If you read this blog with any regularity, then you know that I have a rather unhealthy problem with fear.
Opportunities that others see as adventures, I see as opportunities to fail, horribly. I just can’t see it any other way.
And while I was hoping that God would rid me of this fear by pressing some kind of fear-erasing button in my soul (that exists, right?!), I don’t think it works that way. In fact, I’m beginning to realize that the only way to face down fear is to… face it down. God keeps giving me opportunities to do just that. I’d like to say that I do a cartwheel every time one of those comes up, but usually, I just gripe at Him: “Come ON! Again? Really? Can this be the last time? Please, oh pretty please? I don’t like it! Stop making me do these things!”.
(And yes, I realise that I sound like a petulant 7-year old girl when I talk to God. You can go ahead and picture me that way if you like because I’m sure that’s just what God sees: mess of curls bouncing with rage, cheeks puffed out in a huff, lips pouting, little foot in patent leather mary jane stamping on the ground repeatedly. Ok, I’m laughing at myself now. At least I keep Him entertained, right? Huh? HUH?!)
God has lined up a pretty hectic month for me. Next Friday, I leave for South Africa (yaaaaay!) to do some press because, holy heck, my show is on the air there and it’s doing really well! GOOD LORD! Isn’t that amazing?
Three or four days later, I toodle off to Dubai (DOUBLE yaaaayyyy!) to do a couple of demos at the Taste of Dubai festival. I haven’t been home in a decade, and what a way to go back! Such a blessing.
Ok, THEN, I fly back to the States, via New York, where I’m shooting an episode of a show that scares the skinny jeans off me! I’m trying not to take it so seriously, and I’m determined not to let this single, solitary thing ruin the whole trip for me, but late at night, as I settle under the covers, that’s when the monster sticks an ugly toe out of my closet.
Fear starts bubbling. Tears start welling. It’s totally, utterly, wholly irrational, and what makes it worse? I feel horribly ungrateful for being scared of such incredible opportunities. So then I’m feeling scared and guilty at the same time! I’m a mess!
(Also, that image is from a Threadless tshirt that I think I need.)
But something kinda cool happened last Sunday.
I was sitting in church, listening to the sermon, when in what was either a rush of the Holy Spirit or a rush of caffeine from my morning cup of coffee, an excited thought popped into my head: “HEY! I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to give up fear for Lent! I’m just going to give it up! YEAH! That’s what I’m gonna do!”.
An hour later, once the afore-mentioned euphoria had evaporated, my grumpus settled in with a hmph.
“That’s the dumbest idea ever. We’re not doing that,” it said.
And that was that.
Until that evening, when I went back to church to see an amazing speaker. Somewhere in the middle of his talk, completely out of nowhere and apropos to nothing he says, “You know what? I think we should give up fear for Lent.”
“WHAT?” I yelled in my seat. (Luckily, it was louder in my head than it was in the room.)
Good God. Here’s a concept I’ve never heard of before, and then I hear it twice in one day?
So, yeah. Y’all might think I’m crazy but that’s too big of a sign for me to ignore. I’m just gonna give it up for Lent.
Just like that.
Sometimes, it just has to be that simple. It’s always been easier for me to give up a food entirely than allow myself to have it every now and then. There’s no thinking involved. Whenever the option or the craving presents itself, I just say, nope, can’t have it. It makes self-control so much easier. So, for the next fourty days (and how handy that Lent covers my entire trip!), fear isn’t an option. It’s off the menu. Whenever fear sticks his toe out of the closet, I’m not gonna look at him. I’m gonna look at Him. And hopefully, that will be enough for that moment.
What do you think?