I am a fearful person. I can make myself afraid of almost anything and everything. I can even be afraid of being afraid. What if I make myself so upset that I have a heart-attack, or I make myself so stressed that I gain lots of weight? So when Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” he could have been talking about me.
I had the best time visiting Alaska last week. It was one of the best vacations I have ever taken. When my daughter first started talking about Joe and me visiting I had that moment of fear when I started thinking about having to fly for such a long period of time. Because I love my daughter and I really wanted to see her I pushed those thoughts to the back of my mind and went ahead with all the arrangements. I could have easily come up with an excuse or two to put the trip off but I would have been letting fear dictate my decision.
Flying is not the only thing I am afraid of. I am afraid of staying by myself alone at night. It is not as bad as it used to be, but I hate getting into bed and then letting my thoughts run wild. I always take the dogs to bed with me when Joe is out of town because they give me some comfort. They are not great for protection and would probably hide behind me if someone actually came into the room. I remember once when the kids were in high school and Joe was gone that Beckley started growling and barking at my bedroom door. I wasn’t too concerned because I knew that it was about midnight and that the kids weren’t in bed yet. I got up and opened up the door and told Beckley that no one was there but he took off like a flash. I followed him down the hall and when I got to the kitchen there stood one of the kid’s friends. He had dropped by and was talking to them. I couldn’t hear him but Beckley could and was not happy about it.
How about fear of public speaking? Put that on my list, too. I have really been trying to conquer that fear and I put myself in situations where I do have to occasionally speak in public. So far I haven’t passed out in fear nor have a made a complete fool of myself so I guess that is something.
Fears are everywhere, fear of commitment, fear of heights, fear of taking tests, and fear of failing are things that come to my mind first. Fear of failing has held so many people back from reaching their full potential. My son was a very good basketball player but he hated the idea of failing. The coach would draw up a plan at the end of the game for the team to get the ball in his hands for a three point shot but as soon as he got the ball he would pass it off. It didn’t matter who he gave the ball to as long it was not him. He would rather lose the game than to risk failing.
When I started this blog I told no one. The only person who knew was my sister because she had been trying to get me to do a blog for over a year. She helped me set everything up and get going. BUT, I didn’t tell Joe or the kids, I didn’t tell my mother, and I didn’t tell my best friends. Why? Why would I not tell the people closest to me about a new adventure I was taking? Fear! I was afraid that they would make fun of me and I was afraid no one would ever read my blog. I was afraid I would fail.
“‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.’” Isaiah 43:1b-2 (NIV)
Read these words and then read them again. How can you be afraid when the Lord is with you? He says, “Do Not Fear!” He says that “I will be with you!” I can’t think of anyone that I would rather have with me, beside me, guiding me, and pushing me to bigger and better things than the Lord. I am so thankful that I did not let fear keep me from trying something new. I am so thankful that the Lord has plans for me and that in spite of my fearful attitude I am trusting in Him. He is with me always! Even if I fail I know that He was with me and that He will not leave me. That gives me strength, that gives me hope, and that gives me a life not controlled by fear.
Have a Blessed Sunday!