“… Most of all, Abigail, don’t be afraid. You’ve been walking in fear of what people think and how you might screw up… Realize you’re not perfect. Know you’re going to make mistakes, and don’t fret. You’ll never be me. So stop trying. Just live.”
I was pretty much tapped out this past October, one of the most emotionally trying months I’ve had this year. As I found my way down the path of recovery, God gave me a glimpse into the root of that emotional stress: fear.
Fear of failure. Fear of judgement. Fear of insecurity. Everything in my life was “falling apart.” I had no control! And I was losing sleep, contemplating the many possible unhappy endings for every situation I came against.
I know that’s not the life God calls Christians to. “Just live,” God said to me. But how can I just live without a guarantee that everything will be okay?
Definitions are like atoms. They are the very base of language–language itself being the communication of organized thought.
Without definitions, words are meaningless.
So, to answer my question, how can I “just live,” I decided to start with the problem…
Fear is just an emotion. That’s good to hear! I already know emotions hardly ever reflect truth, but how exactly does one “stop fearing?” Is it possible to just… turn off emotions?
Maybe! To further understand how I might “manipulate” my own emotions, I switched gears–What’s the opposite of fear?
Bravery? No. Courage? Mmm… closer. Faith?
But that doesn’t tell me a lot. Faith is a complete trust, but what does “trust” mean? How can I “trust?”
Aha, now we’re getting somewhere. Trust is a belief! So, what’s a belief?
I found my answer.
What is the opposite of fear? Action.
If I’m acting on what I believe to be true, I’m trusting. I’m putting my faith into something. Someone.
Walking in God’s Will
“God, I want to follow in your footsteps.” I still remember my 12-year old prayer. “If what you want for me and what I want for me conflict, give me what you want. I’ll follow your lead.”
Little did I know at that time, praying “I’ll follow your lead” doesn’t necessarily mean I will always have a red arrow pointing me in the “right” direction. But it does mean I have a base to work from.
I have accepted the ultimate truth already–Jesus Christ is the son of God. His sacrifice covered my sins. I am a righteous child of God. What’s stopping me from acting on that?
If I really trusted God, how would I be acting differently right now?
Maybe acting means searching for a new opportunity. Maybe it means pursuing one already in front of me. Maybe it means sitting tight and waiting, not changing a thing.
It’s different for every scenario, but that’s another conversation.
One last thing to keep in mind is something I’ve noticed after a mere 20 years of existence on this earth: God’s pretty good at shutting doors. If He knows I’m headed in the wrong direction, he’ll tell me. And it’s usually pretty obvious.
So, my new policy is to just act. Whatever the situation, of course I’m going consult God, but I won’t wait for some ground-shaking proclamation that “this is right.” God never says He’ll light the way with neon lights.
He comes as a still sweet voice.
So, I’m going to act in a way that I see fit. I will trust that what I see fit lines up with what God sees fit, as I am a redeemed, righteous daughter of the King. And if I make the wrong choice, God’s right there to close a door and change my direction.
He’ll never punish me for making a mistake. Mistakes are part of life. The sooner I realize this, the sooner I can live fearlessly.
God calls us to live fearlessly.