Thursday, October 3, 2013

Courage in the Face of Fear

I don't think of myself as courageous. I don't like to take risks. I have a fear of heights and jumping of bridges. I don't like to ski or do anything that might provide an adrenaline rush. I get scared when I have to meet new people. I doubt myself and I doubt that people like me.

Fear has been a big part of my life this last year. Fear of loss. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the new.

It feels like I am often living in fear right now.

I don't fear the big things necessarily. I trust God. But the little things, the going to coffee with new acquaintances bring out the fear. Fear of not being liked. The little things of making phone calls or contacting teachers and fearing they might see me as a helicopter mom which I am really not. Fear of speaking up, saying the truth, to the people that have the power to hurt you the most.

These are the things that I am afraid of. Little things but real things that I have to do. Except I don't really. I can hole up in my home, it's a beautiful home that is cozy and comfortable. I don't have to get to know people. My kids take a bus. I don't have to interact with the school. I can keep silent. I don't have to say anything. The silence only hurts myself and it may be a cost I am willing to pay.

I was texting with a friend about making new friends last week.

My friend is right. Courage is moving forward in spite of the fear. I know I have heard similar things before, but it was seeing those words, at that moment, from a friend that knows me well, that dug those words in deep. 

And here's the thing... if I didn't reach out I never would have gotten to know this friend. My life would be less full without her. 

So the risks, maybe they are worth it. 

I'm still not going to try skiing again. Someone needs to sit in the lodge holding the snacks and getting a good table for lunch. 

What risk are you avoiding right now? What fear are you facing? 


  1. I'm a first time reader and this post just blew me your vulnerability and intellect at the Bus Stop on Tuesday did as well. To answer your question, I have a constant fear that no matter what I do, no mater how many times someone tells me I'm not, that I have grace for this reason.....I'm screwing my kids up because I can't get a grip on my own shortcomings as a person. then I reflect on God might be thinking the same thing and that's why His gift of Jesus dying on the cross and resurrecting to begin a perfect life with His father is so important. I face my fears of screwing up mychildren, but always remember that we are prefect and will be prefect in God's kingdom.

    1. I get this. The fear of messing up our kids. But I guess my question is why do you have to be perfect? Even if you are not, God loves your kids so much more than you can ever love them. He's not going to let you ruin what he made. Even more than that, you are right that with the resurrection our lives were made whole/perfect in God's eyes. Not pretty, not clean, but whole. Grace.

  2. Jennifer, I love that you are writing this blog again. You always seem to get to the heart of the matter and I applaud your vulnerability because everything you see as a weakness, by admitting it makes other realize they (I) are not alone in their own insecurities. I hope that gives you strength. Some bad parenting decisions I have made recently have been haunting me. What strikes me as so difficult, is that my mistakes are affecting my kids, not just me and that slays me. I am trying to face those mistakes - I feel guilt every time, but I push through. Just wish the light at the end of the tunnel didn't seem eerily like an oncoming train! All the best to you and keep writing!