There Could Be Snakes…
Have you ever been so afraid of failing that you don’t even try?
I went for a walk with my brother-in-law today. As we were about to leave the backyard, we looked over the fence at the tall summer grass. My brother-in-law remarked, “There could be snakes.” I laughed. “So we shouldn’t go through here… if there are snakes?” I thought.
For those of you who are wondering about my long unexplained absence, I apologize. This season in my life has been stressful. Every time I think I’ve made progress, something new comes along to knock me down. Truth is I have been making progress forward but I’ve been afraid to admit it because of what it means.
It’s not silly. It’s truth. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to finding a solution. Denying the problem, using sarcasm, and pretending like it’s not a big deal only undermines the healing/restoration process. So here it is:
- I’ve been living in fear.
- I’ve let anxiety rule my life.
- I’ve been unwilling to try because I’m unwilling to fail.
- This is a problem.
- I don’t want to live in fear.
- I acknowledge that fear has been paralyzing me.
What I’ve been learning:
- No problem is too silly or too trivial to bring before God.
- Sometimes yelling at God is the only way to start talking to Him.
- Going before God with ‘the ugly self‘ is better than avoiding Him.
- Healing starts in small doses and restoration in small steps.
- You don’t know until you try.
- You can’t fail if you don’t try, but you also won’t live.
fearless [adjective] ‘free from fear’
Does this mean there is an absence of fear in my life? No. I understand there will always be things that bother me, worry me, and make me afraid, but they do not need to consume me.
- I can live fearless.
- I can live with less fear.
- I can control less, worry less, and fear less.
- I can live free.
Sometimes I feel little. Sometimes I feel like a failure. God reminded me recently that I am still struggling through this life. I’m thinking, “What? God, how is struggling through life a good thing?” His response was astounding:
“You are like Israel. You are wrestling out your faith and life with Me. You struggle to make sense of things and sometimes you don’t understand. But I do. I know My plan for you. It’s happening right now. Trust Me. I love you. You don’t see the whole picture, but that’s okay. When I look at you, I see beauty, perfection, and a woman who has been healed and made whole again. Do you see yourself this way? I don’t define you by a single mistake but as a complete, holy, righteous, and redeemed woman, eternally Mine.”
I needed this pep talk from God. It came over
- months of struggling with Him,
- weeks of me walking away,
- and days of me giving up and giving into fear.
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
God is with me no matter where I go. I don’t have to live in fear. I refuse to live in fear.
- I refuse to let fear control my walk with God.
- I refuse to let fear control my marriage.
- I refuse to let fear control my marriage bed.
- I refuse to let fear control my relationships.
- I refuse to let fear control my home.
- I refuse to let fear control my work.
- I refuse to let fear control my mission.
- I refuse to live in fear.
I don’t have to refuse to go on a walk with my brother-in-law because I’m afraid there could be snakes in the field. What’s the worst that could happen? I could get bit and have to go to the hospital. I could die from poisonous venom. Is God still God? Absolutely. Is God still with me? Yes. Just because there could be snakes doesn’t mean I shouldn’t even try. Don’t be so afraid of the snakes that you don’t even try to cross the field.
- I’ll cross that field today.
- I’m crossing that field today.
- I crossed that field today.
I’m on the other side now. And you know what? God was with me before I started. God was with me while I crossed. And God was with me after I finished.
God is with me.
What have you been afraid of? What fear has been holding you back in your marriage, your walk with God, your relationships with others, your calling in life, etc? What field do you need to cross in your life? Identify these and write them down. Do you trust that God is with you always wherever you go? It’s okay to struggle with God. Keep struggling. Ask God to equip you with strength and courage to cross through your fears. Know that there’s life worth living on the other side. Trust that this struggle is worth going through with God. Don’t give up. God won’t give up on you.
- “For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLV)
- “I came so they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b (NASB)
- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9