Are you afraid? Afraid of commitment, afraid of taking chances, afraid of change, afraid of the dark, afraid of failure, or maybe just afraid that you let your fear dictate too much of your existence? Last summer I was visiting my best friend and her family in So Cal. One afternoon we went to the Santa Monica Pier and I met Bobby.
Bobby was from Nashville and I don't know how long he had been living in Cali, but he did share one bit of his story with me. He shared how he had gone through a heartbreaking breakup with a girl he had loved. He shared how he had felt like he had no purpose in life. He shared how he had wanted to end his life. He shared how he was alone, probably about to die, and terrified. At that moment, he decided that he didn't want to ever feel that that fear again. He was making a film about fear and was approaching people all over the pier and having them write their fears all over his body with markers, then he was planning to go into the water and wash those fears away. What a beautiful thing. He asked me to write my biggest fear on his arm. I stood there thinking for longer than I should have. It felt really weighty, assigning the word 'biggest' to a fear. I know that it wasn't some permanent, public thing, but it also felt like a big deal to put it in writing. Ironically, I think I was afraid to get it wrong.
So, what did I write? I wrote that I was afraid that I would fall short. He assumed that I meant a fear of failure, but that wasn't it. I was (and probably still am) afraid that I will not give enough. NOT not be enough, in Christ, I am and always will be enough. I mean that I won't give all I am, all I have to the things that God has called me to, to my family, to the things in life that I love. It seems too easy to get distracted by the things that don't mean as much and move important things to the back burner. Every where we look, there are things waiting to distract us from what is important. I think that is still at the top of my list... allowing myself to forget what's important.
I have a cover photo on my personal Facebook page that says 'fear is a liar'. It's true. Fear comes in and tells you that something is or isn't. That the fear IS greater and that there ISN'T anything you can do about it. Whether you are fearing failure, commitment, or even being alone, fear would tell you that you aren't enough, that you are better alone, or that you will always be alone. Fear will lie and twist your thoughts and emotions to keep you from making life giving decisions. Why? Because fear is one of the biggest tools in the enemy's arsenal. But, fear is a liar and the moment that you stop believing the fear, is the moment that you start breathing in new life. If you've ever faced down one of your fears to find life on the other side, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
So, if Bobby walked up to you and handed you a marker right this moment, asking you to write down your biggest fear, what would you write? Next question, how will you choose to overcome that fear?