Pushing through the fear

My Bucket List

I’ve been playing around with a bucket list of sorts over the last few years. Nothing serious, or set in stone, just a few things I’d like to experience before I’m no longer able to. I’ve already checked off a couple of them, like flying in an airplane and riding a roller coaster, but still on the list is zip-lining, and the possibility of sky-diving.

As I look at those items, I realize they all have something in common; each one is connected to my biggest phobia, the fear of falling from a great height.

FEAR – there’s my elephant in the room. Always there, just around the corner, waiting to grab me with its trunk, and roll me up so tightly that I’m unable to breathe, yet still, I ignore it. The word fear has captivated my life for so long that it’s become a comfort of sorts. I’m so familiar with it, that the actual prospect of recognizing it for what it really is scares me to death. See the humor in that?

I.am.fearful.of.fear.

I have a theory that fear would rank pretty high on the charts for many of you too. We’re all afraid of something, but mainly I’m just fearful of myself.

I’m afraid I won’t measure up to everything I write about. I’m afraid that when asked a question about the gospel, I won’t have the right answers. I’m afraid that if I don’t do all the expected “Christian things” I will be judged as not being as “spiritual” as everyone else. I’m afraid that my fear is going to keep me from truly living life, and that someday it will cause me to fall so far and so hard that I will be unable to get back up.

pushing though the fear

Those are a few of the fears I’ve been working through over the last few months. When I get in this frame of mind, I tend to bounce my thoughts and feelings off my closest friends. A few days ago one of them gifted me with the following verse:

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:1-2 NLT

NO CONDEMNATION! The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word condemn as to say in a strong and definite way that someone or something is bad or wrong.”

That definition floored me. My entire life, I’ve been carrying around this huge chain containing so many links that it has now become too heavy to bear. It represents the fear that I’m not only bad, but also very wrong. I’ve never needed anyone else to condemn me; I’ve become an expert at finding ways to do it to myself.

In Fil Anderson’s book Breaking the Rules, he states, “If we really believe the gospel we proclaim, we’ll be honest about our own beauty and brokenness, and the beautiful broken One will make himself known to our neighbors through the chinks in our armor – – and in theirs.”

Pushing through the fear

As I keep pushing through the fear, I’m allowing the words of Romans 1 to flow over me. I belong to Jesus; He is the only One I need to give an account to, and what a blessing it is to know that He loves me just the way I am.

I also want to allow the brokenness that keeps me pressing on to make itself known through Christ. And as He keeps giving me the words to somehow try to make sense of this mess we call life, I’m going to keep on writing them down. 

Please come back next week so we can finish talking about this subject together. I’d love to know your own fears. What are your thoughts? In what ways do you condemn yourself?

Salina

Fil Anderson, Breaking the Rules (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2010), 80-81
Merriam-Webster

Linking up this week with:
Tell His Story
Sharing His Beauty
Hear it on Sunday, Tell it on Monday

Whom Shall I fear? by ChrisTomlinVEVO

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12 comments on “Pushing through the fear”

  1. Donna Reidland Reply

    Salina,

    I always enjoy your thoughtful posts. I just had a similar conversation with a family member about the fears and insecurities with which we all struggle … while at the same time failing to recognize that many of the ways people respond to us are because of their fears and insecurities. We all need God’s grace constantly to give Him our own fears and to help us walk along side and encourage one another.

    But one of the most interesting discussions I’ve had recently on this subject was with a student in one of my classes. A friend of hers has struggled with severe anxiety for many years. He told her, “I know you’re praying for me to be free from this anxiety, but it’s been a part of my life for a long time and I’m not ready to give it up.”

    That’s an astounding admission, but probably true of most of us in various ways. We get so comfortable with our own sins and struggles that we make pets of them. But sins, even the sins of fear and worry, are like wild animals we try to domesticate. They can turn on us and devour us at any moment.

    Thanks again for your posts,
    Donna Reidland

    • salina19 Reply

      Thank you very much Donna. It means a lot to me when people comment on my posts. Yes, I think that does happen to us….the fear of letting go of something we have become too comfortable with. I’m so thankful that God has been revealing some of mine; His grace is able to cover all my fears.

  2. Joan Reply

    My word for this year is “courage”, so this post hit home. Fear sure does stand in the way of so many things in life…including living the life God plans for us! I am determined not to let the things He has planned for me pass me by, so, I’m trying to pay close attention to what God is saying to me. While following Him, I am leaning in and listening while I step out in faith. It is comforting to remember, that God is with me every step of the way!

    Blessings, Joan

    • salina19 Reply

      Thank you my precious friend Joan. I’m looking forward to seeing you relate to your word courage. Praying you will have a year full of blessings.

  3. Grace Reply

    I found out early in my life that I have two big fears.. the first is water… I never learned to swim and the other is change. So my whole life I have tried to recognize these as they crop in my life. I made sure my three children all learned to swim at an early age and they not only love the water and all activities around water, but they all became lifeguards. (helpful for me the non-swimmer) I have always been afraid of how big life changes will make me feel. Now concerning change.. I have learned that no matter how good I think I like it now, that God can make ready for those new changes to my life. Our family will be experiencing some big changes in the next few months as my youngest child will be graduating from high school, my other children are graduating from college, one of which is getting married…it is very scary and emotional, but I know that God has something new prepared for me. Things for your devotional.

    • salina19 Reply

      Oh wow! The fact that all three of your children became lifeguards is amazing. I believe change is hard for all of us. God bless you as you go thought these upcoming changes if your life. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. carol525 Reply

    That fear of losing control, or maybe not being in control in the first place, is a huge fear that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to release into God’s control! Thank you for sharing these thoughts and verses!

  5. tammy @ grace uncommon Reply

    it’s so hard to not fall into fear, isn’t it? i think my greatest fears reside in the lives of my children – knowing i cannot control their lives and what happens to them. i’m much more okay with falling on my own face, but them…that is far more painful. praying for you this moment – and, by the way, i totally get the fear of heights thing. i zip lined for the first time this last summer and it was terrifying but SO exhilarating! just do it!! 🙂 blessings!

    • salina19 Reply

      I had planned to zip line last October, but it turned so cold that day that we didn’t go through with it. Maybe this year. 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

  6. Marie Bride Reply

    Fear is really a big one
    I have tried for some years now to get up each day & face my fears.
    Which in & of itself can cause me fear. Then I have to sit back & remember:
    The Lord is my Light & my Salvation of whom should I fear? Of whom should I be afraid?
    Well I am a work in progress & Thank You Jesus that You O’Lord are not done with me yet.

    • salina19 Reply

      I love the line in the Chris Tomlin song “I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind….the God of Angel Armies…He is a friend of mine.” That’s what we hold onto…His friendship, love, and companionship. Thanks Marie!

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