Life Chronicles · Owlish Contemplations

We’re Willing to Go, But Not that Far

I did it. I finally finished “No-Fear November” (yes, a little over a week ago … it’s just been a little busy since then!). I will admit that I didn’t do specific challenges for ALL of the fears, but I did draw one out of my little bottle every day, write about it in my journal and ponder how to overcome it or how it affects my life. And yes, I learned a lot this November.

I learned that some things I thought I feared, but when I went to do the challenges, I realized they were old fears and I had gradually overcome them over the years … which was definitely a blessing to come to know about myself.

I learned that sometimes God makes you face your worst fears even when you don’t want to … and yes, there is strength provided for even that.

But one of the most important things that I learned in the month of November was smack-dab in the middle – that day I drew out of my bottle the challenge of wearing no make-up. Yes, the day I had to go to church, attend a CYT production, get up onstage and talk in front of over 300 people, and go to a small group meeting at school. That would be the day God chose for me to accomplish this challenge. And I heard the line in a song on the radio – “We’re willing to go, but not that far.”

That line was indicative of my heart that morning. Of me wailing that I couldn’t do it – I couldn’t go without make-up. I was too afraid. It was like going without an article of clothing – baring all, being naked – and my soul flinched away from such exposure. I was willing to embrace the fears of November so long as they were fears I could handle. Fears that made my heart race faster and my stomach clench in knots? I wasn’t willing to go that far.

Isn’t that how it goes in life? We want to champion a noble cause, be reckless and brave, be daring and adventurous and self-sacrificing – till we’re asked to go a little further than we’re comfortable with. Until we’re pushed beyond our limits – when it’s no longer our idea of “fun,” we run in the opposite direction. They’re fears, Lydia. They aren’t supposed to be fun, no matter how exciting you try to make the adventure. Fear involves racing hearts, darting eyes, cold feet, nervous stomachs, and a longing to run and hide. Otherwise, they would be named warm fuzzie-wuzzies. It takes no courage to calmly put on your favorite slippers and cozy up next to the fire. It takes courage to head straight into the wind and the raging storm and face whatever comes your way.

So I did it. I walked out the door with no make-up whatsoever on my face … I laid aside my pride and I learned that people still treat you like a person, even if you look washed-out and tired. They don’t go running and screaming in the opposite direction, which I was thankful for! Another lesson learned from that experience is how much confidence I put in that which was only meant to enhance. The real me, person who I actually am, doesn’t exist in how my face looks – it’s always within me and doesn’t change – and how thankful I am that I have people in my life who recognize that and love me no matter what I look like.

Just one of many lessons learned during the month of November … one last final hurrah as a twenty-four year old. Now I am twenty-five, and God has opened a new chapter of adventure in my life. I don’t know what it will hold for me, but I do know one thing. He’s never done teaching me and He’s never done giving me grace for each new day, fears and all. May this be a year spent even more deeply serving my Savior.

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