About a month ago, I was asked by a friend to come speak at his campus ministry group meeting. We picked a date and I penned it in my calendar. Honestly, I haven't thought much of it since. That is, until I ran into him at church and we began catching up. Shortly in to our discussion, another friend of mine joined in and that's when the speaking topic reemerged.
"Hey, can you speak also?" My said friend, the join-inner is a pastor as well.
"Uh, let me check my schedule."
This is where I chime in, "Oh just share what your did this morning. It was really good and just add a little bit about fear." Fear being the subject I had assumed all along I was speaking on. And boy did I feel well prepared as of late for the teaching. I would share:
- How fear and self doubt sometimes feel my only companions.
- How fear blocks out the love I long for and keeps me shackled up and disconnected from others and truth.
- How I often realize (much later on) I'm letting fear rule and make my decisions because I like keeping my world safe and feeling in control.
- How fear breeds all sorts of self preservation tactics, anxiety, and depression.
I had my talk ready. I've lived my talk day in and day out.
"Well, yea Susie I guess it's kinda about fear. Mmmm... but not really. More so I want you guys to share how you got to where you are because you've both found your niche. You are living it out."
I looked quizzically. Sort of dumbfounded and flattered all in one. Really? Really? He sees me as someone who is being who she is intended to be in the Kingdom? (but that's not how it feels on the inside. these last couple weeks have been rough. all sorts of self doubt and uncertainty swimming about my mind and without being able to name it, I can now see I was losing heart).
And him saying that was sorta one of those moments, one of those times where I feel God step in to redefine the way I'm seeing things, speaking into the very fear and question I haven't been able to name yet in my heart.
"You are living it."
See, I'd been struggling with what I have to show for these years of learning to write. All the Soul Care and Spiritual Formation stuff I live in and long to put to the written word to invite others to come along in. It was as if God was saying, "Yes, Beloved, you are living it. The writing will come but don't miss this...you live out what you want to write about."
If courage is the ability to act in spite of fear, God was reminding me through my friend, "You live this....I see this in you, Beloved."
Maybe that's it...I am able to live this "fearless" life because I know The One who speaks into the fear, who is Love, who knows and sees in full, and because He is rooting and establishing me into this kind of L O V E, fear doesn't have the power to take me out.
I chuckle at the word fearless being associated with me. I am NOT fearless. But somehow coming to know the One who is, changes the way I see fear. Fear is an obstacle and trust me I've let it have way too much power over me, but when Christ illuminates it for what it is and reminds me of the real truth, "I dwell in you. My perfect love will cast this out." I can settle into my life more fully. Grow more into my call. Live with abiding peace and trust that all will work out in the end.
So in a couple weeks when I stand at that podium I will chuckle with God at all it's taken to get to this point and offer me. And in offering me, I pray others will press through their fear, lean into their Savior, and enjoy the process of becoming.