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Cotton Balls, Cats, and Clowns
A few weeks ago my roommate asked me, “What are you worried about?”
To be honest I thought that I wasn’t worried about anything. I’m not scared of traveling or sickness or getting kidnapped or eating weird food (though i still am not really down for eating baby duck face). I don’t care if I have to not shower or use a squatty potty or have long travel days in a packed bus. I don’t mind camping and cooking my own food. I’m not even worried about the future after I get back from the Race or the money coming in to go. I have this eerie peace about this stuff. I figure that well, God called me to go so surely he will take care of me right? I actually felt kind of glad that I didn’t really feel afraid of any of this and that because I wasn’t struggling with it I could just be there for anyone else who might be afraid.
Then over the weekend I started to realize that I was actually leaving. And it hit me…
I am scared. Really scared actually. I’m not scared of what I am going into. I am scared about what I am leaving behind.
I have this amazing group of friends. I have a wonderful church family. I have a great job. I am scared that I am going to leave and I am not going to ever have it this good again. I am scared that I am going to leave and no one is going to miss me. I am scared that I am not going to keep up with the people here that I love so dearly. I am scared I am going to be forgotten and that my years here will have been unimpactful.
To be honest, that is my deepest fear in life. To not be remembered. To not have a lasting impact. Being forgettable.
Then I was afraid to even admit that I was afraid. Afraid that somehow my fear disqualified me from doing what God wanted. That my being afraid would portray some sort of uncertainty to the people who are supporting me and they would be less likely to want to back me.
Then on Sunday there was a teaching about the storm and the fisherman on the boat. Abby (the speaker) pointed out that the disciples who were on the boat during the storm were in the place that was the most comfortable for them. They had likely spent more time on a boat than on land during their adult lives since they were fisherman. It was their safety zone. Peter was the only one who stepped out of the boat to go towards Jesus. Abby challenged us to identify what our boat was. I knew immediately that my boat, my comfort zone, is my relationships with people I love. I knew that that was exactly what would keep me from stepping out of my boat and following what God wants me to do. The fear of leaving the people I love could very easily keep me from experiencing God in a new and fresh and relational way if I let it.
We are all afraid of something: death, loneliness, commitment, heights, germs, cats, failure, rejection, clowns, the dark, cotton balls. And so many people never fulfill the calling of God on their life simply because every time they try to go forward, satan uses fear to stop them. But Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you”. I can’t stand still in afraid of what might be or what I might lose, but I have to take His hand and go forward. God wants to take all fear from me.
If you’re at one of these crossroads in your life, let me encourage you to also go forward. God wants to use you. God wants to free you from whatever is holding you back. God hasn’t given you the spirit of fear.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgement that something else is more important”
Here is the link to the sermon I am referencing: UP