Start With This

I’m not sure why, but certain things cause fear in my heart. I’m probably interchanging that word with “anxiety” since fear refers to the response to actual danger.

But there’s no actual danger. Nothing bad is happening. But I fear bad things will happen. I become anxious (heart racing, sweating, spiraling thoughts) related to possible scenarios. It’s anticipatory anxiety, and I’m working on a few things like simply noticing the emotions and physical sensations, allowing them to hang around without telling them they shouldn’t be there, and calmly speaking the truth to myself. You are fine. You are safe. Nothing bad is happening. If something bad does happen, God will be there. God is already there. What are you actually afraid of? People screaming at you? Someone canceling you? Looking stupid? What is the fear about?

Deep breaths. More deep breaths.

Naturally, when I’m thinking about fear, I tend to notice whenever I read a passage in the Bible about fear. I love how important overcoming fear is to God. I love God’s words to Joshua: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

I read this verse, and I ask myself a few questions:

What am I not doing because of fear? What can I do that makes me afraid today–something that requires faith? Something that could build real courage? It might be simple like walking across the room to say “hello” to a stranger or something more scary like driving to a strange city for a speaking event.

Finally, I like the people I’ve heard who say this: “Do it afraid.” The fear might stay there, but you just do the thing that makes you afraid. You do it afraid, knowing that God is with you, and these emotions and physical responses don’t reflect reality.

There you go, living by faith.

I might just start listing out all the things I do each day that require a bit of courage since fear sits right there with me. I’m going to increase my faith. Maybe I’ll start with this: pressing publish.

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