How to Fight Fear and Do Hard Things
Your bags are packed and waiting in the car. Your phone, keys, wallet, and tickets are clutched in your hand. As you place the key under the mat in front of the door that led to the place you called home for the very last time, you turn and face the world. It’s time; you’re leaving this chapter and entering a new one. As you walk towards your car, your knees begin to tremble just a little bit, the knot in your stomach tightens, and the lump in your throat grows.
Fear, that’s what you’re feeling. Its presence growing like a shadow, coming closer and closer to you and your plans. Sure, it’s mingled with excitement, peace, and adventure, but the doubt and anxiety it carries with it threatens to suffocate those things more than you care to admit. With every step toward your car, with every hug of a loved one wishing you the best and telling you how proud they are of you, the fear grows. It whispers, “Are you really doing the right thing?” “Are you sure?” “What if you misunderstood God?” “What if you fail?” “What if all of this is one huge mistake.”
Fear is a menace. It’s a bully and a tormentor. It’s patient, lurking in the background, letting you get swept away in the spirit of adventure and then slipping in when it’s dark. It sits with you, taking on the guise of a trusted, level-headed friend, fine tuning the plan, asking questions tailor-made to weave doubt into the threads of hope where real life lives. Its only goal is to keep you small, keep you still, keep you in its clutches.
So, what do you do when you’re lying awake in the dead of night? When you’re doing anything and everything to keep yourself busy so you don’t fall into the spiral of fear and doubt ripping through the canvas of your mind? How do you tell fear off and continue the mission confirmed in your gut and made certain in your heart?
You do it anyway.
You enter into that arena, whether you’re walking tall or crawling on your knees, and you do the thing afraid. You look fear in it’s cold, dark eyes and tell him he doesn’t get to decide what you do or where you go. Because you know courage doesn’t exist in the absence of fear, it doesn’t live in the solely confident. True courage, real bravery, no, she dwells in the scared and the hopeful. She dances in the doubting and sings with the fearful. She rises up in the hearts of those who wonder and wraps herself around them, reminding them, yes, they can. She knows fear well. They have never had a minute apart, but she demands fear take a backseat because he does not get to steer the ship.
She is a reflection of you, the you that is the most true and pure version of the one He wrote into existence so many centuries ago. She is the version of yourself that you dream about, the one that brings a bit of a smile to your lips when you get lost thinking about it. Courage is who you were born to be, it’s what you’re made of. In the fabric of your life, it’s golden thread is woven into your story as many times as your own name.
Be brave, friend. Be bold, and brazen, and big. Chase down the adventures that stir so desperately in your heart. Find her in the light of each day and run hand-in-hand with courage until you’re face to face with the very Heart that created both of you so intertwined.
This is who you are. You can do hard things. Live in such a way that there is no doubt.