Pandora's Box

No Fear November

November is the month for doing things apparently. “No-Shave November” … NaNoWriMo … But while some people are growing beards or writing novels … I decided I wanted a different theme for the 30 days that will soon be upon us.

Last year, as some of you might know, I did “Noteworthy November,” writing a different kind of note to a different person every day of the month. I considered doing another Noteworthy November with different kinds of notes to different people this year, but I felt like I was supposed to do something new. And as I considered my different alliterative options [side-note: I’m sometimes concerned about my addiction to alliteration … hee-hee, see what I just did there? :D] … I heard on the radio the DJ commenting about “No-Fear Friday.” And the words connected themselves to November … “No-Fear November.”

I shrank away from that idea right away in what else? Fear. Why would I willingly put myself in the pathway of things I’m afraid of? But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like this was what God wanted me to do … to look my fears squarely in the eye, give them back to Him, and learn confidence by walking straight through them. After all, 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” There are so many things in life that I allow to hold me back because I’m afraid of trusting my Father to carry me through them. This month provides the perfect opportunity to spread my wings and fall into His perfect grace. If I believe He loves me [which I do], I can trust Him implicitly with my deepest fears, and He will give me peace about them.

Now just to clarify, I’m not talking about rational fears like my fear of falling or of spiders or small spaces or fire. I’m not going to go shut myself in a small box and let spiders crawl all over me [I start hyperventilating just thinking about that!]. Those are not the types of fears that need to be overcome … although I shouldn’t let them get out of control and stop me from enjoying life. I’m talking about the kinds of fears that hold me back from living life to the fullest potential that God has for me … fears that stop me from spreading God’s love, trusting in Him, and fulfilling my purpose in life.

Obviously one month won’t cure them all, and it’s not like I’ll never have these fears again. But I hope that this little exercise will help me grow just a little in boldness and that I’ll learn some of these things aren’t worth being afraid of. Whether something earth-shattering happens because of this or whether it’s simply drawing me closer to my Abba through it all, it will be worth it.

And while we’re at it, why don’t you join me? You don’t need to make a list like mine with 30 different things … maybe you just choose one thing that you fear to work on this month. Maybe you choose to spend one day out of your comfort zone. Maybe you’ll tackle something you’ve kind of pushed off for a long time. But I’d love to have you join me on this journey of learning to leap and trust more … to see together just what can happen if we live life a little more fearlessly.

So here’s my list. 🙂 What I did was write each thing on a colored piece of paper and put them in this little glass bottle. Each day I will draw one from the bottle and do something that will help me buck that fear in the face [which list of activities I will make up shortly]. I don’t know what order they’re in so I won’t be able to mentally prepare myself to get over that fear in advance. Some of them might take a little extra planning based on what my schedule looks like, so I won’t be Spartan in my randomness all the time. :]

But the first step in overcoming my fears is sharing them with others. So here you go! Here are a few things I’ll be working on. Maybe you share some of these fears in common with me. Maybe some of them you shake your head at and say “why would she be afraid of that??” But the thing is we all fear different things based on our personalities. Don’t judge me for mine and I won’t judge you for yours … and let’s all grow together in our confidence!

No Fear November:
1) Eye contact
2) Sharing the Gospel
3) Boys
4) Initiating conversations with people I don’t know well
5) Being vulnerable
6) Failure
7) Change
8) Other people’s opinion of me
9) Love
10) Writing
11) Singing
12) Always being myself – the person God made me to be
13) Dancing
14) Money
15) My future
16) No structure
17) Not getting things done
18) Praying boldly
19) Beginning
20) Finishing
21) Discipline
22) Large crowds
23) Being lost
24) Nature
25) Being HYPE Adviser
26) Never getting married
27) Relationships with my family
28) Forgiveness
29) Wearing no make-up
30) Not being connected through my phone/email/Facebook

Some of these fears are bigger than others. Some of them I carry with me every day, some of them I don’t think about that often. But all of them are fears worth addressing and giving back to Jesus. I pray for His strength to do what He’s called me to do.

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