I already had this subject on my mind and was formulating a blog post in my head, when I came across this yesterday on FB. I feel like God is smacking me over the head right now, trying to get the fact that I should not have a spirit of fear regarding anything. ANYTHING.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7
So many times in life, I’ve let fear and anxiety stop me from doing things. Things that could have been beneficial to me. Things that could have enhanced my life. Maybe stopped me from going in a direction that God was leading me. So many times. And really.. I’m tired of it. I’m going to work on this and it took a Body Pump class to finally open my eyes. Ermm…God will use whatever he can, right?
I signed up for the gym as soon as I could after Wes was born. I was pumped up and ready to lose this weight that accumulated from Andrew and Wes. I went and mastered the Elliptical. I was using the weight machines. I had my SIL screaming at me to do the classes, but I insisted that I liked what I was doing just fine. Then I got bored. Excuses as to why I was not going to the gym ran off my tongue like it was nothing. I was hardly going anymore. Finally, after the realization that my husband was coming home.. soon-ish… and I was not anywhere near where I wanted to be, I sucked it up and I went to Body Pump. I was so nervous that my stomach felt sick even the day before. But I had already put my mind to it and I went. I imagined all of these buff, totally in shape, hardcore body pump women in there with an instructor that was going to yell at me like I was in Basic Training. (yes, I’m a little dramatic). Instead, I was having personal conversations with women within two minutes of being there. Someone walked me through all the equipment I’d need. The instructor was wonderful, kind and helpful.. and motivating. One woman patted me on the back as she was leaving and gave me a thumbs up. And they were just normal people. All trying to get healthy. I was so foolish for letting irrational fears stop me from doing this earlier. While it kills me to think where I could be NOW if I had started THEN, I’m not focusing on that. I’ve started and I love it and that’s what matters.
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” – Psalm 118:6
It got me thinking about some other things that fear has kept me from. Just a few examples… Knowing something wasn’t quite right with me in the head. Knowing I had just a little too much anxiety for it to be normal. Knowing deep down how much I’d benefit from a mental evaluation and counseling. Afraid to call the doctor to even make an appointment for that, never mind walking in and telling them all my symptoms or concerns. Fear of being vulnerable in front of someone I didn’t even know. Y’all… after some adjustments to medication and a sitting down to talk to someone a few times.. I feel like a new person. I’m better off than I have ever been in my life. What if I never made that first appointment and lived out my life with constant anxiety, fear and self-consciousness? (For the record, this isn’t for anything extremely traumatic that has happened to me. Just something I have always struggled with and have recently gotten on top of. I think the world would be a better place if every single person had a shrink to talk to!)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you Nor forsake you”. – Deuteronomy 31:6
Lastly, and most importantly, but backwards and irrational – Fear has stopped me from going to church. Whether it be that I was alone and didn’t want to walk into a church by myself. Or moving to a new town and not wanting to be the new family. Or not wanting to drop my baby off with strangers in the nursery. Or on a deeper level, fear of the change I know going to church on a regular basis would mean for me.
How many times is “fear” talked about in the Bible? I don’t know exactly.. but A TON. Enough to know it was something that God highly stresses. And yet, it’s the one thing that has stopped me from getting closer to Him. How backwards is that? I’m sure I’ll struggle with this more in the future, but I’m getting better. I’ve been to church two weeks in a row and am loving it. It’s changing my heart and my son loves it.
I know I can’t be the only one. How about you? Is there anything that stands out in your life that you put off and put off, only to realize you should have just jumped right in to start with?