Back to Basics: fear of failure

What are you afraid of? No really what scares the crap out of you? What scares you to the point of not moving?

Have you ever been that afraid? So afraid you felt like every bone & muscle in your body was frozen or paralyzed?

I know that feeling. I was there.

For years.

Trapped in my own skin.

Crippled by my own thoughts.

My own insecurities. Paralyzed by conversations I was having with rationalization, comparison and regret. And let me tell you none of them (yes I had personified each one of them); neither of them had anything nice to say to me, but they had packaged these conversations in such a way that it kept me {fully} engaged. Almost as if I was hypnotized by their cunning reminders of my past mistakes.

One of my favorite books is Hinds Feet on High Places an allegory of a young woman respectfully named Much Afraid; a member of the Family of Fearlings and her relatives were scattered all over the town called the Valley of Humiliation.

{EXERPT} For several years Much-Afriad had been in the service of the Chief Shepherd whose great flocks were pastured down in the Valley of Humiliation. She lived with her friends and fellow workers Mercy and Peace in a tranquil little white cottage in the village of Much-Trembling. … (fast forwad) An orphan, she had been brought up in the home of her aunt, poor Mrs. Dismal Foreboding, with her cousins Gloomy and Spiteful and their brother Craven Fear, a great bully who habitually tormented and persecuted her in a really dreadful way. (fast forward) Much-Afraid was being forced into a lifestyle (with her family) she desperately wanted to escape so she met with the Great Shephard for advice.

“Don’t be afraid,” said the Shepherd gently. “You are in my sevice, and if you will trust me, they will not be able to force you against your will into any family alliance. But you ought never to have let your Fearing relatives into your cottage, because they are enemies of the King who has taken you into his employment.”

When we make the decision to let God guide our lives and go about doing ‘his business’ there will always be people who try REALLY HARD to keep us from that life. This ‘family of fearing individuals’ will continue to visit us, we can’t continue to let them in our house (what the bible refers to as our lives).

I know that anxiety. I know that overwhelming feeling of desire that becomes bullied by despair.

The grip of blame.

The choke hold of shame.

I also know what it feels like to be free! (I can do all things through Christ)

Everyday I’m finding that the Valley of Humiliation as dysfunctional as it might be, can feel familiar and at times comfortable because our friends are there. People who know us by name, people who remind us of who we’ve ALWAYS been are there. I’m sick and tired of living in that valley. I’m STEPPING UP! One step at a time. It’s scary. Yes I’m afraid.

Last night. I cried. I cried out to God and told him just that. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of who I might have to leave behind. I’m afraid of not being qualified. I’m flat out afraid of messing up. Last night was unbelievably freeing.

I’ve mentioned that I’m doing the Stepping Up study by Beth Moore. I’m learning that sometimes we hold ourselves back. I’m learning that if I don’t get real with God, He can’t help me.  (Psalm 120:1) I’m learning that there are times when we can walk, and then there’s times that we just have to run. Not aimlessly, on purpose!

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Another version says, “let us strip off every weighs that slows us down”

Sometimes, that weight starts in our minds, shows up on the scale and weighs on our shoulders. I’m letting God do the heavy lifting, move my foot one step at a time in the direction of his calling in his timing.

I’m taking every thought captive, stopping it in its tracks and see if it’s agreeing with who God says I am. If it’s not, I’m shutting it down with the truth!

And watching what I say.

1 Peter 3:10 For the Scriptures say, “If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies.

I know fear. But I know freedom. I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.


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