Fear

So many times in life, we stay stagnant. We find ourselves frustrated that the same patterns keep happening, but we tend to push the “why” behind that towards external things that feel out of our control. We blame it on other people or circumstances. So we stay stuck in a job we don’t love, keep repeating the same patterns in relationships, having the same fights with friends, keep gaining weight, continue living with strained relationships with our family…the list goes on and may look completely different for all of us.

When I have sat down with people to hear what’s going on in their lives, I start digging with them to try to look past the surface issue at hand. I encourage them to really start taking a look at what it is that’s actually truly bothering them. Most of the time, the surface issue is simply the result of what’s hurting them deep down.

And most of the time, the core concern is fear.

Fear that we won’t measure up. That we are opening ourselves up to be vulnerable with people that have the potential to really hurt us. To be exposed to circumstances that we cannot control. Am I good enough? Do they truly have my best interest at heart? What if they aren’t being honest with me? What if they find somebody better? What if my dreams are too big for what I’m capable of doing?

And the root of it all comes out.

We are afraid that we are not enough. We are afraid of the unknown. We are afraid of growing, stretching, and taking a step out of our comfort zone.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made in perfect love.” -1 John 4:18

Now, I think this takes on several different looks.

I think first & foremost, it is important that we understand the perfect love that Christ has for us. And we stay grounded in who He is & what He has promised us. To be our protector, to walk beside us, to give us the freedom to soar because He has marked our every step before we were even born.

It also is important for our love for ourselves to drive out fear. We have to know who we are & who we are in Christ. He has enormous plans for our lives & He has never laid a path before us that we are incapable of walking. He does not promise us that there will not be growing pains along the way—that is, after all, how He is shaping us to be more like His image.  But, He does promise us that He has gone before us & will not lead us down a path that we are unable to handle.

I also think it shows true in how we treat one another as well. I know for myself, I tend to yield to hurt & lashing out when I feel like I could be hurt. And I think that is the natural, human reaction for most of us. But when we choose to live a life walking with Christ, He commanded us to not be of this world. So I am continuously re-routing myself to walk on a path where my default reaction is love & grace, rather than fear.

One of my close girl friends shared this quote with me recently. It was Abraham Lincoln’s response when somebody asked him if he was afraid of the threats that he was receiving to be assassinated.

“If I am killed, I can die but once; but to live in constant dread of it, is to die over and over again.” -Abraham Lincoln

We can spend our entire lives hiding behind the fear of everything that could go wrong. And we will die every single day. Or we can choose to step out in faith, as wobbly as we may feel, and choose to walk this path that God has laid before us. And to trust that we are more than equipped to walk the road that He has prepared for us.

We are enough. And we can do this.

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