Over the course of the past few months, I’ve been forced to look fear straight in the face. And it hasn’t been easy. Fear is ugly and can be crippling. For far too long now, I’ve dwelt in a place somewhere between faith and fear, sometimes much closer to fear than faith. And God is calling me out of it today, tomorrow, and beyond.
This face to face stare-down with fear has led me to the truth found within the pages of Scripture. If there is one thing I’ve learned throughout my life’s battle with fear it is that faith is my best default, and faith comes from hearing the Word of God. So, I’ve learned to run to it.
I can remember the feelings of fear all the way back to my earliest memories. Fear of critters and creepy crawlers is probably where it started, but these seemingly insignificant fears led to much more substantial ones the more I chose to dwell on what I was afraid of – the fear of being alone, the fear of being forgotten, the fear of people leaving me, the fear of failure. Perhaps my earliest collision with fear happened in the home. With constant tension and strife as the norm between my parents, fear was quickly learned and embraced in the home, at least by myself. Still, even though chaos seemed to be the defining characteristic of my early childhood, I would never have said that I lived a life of fear, but it still managed to creep its way in. Into my thoughts, my behaviors, my speech, my actions, and even my lack of action. It intruded and invaded where it was not welcome. So, I learned to cope.
Fast forward to the past several months, and you have a faithful but fearful Cherie, still clinging to God’s Word and its promises while urging everyone that will listen to live a life of reckless abandon to Jesus Christ, but finding it terrifying to personally step out of the boat into the waves and the wind of my calling. This is where I’ve been residing, in a place of fear. “What if I’m not good enough? What if I can’t do it? What if I fail?” This dialogue of doubt plays on repeat at times in my mind, keeping me up at night, while instead, God is calling me to a life of faith, the kind of faith that experiences the miracle of walking on water. This is the heritage of sons and daughters of the King. But instead, we live bound by fear, crippled and impaired at best.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
Fear is slavery. Christ offers freedom. Every time we choose to reside in fear, we willingly forfeit the freedom that Christ died to give us. And I’m done! I’m done living in fear and doubting the One who has called me. If He called me, He is faithful and able to equip me, and faith believes this to be true. It’s not as if I’ll never be faced with fear again. Opportunities will relentlessly present themselves across my path to fear. It’s what I choose to do in the face of fear that matters. Will I default to faith? Will you? Rather, will you join me today in choosing freedom? I’m going free!