LYFE 365

The Cost of Fear
Christine Norman

For those of you who do not know me, that is me circled in the picture above. I know the picture is a little grainy, but I absolutely love it because it captured everything that I was feeling at our book release party. When I look at it, I see how beautiful I look. I see how happy I look. I remember how overjoyed I felt. I wrote a chapter in an anthology with 19 other authors and when we came together for the launch party on this weekend, it was nothing short of divine; I see that when I look at this picture. Though we had only communicated online or by phone and instant messenger, when we met in person it felt like a reunion among old friends. Our common goal and shared struggles deepened our relationships beyond time and space. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I could literally go on indefinitely about the many wonderful emotions that this picture captures. Even looking at it causes me to relive the extreme joy that I felt on this amazing night...

Can I tell you a secret?

I almost missed this night. I almost missed the entire weekend. Though I had prepared, though I was looking forward to the weekend, though I was on a count-down to the event and everyone around me knew it, I almost missed this night. I almost missed the entire weekend. I had written my chapter and was extremely proud of the finished product, but fear of the unknown ALMOST got the best of me and I almost did not go on the trip. There were a whole host of convenient excuses that I could have chosen for not making the trip. There were also a few very plausible concerns that might have partially justified my decision. However, deep down inside I knew that I would have been lying to myself. I also would have deeply let down those who had been living through my faith journey--they may not have even realized it or communicated it, but I just know that it would have. I can't imagine what my answers would have been to the people who were going to live through me in this moment--those who had been watching and doing just that up to this point. When they asked, "Oh my God Christine, how was your book celebration," or "How was your trip to Dallas?" What was I going to tell them? Would they be able to tell that my answer was just an excuse for me not showing up?

I made a pact with myself that weekend that I would never allow ME to talk ME out of anything. If it is planned, I am going forward unless there is indeed a life or death situation that my staying can resolve. Not even other peoples emergencies can cause me to change my plan. I am learning to really ask myself if things are really within my control and if they really deserve my attention. Tons of fear and distraction hide out in situations that we think we have to attend to instead of doing the work that we are called to.  All weekend long at this amazing event, I kept reminding myself how much I would have missed if I would have given in to fear. I wanted the cost of fear deeply ingrained in my psyche so that moving forward I would not let excuses and justifications that come in the form of fear storms make me think that it is ever okay to give in to them.

I decided a long time ago that I wanted to make it in the area of my dreams so that I could take notes and pictures and tell everyone the true story behind the success so that they too could follow. Fear and doubt will come as a part of the process. However, when you push past the fear, you will be so glad that you did. You also gain strength to push past fear when it shows up again--and it will.  The Bible tells us in John 10:10 that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; but Jesus came so that we would have life and have it more abundantly. We need not even be embarrassed or feel guilty that fear has tempted us--it is not even our own manufacturing every time; what tactics do you think the enemy uses to rob us. However, if you are being challenged greatly rest assured that God has great faith in what He has put inside of you, and he is using these fear storms as the gymnasium where our faith is being built and perfected.

Do it afraid is not just a cliché! 

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