Getting Past the Fear

I have never had a fear that I haven’t done my best to face. When I was afraid of heights, I jumped from a cliff into waters that engulfed me and washed me from the tremble I felt before the leap. I climbed a mountain and veered over the edge, looking from a thousand feet at the ground below. I soared in planes above the clouds and watched out the window for hours until the sun set and there was noting left to see.

When I was afraid of speaking in public, I voluntarily took part in speech competitions and public speaking classes. I went out of my way to present first in classrooms and introduce myself to new crowds of people, forgetting to the best of my ability the lump in my throat that urged me not to speak.

When I was afraid to love, I loved deeper and harder than I had thought possible. I opened my heart and let the love pour out because I knew no good would come from holding it back and a life without experiencing love was not one I wanted to live, despite my fear.

And while I understood the sense of fear that came with each fall, stutter, and heartache, I also experienced the liberation that came with facing the very things I had never before thought to endure. There was freedom with each word I spoke. Freedom with each jump I made. Freedom with each beat of my heart.

I wonder, then, what I am so scared of now. If I am a repeated champion of facing what I fear most, what is there left to fear? If I know that in the moment my legs may shake and my heart may beat a little faster but I will ultimately stand tall and firm, what is there to worry about?

I believe life revolves around the conquering of the very things that try to hold us back. We must live with a trust that there is something just beyond our fears; our worries; our doubts. We trust that the water will break our fall and that the view will be worth the climb. Our attitude in day-to-day life should be the same. Even when the rain is pouring down and you can’t see a break in the clouds lasting long enough for your bones to dry, you trust that the storm will end eventually and the warmth from the sun is only so far away.

I’m starting to learn how the only way to combat fear of even the most natural of things like uncertainty is to simply trust.

Facing fear isn’t about bravery or strength, it’s about trust.

There is freedom and peace in the fall, but first you must get past the fear of the jump and trust in the landing.

Trusting Through the Storm

When I was younger I used to love the movie The Little Princess. It was about a young girl who’s father got drafted into the war, and because she had no other relatives, she was forced to stay in a girl’s home in New York. This girl was intelligent and outspoken which got her into quite some trouble in the house. Eventually, this young girl’s father comes back but she is not allowed to leave the house for various difficult reasons. However, at the end of the movie, there is a scene where this young girl is trying to get away and get to her father. She is standing at the very top of this house and there is a long piece of plywood stretching from her window to another. The weather is dreadful and the rain is pouring, but the girl steps out onto the wood and attempts to make her way over. Despite the rain, the slips, and the sheer panic, she makes it into her fathers arms.

Just like the young girl balancing out in the rain, there are a lot of times where we’re left with the choice to stay or to trust and cross. Isn’t it funny how it wasn’t sunny and seventy when she had to make that journey? No, it was cold and raining and nighttime – not exactly ideal circumstances for a difficult situation. But this seems to be how things are in life, too. When it rains, it pours, and we’re left dripping wet and cold. But, the thing about trusting and crossing through the storm is that in the movie, the girl trusted both herself and her father, and we should do the same. Because at the end of the day, He will always be there to catch us in His arms.

It’s no secret that life gets hard and things don’t always work out the way we hope. It’s just one of the things we sign up for when we come into this world. But even the worst things are bearable and even the largest risks are worth it when you know that, no matter what, God will be there to catch you if and when you fall. A friend once told me that he doesn’t believe God will only give you as much as you can handle – sometimes He’ll give you more. And maybe that’s true. Maybe God will give you more than you can handle because He can handle the rest. I guess sometimes you just have to trust – trust through the storm.