(5.11.17)I’ve always prided myself in not being scared of just about anything. People would ask “So what are you scared of?” and I’d said “Hm. Nothing!”
Pride is a tricky thing. Turns out, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more scared of things. I’m scared of tornadoes. I’m scared of flying. I’m scared of riding bikes. I’m scared of dying young. I don’t actually pride myself in any of that. I’ve just come to realize it all. I’m writing this as I’m on a plane and I will admit, I have to hold my mom’s hand when there’s turbulence and when we land. I close my eyes, like that’ll make it go away. The plane won’t stop hitting air pockets or going through extra windy places because I close my eyes. But the way I look at it, facing the fear itself isn’t helping me overcome it, but it is making me realize that I’m only human.
It’s easy to consider yourself invincible when you’re not scared of anything. Now, don’t go getting the wrong idea. I’m not telling you to go and find something to be scared of. My point is to find something that makes you step out of your comfort zone and make yourself brave. Sometimes, making yourself be brave pushes you to do more than you thought you ever could do.
Finding the driving force behind what you’re doing helps get to the goal. My goal right now as I’m closing my eyes to try to make the turbulence go away in between writing is the fact that I get to see my family when we land. They’re the driving force.
God tells us to be courageous. If you’re a scaredy-cat at any degree, like I think I might be, it’s easy to laugh at the word courage. It reminds me of the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. He just wants courage but he’s scared to get it. He goes with Dorothy and the rest of them to Oz to get his courage. He’s scared but he had an end goal in mind: get himself some courage so he could stop being so fearful of everything all the time.
It’s easy to go “I don’t want to be courageous. I want to curl up in a ball and watch Netflix cause I’m just too scared to go __________.” Just me? Ok.
You have your circle. In the middle is you (Hey 👋🏽). That’s where things are cozy and nice. That what I like to call the “Robe and Fireplace Circle”. You’re comfortable and you really don’t have to move. It’s easy. Then the circle outside of that is a little weirder. You’d maybe consider it, you’ll think about it. That’s the “New Restaurant Circle”. You know, maybe you’ll like it but you’ll only try it maybe once cause if it’s not your taste, it’s a no next time. Then outside of that is the “Heeeeeck No Circle”. I think that one is pretty self explanatory. Whatever you’re absolutely, without a doubt terrified of thing is, that’s what this circle is. Maybe it’s public speaking, heights, dogs?
Jesus says in the Bible to “fear not” 365 times. Listen, if He didn’t mean it, He wouldn’t have said it. Especially not 365 times. God never leaves us. Even in our scaredy-catness. Sometimes you need someone to hold your hand in turbulence. Sometimes you need to close your eyes when it gets rough. Everyone does. But it’s being brave when you decide to open your eyes and face it. Fear gives you two options: take steps outwards or inwards in your series of circles.
Don’t limit your abilities depending on what you’re scared of. I’m terrified of flying and bikes and tornadoes but if God asked me to do bike race or fly to the other side of the world, I’d do it. He’s going to use your fear to turn it into bravery. Expand your circles. Let your “Robe and Fireplace” bleed into your “Heeeeeeeck No” circle. What’s your fear stopping you from doing?
“You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.'”
“Brave” by Moriah Peters from the album Brave (2014)
“Flaming Arrows” by Carmen Justice (single, 2017)