Scary movies. Bad dreams where I wake up sweaty and crying. A haunted house. A large spider. Fear was simpler when I was a child, more contained.
Well, it wasn’t but my understanding of it was narrower. As I age I recognize new, more debilitating fears: fear of failure, fear of having weaknesses exposed, fear of not being loved. And with the recognition comes understanding of how being afraid cripples the life I live.
The thing with fear is that it doesn’t shrink because we decide to be brave. When I finally look up, grab the rope my Savior has offered and face my fear, He gives strength but it doesn’t diminish the fear. That person I must communicate with, the one who always criticizes or yells? Telling her my idea is terrifying. And Jesus, He hands me strength but the fear is still loud. I told her anyway. And she responded like she always does but in the end, she heard me. Now, after the deed, the fear is gone and His strength remains, I can do that again. And my soul? It is a bit freer.
And that is how it works. Strength and bravery, they only diminish fear after the act. And so I need to change my language. To stop cooing the words to my girls, “Don’t be afraid…” Because I know, have repeatedly experienced, that fear is not logic. I need to tell her to grab her Jesus brave, face that issue and expect fear to put up a fight. Her Jesus brave will win, but the difficult battle must be fought.
Joining my favorite word lovers who know the power of 5-minutes. Join us today as we write on the word: Afraid.