Thankful Thursdays: Week 23 – Learning to live in faith, not fear
I was telling my mother-in-law yesterday about the exhilarating feeling I had when I climbed the eagle perch and took the leap of faith at a ropes course a few years ago. I explained how my normal self would have hesitated, thought it through, and waited before tentatively jumping. I explained how on that day, I had made the decision to just go for it, climb without fear, take the leap of faith. “It was awesome,” I said.
“That’s so great,” she said. “When have you taken a leap of faith since then?”
Gulp. I couldn’t think of one time since. Apparently I settled right back into my comfortable life.
This conversation actually came at a perfect time. You see, my soul has been restless lately. Being comfortable has started to become increasingly uncomfortable for me.
I’ve been wanting to express these feelings to you, but I didn’t quite know how to articulate them. I’ve hesitated sharing my whole heart. There is so much to say, a fire has been lit inside, and yet I feel paralyzed. Fearful that my poor writing skills will fail to adequately say what it is that my heart wants to say. Afraid, not knowing where to begin.
Sure, I’ve hinted at my faith before, in a safe “let’s keep personal and professional life separate” kind of way. But I’m tired of being safe. I’m weary of keeping up a front in the name of professionalism. I’m ready to let it all hang out. Ready to use the voice God gave me, even if it means flying my freak flag for the world to see. Ready to live a life of authentic faith, whatever that looks like.
So here it goes. It’s time to leap again. I’m ready to tell you my story. Let’s start from the beginning.
From a young age, I’ve struggled with the “what-ifs” of life. What if my mom gets in a car accident? What if my friends talk about me behind my back? What if Joe falls into a pool? What if a scorpion crawls into Leila’s crib?
Anxiety steals joy. Fear cripples abundant life.
Ten years ago tomorrow, I found the only one who can bring me peace when my fear is crippling. Ten years ago, Jeff and I walked into a crowded Starbucks knowing we were ready to give our lives to Jesus. All of our searching, all of our researching, all of our divine appointments, both apart and together, all of our praying had led us to this moment.
Married for only five months, we were newlyweds on top of the world. Except for that nagging feeling that something was missing. We had been fake-it-til-you-make-it Christians for long enough. Jesus was stirring our hearts to a deeper place of knowing. We called the pastor of the small church we had been attending with Jeff’s parents and asked if we could meet. We knew what the bible said about believing in Jesus, but didn’t know how to get there. Turns out it was very simple.
In the middle of that crowded Starbucks, Pastor Jeff asked if we were ready to accept Jesus as our Savior. Here? Now? In the middle of this crowd? There are so many people around, are you sure this is ok?
We closed our eyes and prayed. When we opened our eyes, the crowd was still bustling around, ordering lattes and caramel double-shot macchiatos and such. There was no choir of angels, no bright light. But there was a beginning of peace. A chink in my armor of anxiety.
Over the past ten years, my faith walk has been inconsistent at best. I’ve run away from God more times than I would like to admit. But He is always waiting for me with grace in His eyes. My faith continues to be strengthened, through the highs and lows, the joys and sorrows, the peace and anxiety.
The fears never go away, but now I know who to bring them to. My most recent fear is sharing all of this with you. What if I am rejected because of my faith? What if they lump me in with the Christians who don’t represent what I know to be true about Jesus? What if they write me off in my profession because I share my faith too much? What if companies don’t want to work with me now? What if I mess up and say the wrong thing?
Here? Now? In the middle of this crowd?
Here. Now. In the middle of this crowd. I’m choosing to live in faith, not fear. I’m choosing to leap. (And now I’m choosing to nap, because being so vulnerable takes a lot out of this introvert).
Thank you for letting me begin my story…I would love to hear about a “leap of faith” moment of yours. Email me or leave a comment if you’d like to share.