We all experience them – moments when we stand nose to nose with a fear – knowing we need to step into the experience and walk through it. Fear can appear when we need to speak in public, change jobs, face unexpected medical issue, loose a loved one, move to a new location, and other situations only you can name.
Fear actually causes changes in your brain and organ functions and ultimately in your behavior. Fear can appear as “Panic” – a sudden sensation so strong it prevents logical thinking. Maybe you’ve experienced fear as “overwhelm” when your energy seems so squashed you feel incapable of anything! Often times underneath any form of fear is the deeply hidden concern that you won’t be able to measure up to what is being asked of you by the situation. You don’t see how you can get through it maturely or even gracefully.
In reality, any form of fear is a doorway leading to growth. You can choose either to enter the doorway or walk on by! Thoughts like “I’m not strong enough, courageous enough, skilled enough to do this” urge us to avoid the doorway.
Remember: Life is messy – birth is messy, new growth is messy. Look at the messy piles of autumn leaves left behind as trees prepare for new spring growth. Look at the scattered blossom petals as trees prepare to bring forth fruit. Even a messy entry into the fear doorway does not prevent growth – and you don’t have to come through with flying colors! You just need to give God the “five loaves and two fish” you have at the moment. Didn’t Jesus praise the widow who offered her “mite” because it was all she had at the time. Didn’t Jesus say, “Be not afraid; it is I,” to encourage the frightened disciples in their dark-night boat adventure, as well as when they huddled behind closed doors in the Easter upper room?
What fear are you facing right now? Be honest with your feelings as you pray about the fear. Also, to help you gain perspective, you might want to talk about it with someone you trust. However, only you can step though that feared doorway. Take to heart the words of Jesus “Come to me all who labor and are weary.” Blessings as you move forward in faith and trust in God’s providential invitation and step through whatever doorway is in front of you. – Jackie F.