“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
I met a liar last year. Well, let me go back. I’ve known him for a while now. I used to let him have so much say in my life. He told me when I should and shouldn’t do something. If God was calling me to step out in faith, he usually told me all the risks and all the reasons why I shouldn’t. He made me think that I probably shouldn’t do that thing if it scared me. He let me know right away all the ‘what ifs’ to consider. He gave me a list- What if I failed? What if I messed up? What if I wasn’t good enough? What if people didn’t like what I said or wrote or did? The list he gave me made me second-guess myself and wonder if he was right. You might know this guy.
His name is fear.
Fear has issues. He has been robbing people of their dreams for as long as I can remember. He’s sneaky, subtle, and unfortunately, always popping his head in with his two cents. In the past, fear has said way too many things to me and unfortunately, he’s very convincing. He’s said things like:
- You’re not good enough
- There’s no way you can do that
- You’re not smart enough
- You’re not good looking enough
- You are insecure
- You will not have any money when you’re older to live on
- You are not connected to your kids enough
- You are not good at friendships
- You are not good at hosting people
- You’re not a strong enough writer
And usually, when I heard his voice, I retreated back into my shell and into doing what I’ve always done, because doing what I’ve always done is safer. Or is it?
About a month ago we went to an incredible getaway in Austin, Texas called Camp Tejas. All of Jon’s siblings and their families went and it was a very special time. Several of us had talked about doing the zip line. I didn’t think too much about it, but in my mind there was a struggle going on. I want to do it, but I’m afraid. I have this ridiculous fear of heights. Ridiculous. And standing in line was my husband, my brother and sister in law, my daughter, and my 12-year-old son. They wouldn’t have thought any less of me if I didn’t do it. But all year, the Lord had challenged me to be my best brave. I even published a Brave Journal! And I knew my kids were watching. I bought a ticket and got in line with them. They were all excited that I was going to do it. The line felt like forever, as I imagined the torture I was about to endure. “Be brave,” I continued to whisper to myself. And then we had to climb up a rickety, spiral wooden ladder, all the way up. By the time I made it to the top I was literally shaking. The four of us could all go at the same time- my husband, my son, my daughter, and me. They strapped us in our harness as I asked about 20 questions. “Has anyone ever thrown up?” “Has anyone ever fallen off?” “Have you had any injuries?” It was pitch dark, freezing cold, and the view from up top looked much higher than the view from below. I felt ill. Fear told me I couldn’t do it. He said, “What if you get hurt.” And then the countdown. One… two… and three! Hope and Jon went, no problem. Noah hesitated a moment and then just did it! And there I was, atop a massive wooden tower completely gripped by fear. I froze. I felt paralyzed. It almost felt like there was someone physically holding me back. Fear said, “This is way too scary, you can’t do this.” I kept telling the girl, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I am so afraid. Why can’t I just jump?” “It’s the fear isn’t it?” To which she calmly but matter of factly said, “Yes, it’s the fear itself that’s holding you back.” On the ground my family was swinging around, still strapped in, just waiting for them to send me down. They kept doing these countdowns. I sat on the ledge because I couldn’t stand anymore. The girl sat right down next to me. She was sweet and encouraging and tried to talk me through it. She said if I wanted to, I could scoot off the ledge instead of jumping and the seat would just catch me. Finally I heard on their radios, “If she doesn’t go right now, you just need to have her walk back down.” I knew I had to do it- not just for my kids, but for me. I honestly felt like this was symbolic of things to come and I was going to need to learn how to kick fear in the face in the coming year. So finally the last countdown… 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and… 1. And I did it! I scooted off the ledge as I screamed and shouted and screamed some more. Everyone was cheering for me and I think the men working below were just glad I stopped holding up the line. It was scary and exhilarating all at the same time.
I finally had to realize that FEAR IS A LIAR. (click to tweet)
He speaks lies and there is no truth in him. The more I realize this to be true, the more I have been able to KICK FEAR IN THE FACE.
How can you kick fear in the face? Every time you are afraid and do it anyway, you just kicked fear in the face. Every time you feel unqualified but know God is calling you to do something and so you do it anyway, you kick fear in the face. Every time you quote scripture over that thing that has a hold on you, you kick fear in the face.
Every time I say yes to a speaking engagement, I kick fear in the face. Every time I do something that scares me a little, I kick fear in the face. Every time I’m compelled to run because that thing is so out of my comfort zone, but instead of running from it, I run to it, I kick fear in the face. Every time I stop thinking about it and just do it, I kick fear in the face.
I hope you learned this lesson too in 2014- that fear is a liar. Fear will paralyze us and stop us dead in our tracks. Fear will always tell us of the worst-case scenarios. But no matter what happens in 2015, just like when I jumped off that ledge and the seat caught me, Jesus is right here to catch you. Our walk with Him is a freefall into His arms of love and mercy and grace. He’ll catch you, I promise. May we live out 2015 with boldness, with bravery, and with courage. Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.
Do me a favor, get out there and kick fear in the face!!