I’m excited to have the first ever guest blogger here. I’ve learned a lot from Sarah over the last eight months. I was turned on to her blog by Lindsey Nobles. Over the last few months Sarah has been tackling her fears head on. You can check out her VLogs on fear here and here.
The older I get the easier it is to dismiss real fear as personality quirks.
“I don’t DO waterslides.” She says as she covers up under a towel and sits her rear end on a bench.
“I’m just not a party planner.” She whines when someone volunteers her for a job that she does not want to do.
“Oh, no…I’m not good in large groups of women. I prefer one on one conversations.” She explains when she’s invited out.
But in reality, it’s all just fear. Fear of silly things like heights and speed. Fear of the pressure to perform under time constraints. Fear of the exposure of not being the “life of the party” and having no one laugh at my jokes.
Fear. I guess in the past I’ve allowed it to define me.
I’d rather have courage define me.
I’d rather be the one that someone invites BECAUSE she’ll jump of the pier and get her clothes and hair wet. I’d rather be the one that races her eight-year-old to the top of the waterslide to see who will be the first one down. I’d rather look at responsibilities and performance issues in the face and say, YES, I will do it and I’m not afraid.
It’s much more fun to have courage define me rather than fear.
Fear keeps me quiet. It keeps me stationary. It keeps me glued to the earth when I should be moving forward.
Fear even keeps my personality slowing trudging toward the retirement home someday where, God forbid, I fall asleep in my wheelchair scared to leave my assisted living room.
Oh yes, I will get old someday. And I may be tempted more and more to dismiss my fears and misgivings as just “who I am”. And yes, I might fall asleep during dinner when I’m 98.
Instead I want to be that courageous old lady who gathers you up and says, “Let me tell you a story, because I’ve got hundreds of them.”
I hope that who I am learning to become is a woman defined by courage and not defined by fear.
As I mentioned in my review of Permission To Speak Freely yesterday I loved the book. The night I started reading it ended up being a difficult night sleep-wise. I got only about three hours of sleep total. As I laid there tossed from my left to my right to my stomach and complete 360’s my mind wandered to fears. Fears I have. Fears that don’t necessarily keep me up at night but haunt the crevices of my mind.
I wandered down stairs and got my journal. I wrote out these fears. I needed to put them down on yellowish paper with black/blue ink. They haunt me. I don’t know how to escape them. Some of them are bigger than others. All of them are real. They speak to my life right now.
I wrote in Monday’s post that after some circumstances that I walked in fear over, that God gave me courage. However, if I’m going to be honest those circumstances which I haven’t left still bring out tremendous fear. Even just Sunday night conversations with Shawn brought my fears to the brim.
The problem with fear, is we know reality. There have been many times that I’ve had to trust God. There was no other option. Three weeks before Shawn and I got married I got laid off from my job. Not usually the way a new couple plans to start their life together. We spent the first three months of our marriage having to trust God to provide. It wasn’t easy. I remember crying on his shoulder because I couldn’t find a job, and should we go get food from our church’s Manna Ministry. Despite our own fears God provide. We paid our bills, met our rent on time, and at times had money left over.
I wonder where the disconnect happens. When we have evidences of God’s faithfulness, yet we still choose to live in fear. Fear that we won’t be able to pay our bills, fear that God is asking us to do the unthinkable, fear that we will never be healed. The list goes on and on and on.
Your turn, confession. I want this place (PrudyChick.com) to be a place that we can be open with one another. I want you to feel free to speak freely without fear of being judged by me or other readers. Today I want you to share your fears. I’m not talking ones like being afraid of spiders or snakes or the dark, but the ones that haunt you and don’t relent.
Also don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Anne Jackson’s book Permission To Speak Freely here.
Back in June I wrote a post about not walking in fear. I had just come out of some circumstances that left me breathless. I’d walked in fear and my post was about how God had given me grace and courage.
Fear affects everyone. From being afraid of heights to phobias that prevent us from leave our houses (Agoraphobia).
This week I will be doing a series on fear. Fears that rip at our souls and haunt us, that leave us broken.
A look at this week:
Tuesday: Review of Anne Jackson’s book Permission To Speak Freely
Wednesday: The Haunting & Unrelenting
Thursday: Defined by Courage – guest post by Sarah Markley
Friday: Moving Away
I want this to be a place where we can talk. On Wednesday I’ll be offering a chance to confess your fears. To get them all out on the table so to speak. On Friday I’ll be offering a chance to give encouragement and reflection. I’ll explain more both at those times.
Thank you for taking this journey. I look forward to the conversations that will take place.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.