I’m afraid of heights. I’m not necessarily afraid of tall buildings or elevators. . . those are enclosed. But I might not go out on a small balcony up high, and I don’t like being crowded in high places. I will take the stairs over an escalator, but those stairs had better have a railing to hold on to. (and after my slip and fall this past weekend, they better not have soapy water on them!)
You see, my fear has led to a lot of “rules” that I have imposed on my life.
There are things that I “just say no” to, because I am afraid.
Now, I’m a big girl. I’m OK with not getting on diving boards and not riding the roller coasters. But I just might be missing out on a certain amount of fun or joy by skipping those things.
What if my fear was something that held me back even more? What if I was afraid of being embarrassed? What if I was afraid of making mistakes? What if I was afraid of failing? What if what I was really afraid of was succeeding? (You know, because, if I do well at something, more people will want me to keep doing it, better and better–more of us have this fear than we care to admit!)
So, what is it that you are afraid of, and what are your motivations for that fear?
Once upon a time I was terribly afraid of motherhood. I was unsure that I would be a good mother. Having come from a broken home, I was afraid that we would not provide the stability that one (or more) kids would need. I did not have much time to ponder that fear, as God blessed us with a baby soon after our first wedding anniversary. He has turned out to be a pretty neat adult, in spite of or because of my mothering.
I learned that God often equips us with what we need, when we need it. I learned that mothering offers a lot of on-the-job training!
When it was time for me to re-enter the workforce, I had a lot of fears. What if I was not skilled enough? What if my employer found out that I am a sham? What if I get in over my head? What if my family hates me working? What will the other moms think?
But the fact remained that I needed to work. And I had good skills to offer. I did lack confidence, but that is building, over time. I had to push past my fear.
Did you see that?
I had to push past my fear.
We tell our kids to do that all the time. “just try it, you don’t have to love it.”, “Maybe it will be easier this time.” , “I know you can do it!”, “You will be so proud of yourself when you are done!”
Why is our self-talk so different from the ways we encourage others? Why are we less deserving of optimism?
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
(2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
It is my prayer that each of you can remember that your strength and fearlessness comes from God, the model encouraging parent!