Let Me Introduce Myself Yet Again

Fear plays a big part in my life. I wasn't nicknamed Shook for nothing.

Although (I like to believe) I can give a steely look that can stop a man cold, I get scared more times than I can instill fear into someone. I'm a scaredy-cat that gets spooked by its own shadow if I encounter it on a bad day.

And my fear isn't exclusive to simple things, such as snakes and spiders and tigers and lions and bears (oh my!). No, I may not like the creepy crawlers and things that can eat me but those are eclipsed by my greatest fears (the ones that keep me up at night stressing out and worrying) like failure, lack, and not being good enough.

And that's not half of the story. Fear keeps me landlocked, it keeps me stagnant and stalling. I cannot move if I'm afraid. It makes me sit down, hold back and be filled with regret because I have something to give, there's something I need to say but I don't because I'm scared that I'm wrong, that I misread the situation, that I am not what's needed.

Or at least that's what I've realized lately. This past summer I had the chance to intern at The Vous, the young adult ministry at Trinity Church. It's an experience that I will forever be grateful for but it definitely came with internal struggles.

I had to grow and I hate growing!!! Because with growth, there's failing, one of my dreaded fears! And the thing is, failure was unavoidable: usually with a new thing, it takes a few tries (and a few blows to my ego) until I succeed at it. Being an intern at a church was a new thing for me. And it was infuriating.

There were days that I thought I didn't measure up, leaving me frustrated. Then most days, I became a complacent wallflower and I still ended up pissed. I couldn't win. 

I tried and I failed. I didn't try and I still failed. It sucked!

I was at a stalemate and I had to choose. I am still choosing. It's a daily choice and sometimes I choose wrong but I thank God that He offers me grace for a new start, a new day, a new beginning whenever I need it.

And today, I choose to turn my back against fear and try what's placed in front of me despite the risk of falling flat on my face. I'm really tired of missing out and I don't want to do it anymore.

So by making fear my enemy, I had to read up on it (you have to know what you're up against).
Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes people to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It triggers a fight-or-flight response, an instinct that prepares the body to either run away or defend itself against the threat. The purpose of the response is to promote survival. And the thing that really sucks is anticipation can provoke the same instinct. You don't even need to face the threat; if you even think it's at the horizon or if it's a possibility in the near future, you'll be filled with the desire to get away fast!
Fear is counterintuitive to everything God wants to do in your life. Fear robs you of the peace that God wants to give you. He doesn't want you to run away. He doesn't want you to survive. He has plans for you to thrive. He wants you to stand firm in His promises, knowing that He will make a way out of no way, that He will never forsake you, never leave you alone.

You don't have to give in to your fears. Let Him take care of that while you face something worth your time.

This whole thing reminds me of the Israelites when they are about to attack Jericho, a fortified city. They were nomads for a whole generation and before that, they were slaves for centuries. The Israelites probably mulled over the enormous task that God gave them and thought that it was a crazy suicide mission. They couldn't possibly win. They don't have much experience at war. They don't have the tools to climb Jericho's walls. They were simply not equipped to conquer Jericho.

But God shared with them something He wants you to find comfort in too:
Get ready... I will give you every place where you set your foot... No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1: 2-6
You have nothing to fear and even if you do, He is there to take care of you.

Don't let fear win. Go up to it, press against the thing that scares you and know that with God behind you, it cannot stand. You can overcome.

The mountain may look insurmountable but God knows what He's doing. He knows what He's asking of you and if there is anything that you do not have, He knows and will provide it to you once you step out into the purpose He has set out for you.

Trust me, God has a crazy tendency to call people what they clearly aren't in the physical.

Abraham, a man past his prime age with no son, a father of many nations.
Moses, a murderer who had a stutter, a leader who would bring out the nation of Israel from under Egyptian rule.
David, a little boy shepherd forgotten by his own father, the greatest earthly king Israel has ever had.
Peter, a loudmouth who denied Jesus three times, the rock on which Christ built His church.

And the list goes on. It includes me:
Regine Darius, a shy and apprehensive girl, whose name means "queen, rich and kingly."
I know my God knew what He was doing when my parents called me Regine Darius. I may not see it right now in the physical but I choose not to let my present circumstances skew my perception of the future. I know He's gonna do a new and good thing in my life if I just trust Him.

I may be fearful but, today, right now I refuse to let that dictate what type of life I live.

It might take awhile but I will abandonly live out His will, wildly live out my faith, showing His glory through everything I do.

His list includes you too.

I don't know your name. I don't know where you are in life. I don't know what you are facing but I know His truth and His thoughts about you.

And those lies that are invading your space, cast them out of your mind right now. Because if the Israelites allowed their perceptions dictate their actions, they wouldn't have been able to take down Jericho with just their shouts and praise.

Yes, it sounds crazy but if it wasn't ridiculous, outrageous, scandalous, impossible then why would God be in it? If you could do it yourself, then why would you need God?

Dream bigger.

The things I'm pursuing, the dreams He has placed onto my heart have God written all over it. He's the One who's going to bring it about. I cannot do a thing if I relied on myself. But if I trust Him, all I have to do is step out in reckless abandon and surrender it all, die to my instincts, die to my need to run and hide (fear will still be there to stare me in the face but I don't need to react to it anymore) and understand that the One I give it up to is faithful and unshakable. My God will never fail.

You have to have faith in Him. He's not asking you to do anything He wouldn't do. He went first and did everything just so you can follow Him.

I know He's been talking to you, sharing His plans, calling out things that aren't even in being yet. But you shake it all off as wishful thinking.

It takes a while to soak in such a tall order God is calling you to but mediate on His thoughts about you. Think about His promises to you.

And make a change. No more excuses. No more doubts. Let it all go and embrace the reality He has for you. Walk with Him. It will be hard but you'll never regret it.

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