I don’t consider myself a very adventurous person. At times I am more aware of the internal struggle than what my life appears to be from the outside looking in. However, in the last six months I’ve hung out with bees, ridden a camel and fed wild monkeys! The truth is that every time I go somewhere new or try something different, there are little nerves that tag along. Even when it’s something fun, even when it’s something I want to do, there is apprehension, nervousness, or a bit of fear. I don’t know what to expect and a part of me is a little bit scared.
I know I’m not the only one. New circumstances, opportunities, or challenges are scary for many of us.
Too often it’s easier to avoid these feelings and stick with what we know. We try to live in a safe little world we’ve created for ourselves. My life overseas doesn’t allow for this luxury. More recently, I’ve wondered if my life doesn’t allow for this type of prison. I am forced, sometimes propelled, into new opportunities to learn and grow. This newness factor in my life has become somewhat normal now, but the nerves still show up on the regular. Depending on the scenario, it’s because I don’t want to fail or make a mistake. I don’t want to look stupid. Yet, something about this life of new experiences has revealed a thing or two about these nerves, this fear. They are not as strong as I thought or felt they were. As I face my fear and do the new thing that I often don’t want to do, I find another layer of freedom in my life. God is so patient and gracious to give us such gifts. Today I know it’s best to keep going, in spite of the tension in my shoulders, the butterflies in my stomach, or the anxious thoughts. Keep going. More freedom is around the bend when I jump into a new experience. I recognize when the fear stirs, but I don’t let it lead. Thankfully, the more “new” I try, the faster I jump in. Freedom rings and fear falls each time I try something new.
What new experiences or opportunities are stirring up fear in your heart? Who will you allow to win the battle– freedom or fear?