I’m not afraid anymore.
In almost every area of my life, I can be and sometimes am ruled by fear. While events unfolded over the past week in Boston, were you reminded that terrorists bring real terror? I was. As a classic over-thinker, my fears can quickly control my thought life.
Fear of disappointing others.
Fear of imperfection.
Fear of unmet expectations.
Fear of missing out.
Fear of loss.
But maybe you had the same recent conversation with friends or family that I did, “We cannot live out of fear.” Fear is not a good motivator. It is a paralyzer.
I want to live out of freedom.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
For God gave us a spirit not of fear
but of power and love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
As women, we often cling to our fears. They surround us and buffer us in. We play it safe to avoid those fears coming to fruition. We learn to name our fears, but do we learn how to move beyond them? Do we live in the freedom that Christ has already won for us? Do we discipline those fearful thoughts through the power of the Holy Spirit?
To truly be women of influence, I believe we must practice this:
What are you afraid of?
How can you live bravely in truth?
Where can the Spirit give you courage to move forward, out of paralysis?
Let me give you an example. (Sometimes my fears are relatively small.) Last year, I wanted to go to the Influence Conference, yet the root of my decision not to go was fear. I was afraid of not being an established blogger, not knowing enough people, not being “ready” to put myself out there, and not having anything to contribute. I was paralyzed by these thoughts into staying home.
The truth is God calls individuals into community. The conference was a gift to live into that calling with other Christian women. We need to replace lies with God’s truth. Science tells us we can actually train our brains with rational thought to overcome those gut feelings of insecurity. Isn’t this what memory verses are all about?
So this year, I’m sure I will have a pit in my stomach walking into the Westin Hotel for the conference. I also know that I will continue to walk forward to meet each of you, because I am not ruled by fear. I will remind myself of the truth — that God has blessed me with an opportunity to build friendships, to hear wise speakers, to get a glimpse of His kingdom in the faces and voices of hundreds of lovely women.
Other times my fears feel enormous — like anxiety for my daughter’s health, the fear of losing a loved one, or those deep-down fears of being betrayed or unlovable. But even in these thoughts, Scripture is faithful and true. It will provide freedom from the burden of these heavy thoughts by placing our trust in a Father who is always good and will love us forever.