Fear is Not My Compass
Undoubtedly, there have been countless moments in my life marked with a catapult of nervous energy rushing through my veins, flooding my body with a wavering wake of weakness and leaving me in uncertainty and trembling.
I struggled with fighting off fear for many years in my life. I was the kid who sat in the back of the classroom always joking around and laughing with my friends, but sinking into the depths of the plastic chair beneath me when I had to take that dreaded walk to speak in front of the classroom.
I knew that fear had tried to sink its grip in me and had come to give me a run for my money. I had no idea how to break free; my only game plan was to simply avoid facing it. I would take failing grades in school instead of giving oral reports, let the fear of rejection build walls around my relationships with other people, and write sermons and songs that would pile up on shelves in my room never to be seen or heard, so that no one could glimpse what my heart looked like.
[pullquote width="300" float="left"]“YOU HAVE LISTENED TO FEARS, CHILD. COME, LET ME BREATHE ON YOU. FORGET THEM. ARE YOU BRAVE AGAIN?” -C.S. Lewis[/pullquote]
Every person that I know that has struggled with fear has a calling on their lives that fear keeps them from fulfilling. And really, when we think about it, isn’t that all of us? Don’t we all have passions and dreams given to us by God that could be robbed by fear if we refuse to fight for them with fierce faith?
Since I was a small child, I have had an exuberance for music. I memorized an entire Lean Rhymes CD when I was three-years-old while driving around town with my dad on early Saturday mornings. I wrote countless times in my journals as I grew up that “I am a songwriter.” Granted, I had never written a complete song until about two years ago.
Call it prophetic or maybe just delusional, but my heart always knew what I was created for: to proclaim God's goodness and faithfulness through song.
But I had spent most of my life only singing songs within the confines of my home, safe with my family. Even then, whenever someone gave me any encouragement regarding my voice, a whisper in the back of my mind always murmured, “You can’t trust them, they are lying to you.”
So I continued to believe that I could never become a worship leader or songwriter because everyone would hate whatever I had a hand in creating and in turn hate me. Isn’t it wild how extremely harsh our thoughts can be towards ourselves?
Its time to a bit gentler with our hearts.
I remember one of the first major breakthroughs God made in my life. I was sitting in a mud hut on an unbearably hot day in Sudan, playing guitar and watching a gaggle of sweet three- to five-year-olds that I love dearly, shuffle through pages in my Bible and fill my journal with beautiful and “abstract” pictures. I felt God's Spirit moving within me.
And as I was singing songs to Him in this hurting, yet joy-filled land, I decided that no matter what my voice sounded like, what people said about me, if my voice shook uncontrollably, or I was too weak to even stand up in front of people, I am committed to fulfilling Gods call on my life.
I will be obedient to whatever He called me to do.
That decision changed everything. I still had to face the fear - the fear that I had let build up and hold me down for years and years - and it was difficult. But I now had a weapon in my hands: faith, obedience, and mostly love.
[pullquote width="300" float="right"]God has created you for a wonderful and adventurous life - don’t let anything or anyone steal that from you![/pullquote]
Falling more in love with Jesus gave me more clarity over my circumstances and the boldness and drive to start claiming victory over my difficulties.
Jesus’ love for me showed me my true identity.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear…” -1 John 4:18
In this God began to heal my heart and the barricade that once towered over me began to crumble until I was standing on top of the rubble singing praises of Gods faithfulness.
I encourage you to identify the strongholds in your life and bring them to the cross. Allow Jesus to walk with you through the process of releasing your control and anxiety to Him. Allow him to fight for you and comfort you with His love.
It can be as simple as praying, “God I need You. This struggle is bigger than I can handle on my own, but I know that You love me and want what is best for me. Please teach me to be more like You, transform my heart, let me release what keeps me spiraling in sin and instead cling to You and your grace Jesus, deliver me and carry me into freedom”.
God has created you for a wonderful and adventurous life - don’t let anything or anyone steal that from you! Allow and trust Him walk you through the process of overcoming. Be brave, my darling!
// photo by erich mcvey