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Spotlight: Do not fear…

Posted: Thursday, Jan 24th, 2013

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” –The Bible

The strongest force against us in the universe, which will stop us from accomplishing anything in life is our own fear. We all experience fear from time to time. Some fears are minimal and insignificant like being afraid of mice or spiders. Others are significantly greater, like being afraid of a broken heart, or the fear of failing.

Fear can stop us in our tracks, make us give up on our dreams, make us lose faith in love, and keep people addicted to something. I know I wrote about fear before, but it has popped up in my life recently and in the lives of many people I know, so I thought it would be worth mentioning again.

I hear people mentioning fear everywhere I go. It’s been brought up in meetings, in college classes, in family discussions, in movies, on the radio, at the doctor’s office, and in countless other places.

Yes, I experience fear, priests and other religious leaders experience fear, political leaders experience fear, everyone experiences fear. The real issue is not that people are afraid, but what they are doing about their fear.

“Before I knew you I thought brave was not being afraid. You taught me that bravery is being terrified, and doing it anyway.” –Laurell K. Hamilton

I really like this quote by Hamilton. So many times people think that if they are struggling it’s a sign they are failing, a sign of weakness. I’ve learned over the years that if I am struggling it’s a sign that the season of change is upon me. Very often the beginning stages of change can be disheartening, frustrating, fearful, inconvenient, or even painful. But change isn’t always easy.

What comes on the other side of change is another story. On the other side of change can come beauty, grace, dreams come true, renewed hope, increased faith, and much more. So though change may not be easy it can be worth it.

Children are, more often than adults, fearless. I admire their courage to take their first steps, to fall down and get back up, to meet strangers, to try new things, to take chances, to make new friends, to fail and try again, and their ability to just be themselves. If only adults could gain that childlike courage back.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his inaugural speech, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

A friend of mine, Kim Clement, often says, “I am somewhere in the future and I look much better than I look right now.” This is an encouraging statement that we need not be afraid of the present, because the future looks much brighter. Live on that future vision to overcome present fears. If I could go back in time ten years ago and tell myself that my future looked much better it could have saved me years of worry, stress, and fear. So I choose to live today believing that I need not be afraid, because I am somewhere in the future and I/life looks much better than it does right now.

Tori Vigil is an author, inspirational speaker, and reporter. She can be reached at torivigil@yahoo.com

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