Do you want to know why I haven't tried to get faster yet? I haven't started my (re)training plan yet. Do you want to know why?
I'm afraid of being a faster runner.
I'm afraid of vulnerability.
I'm afraid that you won't want what I have to offer.
Yes. Even those of you I don't know. I never said my fear was rational. In fact, most of my fears are irrational or just dreamed up and fabricated in my mind. I remember a time when I wasn't afraid to be myself, but I don't remember what changed and made me withdraw. Maybe it was that big, scary, nasty, unexpected break-up in 2009. Maybe it was graduating from college and still having no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Maybe it was moving around for the next 2 years and living more out of my car than a home. Maybe it was totaling that car that felt like home. I don't know. Looking back, it could've been any of those things, or it could've been something different. Separate. Before. I don't know. All I know is that I'm tired. I'm so tired of living my life in fear. I've put all of this pressure on myself to measure up--and to what? Nothing worthwhile, that's for sure. The only thing worth trying to measure up to--the only ONE worth trying to model my life after is Jesus, and He already loves me and accepts me for who I am--not for what I can offer Him or who I'm going to be one day. He loves me NOW. He loved me yesterday. He'll love me tomorrow. Nothing I can do can make Him love me any more or any less than He does in this moment. My fears stem from a lack of trust. I project my silly, human thoughts onto the God who created everything--the sun, the moon, the stars, each of us as individuals, and my silly, human mind. My fear of being rejected means I've given more worth to things that don't matter than the One who does.
One of the verses with the "Jesus Today" devotion I read this morning was Hebrews 10:23. It says:
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (NIV)
There's a song by Sara Groves that I was first introduced to last summer at my best friend's wedding. It's called "He's Always Been Faithful". You can click here to listen. The lyrics are incredibly simple, true, and powerful. My favorite line says "All I have need of, His hand will provide. He's always been faithful to me." So basically, if God doesn't provide it, then I don't need it. Why is that so hard for me to grasp? He's not going to withhold good things from me. He LOVES me. In Luke 12, Jesus talks about why we shouldn't worry about material things (or anything else for that matter). I want to rest in Him and in His promises.
I'm afraid of getting faster because I feel like, if I do, then I'll be expected to be faster all the time. What if I have an off day or mess up? With those around me show me grace? I'm afraid of being vulnerable because I'm afraid of getting hurt. If I put myself out there and face rejection, will I ever be able to do it again? On my own strength, I can't even put myself out there the first time. But God has called me to something greater than hiding behind irrational fears. He has made me for a purpose. He has placed me here for a purpose. He has surrounded me with the people in my life for a purpose. I may not see it now. I may not see it ever in this lifetime, but that doesn't mean it isn't true. Here's the thing. I don't have to know or understand. My job is to trust and obey. Charles Spurgeon said, "Be wise and attend to the obeying, and let Christ manage the providing." That's my job. It's yours too.
Maybe you're not afraid of anything. I hope you're not. I hope you're fearless. But if you're not--if you have fears like mine or fears of your own, know that you're not alone. I just texted my sister about this post, and she said "Everybody is afraid of something." Let's be mindful of that and encourage one another instead of tearing down. Let's be FOR each other and not set against. We know the Lord is for us, and with Him on our side, we have nothing to fear.