I recently posted on Facebook about being scared during my marathon training…scared of all the miles…scared of not being able to finish. I saw one of my cousins shortly after that post and she said “I couldn’t believe that you said that you were scared. You aren’t scared of anything!” I had to laugh because I am scared of ALOT of stuff! I am also amazed at how these fears have caused me to miss out on some really great experiences and memories!
See…when my dad died in 2004, I went through almost a year of anxiety disorder and panic attacks. I had lost my rock…the one person that could keep me grounded and that I knew that I could count on for anything! I was like a helium balloon without someone holding it down on earth. I felt lost and floating around unable to attach myself to anything to anchor me to reality. Instead, I had panic attacks and believed some pretty scary thoughts. Luckily, I was able to heal from this and am forever grateful for that. However, I held on to one big fear…for all this time…for 8 years!!! My first panic attack happened while driving…on the interstate!!! Driving on the interstate became my trigger spot…so I just avoided it! I don’t have panic attacks or generalized anxiety at all anymore but the thought of driving more than 2 hours alone on the interstate would cause my palms to sweat…so I just continued to avoid it. Until now…
God is asking us to do a VERY BIG, VERY SCARY thing right now! If He is asking this big thing, then how can I continue to hold on to these small fears? If I can’t trust that He is going to give me the strength and protect me while overcoming these small fears, how am I going to trust Him to give me strength and protect me during this big thing?
While doing my devotional recently, I felt God nudging me to “just get over these fears”. Every verse that He was pointing me towards was “Do not fear!” (Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10,Psalm 118:6). I also kept hearing Ephesians 6:11: Put on your armor of God. I knew that I would be protected!
So…I put on my big girl panties and planned a trip to the beach with my 2 daughters…by myself! There would be no safety net…there would be no one to drive or come get me! I got a few scriptures to repeat to myself, packed our bags and away we went!!! And guess what? I was fine! No problems driving at all…and guess what else??? We had a blast! We made so many amazing memories! It amazed and saddened me that I have allowed fear to rob me of many fun times and memories.
We even had to sleep in the car the first night because there were no hotels to stay in for an hour’s radius of Destin
I figured while I was in “dragon slaying mode” that I might as well tackle a few more. Two others fears that I had were: open water swims (mostly in the lake) and riding my bike with clips (clips attach special shoes to the pedal of your bike). Well, I am proud to say that I completed a triathlon where the swim was in the lake, and I wore clips on my bike! Mind you, it sucked…I sucked! The swim was just short of doggy paddling. I fell over on my bike right smack on my hip…with the bike still attached to my feet.
What I realized while out slaying dragons was that I will be ok! I didn’t die and no one got seriously injured (just a bruised hip and bruised pride)! With the armor of God, we can do great things…we can do really hard things!
What things do you have fear about? What things have held you back from completely enjoying life?