Bri Johns – Director of Central Leadership Institute
Over a decade and a half ago, as I processed the loss of a relationship I thought would lead to marriage, I sat across from a psychologist who described me in a way I have never forgotten…
“Bri, you remind me of the little girl who grew up next door to us. Every single day after school, my kids would meet up on the street with the rest of the neighborhood kids to run and play outside together – stick ball, hide and seek, slip n’ slide, climbing trees. But the girl, she watched from the window. She was too afraid to go outside, afraid of what might happen if she left the house. While everyone was outside playing and skinning up their knees, she missed out on the joys and messiness of life.”
Fear can be a prison. The girl at the window was the best picture of me because all I knew was pain. I didn’t want to engage with the world. I didn’t want to try anything outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t want to let anyone in. It was too scary, too much risk that might lead to more pain. But I was missing out on life.
As I thought about how to share this personal reflection with you, Dear Reader, I am not stumped but actually overwhelmed by the list of people who struggled through moments of fear and yet pressed through in faith in the Bible.
Abraham is a favorite.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
When called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance… A promise of good things ahead that he couldn’t see.
Obeyed and went… Like the hardcore-faith-all-star that he was. I wish I could have known him personally to find out how painfully scary this moment in his life was.
Even though he did not know where he was going… My anxiety hits an all-time high with this mention. I want to know where I’m going at all times. I want to anticipate the struggle, the drama, and be prepared for it. I wonder why the author of Hebrews mentions Abraham’s prize before his plight. It’s like giving away the ending to the story.
I had a good friend tell me, if you were guaranteed amazing things in your life – adventures, deep relationships, joy, wisdom – but a couple of the chapters in your story would be rough, would you push through and do the hard things to get there?
Of course I would.
…that requires faith. Do I have faith enough to step out the front door and into scary blind moments? To leave the window and go and play? Forsaking all of the what-ifs that cloud the mind of what could actually be?
Meeting a new neighbor.
Starting a new hobby.
Visiting a foreign country.
Sharing Jesus with a loved one.
Praying with my spouse and kids.
The fear of the unknown is torturous.
What thing is God challenging you to do in spite of your fear? I know a life at the window is no life at all. From a friend to a friend… Take that step out the front door. Who knows what could be on the other side. God holds your future.
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my helper.”
Post this verse to your steering wheel, bathroom mirror, cell phone alarm, tattoo it to your forehead, and be encouraged today that our God wants nothing more than for you to surrender all of your fears to Him.