Perfection and fear walked hand in hand in my life, but they weren’t mutually exclusive. I wrote about striving to be perfect yesterday, and it was because I feared rejection by God and by people. But after letting go of perfection, fear lingered. Actually, it stayed put. It’s a tough thing to kick out of my life. I didn’t “let go” of fear. I had to fight it off.
Fear is one of freedom’s biggest chains. That doesn’t mean we need to be without fear. Fear helps us survive. It keeps us cautious and alert in situations that may present dangerous. People call that healthy fear.
The other kind of fear isn’t so good for us. It’s the kind of fear that paralyzes us. It stops us from moving forward or making decisions. It makes us doubt our choices to the point of anxiety and stress. That kind of fear enslaves us.
I used to live with this kind of fear. I used to be so afraid of making a choice and the consequences that could follow that I end up making no choice (ironically, that’s a choice in itself and has its own consequences). I wouldn’t act on any ideas because I was so afraid of doing the wrong thing.
There wasn’t an actual moment when I stopped living in fear. There’s no point in time when I sighed in relief knowing I was no longer afraid. Instead, the freedom from fear was a gradual and grace-filled journey towards love and forgiveness.
It was continually reminding myself that everything will be okay, repeating mantras if I have to. It was stepping into situations that scared me and made me feel uncomfortable. It was psyching myself up for the task. It was trusting God through action. Living what I believed, and believed that I would live through it.
Overtime, my faith was built up and there was no more room for fear.
There are things I’m still scared of, like how we all have things we’re scared of. But I no longer live with the fear that paralyzes me. If that kind of fear creeps back in – and it does or it tries to – I kick it back out.
Freedom is a grind. It’s daily work. That means when we want to be free from something that grips us, like fear, we’ve got to work on getting rid of them. I believe that God can absolutely free from anything and everything in an instant, and sometimes He does that. Other times, He helps us become stronger through the journey toward freedom.
If you’re on a journey, trust and believe that God will complete what He started in you. You will get to the finish line. Meanwhile, learn and grow and savor freedom.