“What are you afraid of?”
My friend, Bonnie, asked me a few weeks ago as I timidly stepped around the ideas that I was holding in my heart — carefully straining them, sorting through them, before fully divulging them to her — a trusted friend.
She knew I was holding back, she heard it in my voice and I knew she felt it as I clamped a sweaty palm around my phone willing myself to be honest enough to fully answer her question…
“I’m afraid of being a failure. Of not being good enough, smart enough, expert enough to do what I feel in my heart I’m made to do. I’m terrified of being laughed at, misunderstood, and letting people down,” I told her.
I told my friend what I was afraid of.
And what happened next changed me forever.
“Now tell me what you want to do,” she said.
As I released my fears, moved them aside and refused their construction of a clamp around my heart, joy burst forth from the depths of my very being.
I poured my heart out to her.
My dreams, ideas, inspirations began to flow freely and I felt my heart lifting as a smile formed across my face. And I’m certain, if I had been standing in front of a mirror watching myself, I would have seen a sparkle in my eye — the manifestation of joy itself.
How did the act of voicing my fears make room for joy?
So, I decided to dive a bit deeper, and I began realizing that the fears I listed all hinged on one single lie I was believing — that my identity and worth comes from who people say I am.
I have been placing my identity and worth in the hands of man — worrying deeply and intently about what people think of me and how they view me instead of resting in the truth of who I am in Christ — who HE says I am:
Fearfully and wonderfully made.
Equipped and able to do good.
Forgiven, made new, redeemed.
(2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 1:7)
Recognizing and letting go of the lies that captured my heart gave me freedom to see the Truth — to live fully in who I am in Christ! And continually soaking up the Truth, basking in it, marinating my mind with it will give me ammunition against future lies that will try to invade space in my heart.
Releasing fear makes room for joy.
So, I want to ask you, my friend.
What are you afraid of?