Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Overcoming Fear

Fear has a way of settling in my heart.

It becomes a barrier, a wall, a mountain.  

Fear holds us back.  It keeps us from normal everyday life.  It keeps us from our God calling.  It keeps us from demonstrating His love to others.

My middle daughter is learning to drive.  Before she turned 16 she told me she didn't want to learn.  She didn't care about getting her license.  She said it was "no big deal".  I didn't push the issue.  But one day I asked her if she wanted to go to the elementary school parking lot in town and try driving out.  Panic struck her face and she said no.  I didn't push the issue.  I really wanted her to just try it out.  I asked her again a week later.  I told her she could drive 100 feet in a straight line and be done...just try it once.  She finally agreed.  

On a Sunday after church her and I got in the van and I drove us to the empty parking lot.  It's big and open and the best place to practice.  She got in the drivers seat.  I began to talk to her about the gas pedal, the brake, the parking brake, the gear shift (park, reverse, and drive).   I told her about the steering wheel.  We talked about when she learned to ride a bike and how at first she pushed the brakes hard and she jerked to a stop...but soon she learned how to push them just right.  I told her it would be the same with the car.  We adjusted the mirrors.  We fastened our seat belts.  We turned the ignition.  She put her head in her hands and cried.

I gave her a minute to cry.

I asked her what was making her cry.


She was scared.

She didn't want to have the responsibility of driving.

She was scared.

Fear held her back all these months.  The reason she said no.  The reason she didn't want to try.

Fear.  It became a barrier.

I told her it was okay.  That I wouldn't let her try if I didn't think she could do it.  I told her I believed in her and that is why we were sitting in the parking lot in the first place.  I told her just to go straight  and stop and we could be done, but she had to try.  She could do it.

She drove a few feet...and then a few more...and then some more...and then a half hour later I got in the driver's seat and drove us home.  

She conquered fear.
She stood up to it.
She tried.  She took one step, which led to another, which led to another, which took her around the parking lot.

She got her permit. 
Now she wishes she had done it sooner.
She has to wait to get her license until after driver's ed.
She conquered fear, but it stole time.  
My sister and brother in law graciously let her borrow one of their cars for a while...to use as her first car.  
We practice.  She rides the bus to school.  She has conquered more fears....intersections, driving over 35, parking, getting gas.  But she is sad that she is 16 and has to wait to get her license.  Fear stole time.  

At church last week, I was thinking on things that were not lovely....the things that I allowed fear to steal from me.  I was thinking about worry....and the book I am writing for the last three years and am afraid to finish...my master's degree I started and afraid to finish...the non profit I started and afraid to pursue...fear it steals time.

But God showed me...

He parted the Red Sea.
He moved a mountain.
He saved Daniel from the lions.
He made the sun stand still.
He healed the sick.
He raised the dead.

He didn't do this for himself.  He did it for us.  For me.  
So that I could write my book.
So that I could speak truth to the lost.
So that I could share my story and bring hope to the hurting.

So that you could serve in His name.
So that you could love your neighbor.
So that you could love your own children and raise them in His name.
So that you could do the things He called you to do...whatever that is.

God conquered fear for us.

God restores the stolen time that fear takes.

Madie is going to take driver's ed next month.
She was given an amazing gift of a car to drive.
Her time is being restored.

Fear...take one step today to show it that it can not steal anymore time from the things you are called to do.

Psalm 34:4
"I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.  He freed me from all my fears.  Those who look to him will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces."

Under the banner of God let go of fear.  Here are some practical steps:
1.  Get in the car.
Take the first step. Whatever it is, take one step forward.  Like Madie who was afraid of driving, she got in the car and sat there.  The first step. 

2.  Fasten the seat belt.
Pray and be prepared.  Buckle in and get ready for an amazing ride.

3.  Put the car in drive.
Get ready to be in motion. 

4.  Pull the parking break.
Let go and let God put you in motion. 

5.  Push the gas pedal.
Move forward.  Just go straight ahead.  Don't look back.

6.  Take a practice drive.
Just do it. 

7.  Keep going.
Get back in the car again.

What if we sit in fear all of our lives and never know the drive that God has in store for us.  It is a beautiful ride.

In Love,


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