No Longer Afraid

I used to be deathly afraid of the dark.  I can’t explain why, but the dark was unnerving.  I always slept with a light on, be it the hallway light, a nightlight, or with the street light shining through the open window.  Then something changed.

I am no longer afraid of the dark.  I can’t tell you when it happened, but at some point I realized that I didn’t have to be afraid anymore.  Oh, I don’t like the dark, but there is no more fear of it.

I used to be afraid of not knowing what the future holds.  I would become paralyzed by fear when someone would ask what was next.  Where or what I was doing next year.  What my five and ten-year plan was.  I used to think I needed to know, and I was afraid that if I didn’t have the right answer, I wouldn’t be successful in life.

I am no longer afraid of what the future has to hold.  Sure, it still makes me nervous to put all my trust in Gods plan and to live life one day, one week, one month, one year at a time, but I am no longer paralyzed by the thought of not knowing.

It’s something that I am learning to live with.

I used to be afraid of the darkness that had settled in my heart all those years ago.  And then I realized that it was part of who I have become.  And it slips out into my art.  And I embrace it.

I used to be afraid of what others thought.  Of opinions of how I choose to live my life, how I choose to present myself.  But then I came to realize that if someone doesn’t accept who I am, then that has nothing to do with me.

I used to be afraid of God.  I knew my sins and I wondered how I could ever survive knowing that if I had stepped up and acted, spoken out, or lived differently, things could have turned out differently.  I was afraid that I would be defined by what I failed to do.  And then I found myself embraced in love by a family of friends who revealed that God’s forgiveness is a purifying flame.

I used to be afraid of what God was calling me to do.  Calling me to be.  I ran from the thought of Africa for almost a year and a half because I was afraid.  I found excuses because I didn’t feel like I was ready to be a part of something bigger.  But God chased me down and I came to discover that He does not call those who are prepared, He prepares the called with the strength of love, community, and fellowship.

It’s not that the fear is no longer there.  It is the simple fact that the joy, love, and call to adventure is much more powerful than the fear that struggles to hold me back.

I still have nightmares.  I still struggle.  But I do not let fear define my actions anymore.

I challenge you to live the same.  Don’t let fear define you and discover the potential that God has placed on your life.

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