I fear a lot of things. Some of them come on in an unexpected, panicked rush of adrenaline such as when I’m calmly brushing my teeth and suddenly notice a big, leggy spider rapidly crawling toward me on the wall. Some of them advance as a slow feeling of dread that accumulate in my stomach such as knowing I must face confrontation or tell someone something I’d rather not.
People might think I’ve got it all together. That I’m always confident and comfortable in any situation. The truth is I’m so not. I’m actually a scared little girl hiding behind a mask, which sometimes slips and reveals my greatest insecurities. Insecurities which might be painful to admit, but which are there nonetheless. I’ve learned to overcome many of them, but sometimes, when I look into the mirror, I’m still that shy, unsure little girl wondering what to do next.
Fear comes in many forms. Some fears I’ve had all my life. Some are only recent acquirements as I’ve grown older and discovered more things to fear. I fear falling. I fear large crowds of people. I fear conversations where I don’t know what to say next. I fear what people will think of me. I fear boys. I fear failure. I fear not getting everything done. I fear sharing my faith. I fear the future and dreams not coming true. I fear not matching up to people’s expectations. I fear conflict, and I fear change. Sometimes I just want to stay curled up cozy in my bedroom all day to avoid uncomfortable feelings and tough situations and decision-making. Home is just so much more comforting and safe.
But then, what would become of me? I would miss out on the beauty & joy of friendships and relationships and making memories and having adventures. I would miss out on learning new things and traveling to new places. God didn’t create me to be a hermit or to live in a vacuum where I’m only concerned about my own safety. No, He created me to be alive and be touched by other humans and touch them in return. He created me for a purpose that involves facing many of my fears, and learning that what I fear isn’t all that I make it out to be. When I’m frantically worried about what others may think of me, I come to find out that they aren’t even thinking of me at all. When I’m afraid of confrontation and plowing through problems in a relationship, I realize afterward that our relationship was made all the stronger by working through it, and that we have built a stronger foundation of love and trust.
Yes, some of the things I fear are valid, and sometimes those bad scenarios that I envision do happen to me. But it’s then that God whispers in my ear, “Hush, my child. It’s not for you to be concerned about. This is my plan for you, and nothing happens apart from my hand.” Like the quote that my dear sister gave to me, “Sometimes God calms the storm; sometimes He allows the storm to rage, and calms His child.” He knows the fear beating in our hearts. He also has something much greater than our fear: His perfect love which casts out all fear. When sheltered under His wings, in the shadow of the Almighty, nothing can harm us. We are safe. Always, no matter what the world throws our way.
His peace will prevail.