Like I said, I did something scary yesterday. I put some photos I took on a facebook page and called it a business. And now my art, my creative blood, is out there running in streams on the internet for everyone to see. Just before I clicked the “Publish” button on my page, I felt my heart near about jump up my throat. The fear took me by surprise. But I did it anyway.
Fear has stopped me from doing a lot of things in my life. When I first met Simon, it stopped me for a little while from loving him. My heart had been broken, and I’d said out loud, “I’m not doing that again.”
But then a friend sent me a letter with this passage from The Message interpretation of the Bible:
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
When I read it, something in my spirit responded, “Let love cast out fear.”
For years – years – I’ve dreamed of owning my own business. All my creative juices filled me up to overflowing, desperate to get out, to be used to serve God and my family, to sustain my livelihood. But every time I’d almost gotten up the courage to take the step, fear stopped me. What-ifs flooded my waking and sleeping thoughts.
What if no one takes me seriously?
What if I’m not as good as I think I am?
What if I don’t make any money?
What if I let my family down?
What if I fail?
But questions are only questions. Fear is only fear. It is not a wall in front of me, or a door closed to the path I’m walking. It is a ghost, an enigma, a lie.
I took a walk down the river with my friend Sharon in the Fall. She had quit her job and booked a flight to Peru, where she would travel to the jungles, to live in them and serve their people.
I told her about my dream. That I do writing and editing projects, always “on the side”, and keep fairly quiet about them because I’m afraid. That I love to take photos of families, of children, of people in love. That I am terrified of saying out loud, “This is what I do. This is who I am.”
“What is fear?” she said. “Fear is not a thing.”
Sharon knows because she’s in Peru now. She has walked through the cloud that fear cast in front of her. Her unswerving hope led her to the place where she loves extravagantly.
I don’t know what will happen if I do something scary/stupid/brave. I might fail.
But I do know what will happen if I let fear rule my heart, if I don’t do anything.