I am not brave.
If all my friends were jumping off a bridge, I would not do it because I’m afraid of heights (not because of my ability to withstand peer pressure!).
But this wasn’t always the case. My mom tells me that when I was little, I approached life with a “Here I am!” attitude. My first day of kindergarten, I was the first one to get on the bus on my route and I did so very matter-of-factly. I remember thinking, “Why is everyone acting like this is such a big deal? It’s time for kindergarten. I’m going to kindergarten. Why should I be scared?”
Then life happened as I got older and I lost a little of that child-like courage. I can remember two major events (and some smaller ones) that began to break down that confidence. At my lowest point, I couldn’t even distinguish simple likes and dislikes or make simple decisions without a low level of anxiety. My confidence was shattered, and with it, my security; my personality.
With time, prayer, and maturity, I’ve moved steadily away from unhealthy fear and back into the freedom that comes with a renewed mind. Two significant thoughts have recently skyrocketed my growth in this area, maybe more than at any other time in my life:
1. We are on the offensive team
We are preparing for Mexico in a variety of ways: physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. I’m focusing my attention on making my life Spirit-filled and being as prepared for spiritual warfare as possible. Over and over I’m struck how much of scripture is written from an offensive position – on the attack, rather than retreat.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
I should be fighting and facing the world with Authority. We are weak, but He is strong. We’re champions through Him. If death is defeated, why don’t I act like that? Wherever evil has crept in, I can stand in God’s power and ask Him to make it retreat on behalf of His name, in His authority. He is always the victor.
2. I can serve without fear
I have sometimes hesitated serving and loving generously for fear of not knowing the “right” thing to say; not knowing the “right” thing to do. Well, now I say, “Poppycock!” to that! That kind of fear has prevented me from walking in humility and has lead me into disobedience when a feeling of temporary safety has out vied acting in God’s power. (That’s why the song in this post is kicking my behind). And oh yeah – isn’t faith without works dead? (Insert knife –> heart –> twist).
But here’s the hope! All of Philippians 1 is good, but I will carry verse 20 at the forefront of my mind this summer:
“…my eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”
This isn’t the end of all fear in my life forevermore, but it’s definitive step away from it. If you’ve read this, you have complete freedom to ask me how things are going and keep me in check. Would you pray for me (and also Mike) in this area? We’ll pray for you, too.
Here’s to a summer marked by faith and bravery!