inside voices. He lost his voice. He is unable to speak up. Fear has gripped him even into his adulthood.
To the woman who fear has gripped and told, you cannot go forth. I say, “Get up. Press on. You can do this! You truly have nothing to fear.” It is fear that says you can’t go forth, it is fear that says you are a failure. It is fear that keeps you back. It is fear that says you are not worthy. Fear longs to keep you isolated, shut in, and feeling utterly alone. But, you know what, allow me to let you in a little secret: You Are Not Alone! In times like these I am reminded of 1Peter 5:7 (KJV) “Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you.” (Italics added for emphasis.) That initial cares – do you know what that means? We can cast our anxieties, our worries, our fears, our doubts, on the Lord, because, He loves us, He chose us, we are His sons and daughters.
Today, even in the midst of writing this post, which I started days ago – what has kept me from finishing it earlier? (Fear!) In any case, I found myself in a conversation that made me super uncomfortable. So, I deflect, I hide. I have always been one to hide when I am afraid. I know this about me. I hide and avoid. I have a fear of failure, so I would just rather not! And, why-oh-why am I seeing all of these things about myself? Like, do I have to? In any case, I was having this conversation, and I hid, not wanting to face truth. I was convicted on my drive home. So strongly, that I had to turn my radio off! I knew the root was my own fear. Fear of not being worthy. Yes, I know what God has told me. Yes, I know what I have felt/ feel. But, there’s that past. There’s that “what will people say?” “Am I even deserving?”
Then, I am reminded of Phillippians 4:6-7 (KJV) “6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Be anxious for nothing… Was I anxious? Yes. Why? Because, as I live my life, I am not living it for another. I am enjoying my life as it is. I was convicted about turning my nose up at what others say about my future, because not my will – Thy will be done.
I see that I still have so much to learn. For the little glimpses into wisdom I may gain, there is still a foolish little girl inside of me. She still fights what she knows, wanting to prove a point. Rather than being a lovely lady, allowing God to have His way, and pen her life, she fearfully tries to take control. In my hands, my life is a pitiful, disastrous mess! In His hands, it is a masterful, work of art. I have only to let go, relinquish control, and let Him make me, and mold me into the masterpiece He has wanted all along. Because, if I truly love Him… 1 John 4:18 (KJV) “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” I truly have nothing to fear.
It’s time to stop hiding. It’s time to be honest with myself. I say I found my worth. I am worthy. As I continue to heal. As He continues to pour into me. I must listen, I must obey. I do not know what the future holds. But whatever it is, I don’t want to hide away and miss it, because of fear.