What My 20s Taught Me: Fear is Not a Thing

February 8, 2012

My two favorite models, and two of the biggest reasons I walk through my fear.

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.

Nothing.

0 responses to “What My 20s Taught Me: Fear is Not a Thing”

  1. Sonya Scott says:

    I’m proud of you, Faith, It’s scary to put yourself out there and start a business. After eight years, sometimes I still get consumed by random waves of panic that I’m just play acting at it and won’t succeed. It’ll cost more than you think and you’ll work harder than you planned, but it’s all worth it to do what you love. And as I told Mamama recently, “I work 80 hours a week instead of 40, but I get to pick which 80.” 😉

  2. I'm your Daddy says:

    Well put, Sonya. You hit the nail on the head. You too, Faith- I needed to consider some of the things you guys are saying today. We McDuffies are a “different” sort, aren’t we? You know what I’m talking about.

  3. That’s really beautiful Faith, thanks, as always, for having the courage to share these things. (I did shed a little tear whilst reading). I reckon God is throwing a party in your name as we speak 🙂 xXx

  4. Wow that is so beautiful. And what an honour to be an inspiration to your life. Thank you. You inspire me too. I would like to start a business too and in the last few weeks being here in Peru I almost forgot, but it will stay with me now as I will spend the seven months of my life working out how to live here for the rest of my life.
    You are right. Fear is not a thing. I forgot I said that even. But what is amazing is that all our dreams and life aspirations already exist. Out there. We just need to add ourselves to their equation.
    Just came back from a 9 day trip up the river in the Amazon jungle, travelling and ministering in a number of villages.
    Being there fills my soul with a dynamic life and three dimentional wholeness that no other place does.
    I will turn 30 while here in Peru and am excited to join a new decade while living out what I was BORN to do.
    What my 20s taught me: Join your dreams.

    Bendiciones, Sharon

  5. Kei says:

    Reblogged this on 小宇宙 My Little Planet and commented:
    Fear is not a thing. I need to do something already.

  6. Emilee says:

    This is beautifully perfect for where I feel in my life, right now. I know this post is a little bit older, but I’m so glad I stumbled upon it. At the moment I feel like I’m standing at a crossroads in my twenties – and while there’s a sure fire beautiful path laid out in front of me, I feel like God is calling me to a different direction – one that doesn’t have any path at all. I’ve been called into the wilderness, to risk greatly with no path laid in front of me. Maybe trailblazing is the answer, but it’s so hard to take a step forward in a direction that seems so impractical, in comparison to the one that seems to be beautifully beckoning.

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