A few moments ago, I was reading an article in my local paper about “faking courage” which brought to mind a recent conversation I’d had with my good and faithful friend Diane. I shared a string of thoughts which included a not-so-new-to-her fact: that this 55-year-old woman is afraid of the dark (among other things).
The Lord Himself knows how I wish I wasn’t, and yet, the truth is, I am. I can go way back in my childhood memories and pinpoint specific things, occurrences, such as scary stories, the boogeyman, etc., all of which cultivated in me this deep fear of what could be in the dark, which I cannot see, that could hurt me.
One of the statements the writer made in the article was: “To this day, I’m uncomfortable in basements and dislike sitting with my back to windows at night.”
I can relate to that. In fact I could add a whole bunch of other things to that list.
She goes on to say: “I know people whose fear of bridges or heights has stopped them from traveling. Several close relatives were so terrified of cats, they got goose bumps if they saw one. And what fears are more daunting than those of failure or success, which keeps us silent and immobile in the face of opportunity or change…everything we do out of our comfort zone is scary.”
All of this brings my thoughts back to the myriad conversations I’ve had with Diane over the years about stepping out of my “comfort zone(s)”. Personally, I like my comfort zones. Why? Well, because they’re comfortable. And yet, as true as it is that I could be a-okay with my status quo, I am not okay with settling for less than I was created for.
“He whom the Son sets free is free indeed.”
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND mind.”
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
That’s all for today dear ones. I’ll finish my thoughts on this tomorrow. Until then I encourage you to pause and consider the God who says:
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Yes, the Lord God is with you. He is with me. He is with us. If that is true, and I certainly believe it is, then I will choose for you, in this moment, to receive the help that I, too, need.
Stephanie Dale Paul
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children. Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.
1Bobbi Seidel: Second Thoughts “Faking Courage.” Observer Reporter 1/27/2011
3http://www.biblegateway.com/passage –all scripture