When fear has a face

Kristen Larson

Christ follower and wife.
A writer with a dream to see others fall deeper in love with God.

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“Waiting to develop courage is just another form of procrastination.
The most successful people take action while they’re afraid!”
~ Unknown‎

Have you ever been listening to the radio and heard one of those songs that say something to the effect of  “God use me, I’ll go anywhere. Nothing can stop me!”  When you’re revving up to chase after your God-given dreams, it feels amazing to sing such songs at the top of your lungs. It pumps you up for the future; you are filled with faith and determination. In that stage of the journey, nothing scares you. I don’t even think it’s reaching too far to say that you may literally feel invincible.

But at some point the rubber hits the road, and the fear you claimed would never affect you suddenly grows a face. Even though the songs got you excited, all of a sudden it gets uncomfortable. You watched others set out and make it happen, but now it does not seem so easy. Was the song lying to you? You don’t feel invincible anymore. In fact, you feel like the tiniest thing alive. You are half tempted to turn around and go home. But it is your turn to leap, and you honestly don’t know if you’ll survive. You have to put yourself out there in front of the world, exposed, and you’re not sure if you’ll receive praise or criticism. Will you fly or fall?

I’m in this situation right now, facing my own cliff. I can’t flippantly say, “Let’s truck on and beat fear to the ground! You only live once!” Oh how I wish it were that easy, but fear of failure is crippling me. It’s been easier the past few weeks just to ignore my dream completely. I keep thinking that the fear will pass if I simply ignore it.  I have come to realize that I’m at a spot where I need to go big or go home. It’s time to fight for my dream. It’s either fight, or surrender to a true form of failure – giving up.

My dream isn’t as glamorous as it seemed at its outset. The rubber has it the road, and there are a lot of risks to take. There is a lot that is unknown. I’ve got this fire in my gut though, and I can’t back down. I’ve thought about it, and decided it’s just not an option. It may be taking me a shameful amount of time to move forward, but I know it’s simply inevitable. I’m going to leap.

Life is so much easier when we are not actually pursuing our dreams. Less exciting maybe, but easier. Safer. I’ve been thinking about all of this constantly over the past couple weeks. If God has placed something in our hearts, and we’ve got that undeniable fire, he will have our back as we press forward. If we are doing things his way and being open, teachable, humble, and following in his footsteps, then he will help us come out on the other side in one piece. He will protect us. He will give us the strength that is needed to make that jump.

And you know what, maybe there is success right after this leap, but maybe there isn’t. I don’t think success should be the only thing driving us. That fire in our gut is God calling us forward, and I think the journey with him should be the driving force behind our passions. Not fame. Not fortune. Those things are fleeting. Worthless.

It may be terrifying at times, but we need to remember that it is God that called us out. It was God that planted this dream in our hearts. Surely, he has everything we need to get through it alive. Not just alive, but happy, excited, and whole – because we’re doing what he’s called us to do.

 

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.”
~ Tagore

Image: Flickr

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