Don't Fear The Saddle! Are You Holding on to Fear or Holding on to Possibilities?
The dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”
We often view fear as a weakness, however fear is not abnormal. Having fear can protect us when we are confronted by physical or emotional harm. It allows us to respond quickly and escape a dangerous situation.
On a positive note, fear can also push us or move us forward. When faced with a decision that seems impossible or paralyzing we can choose to face it or be overcome by it. If we choose to face it, we become stronger and we realize we are capable of handling more than we thought possible.
I was in a minor car accident several years back. It was a Thursday, because I remember asking my husband to drive me to work the next day. I was physically fine, however mentally I needed a few days to decipher what had happened. I knew if I could just have a few days to process the accident, I could get back in the saddle, or in this case the car seat, and drive again. I also knew that if I didn’t face my fear, I’d never drive again.
I will say that day changed me. It scarred me enough to provoke anxiety that I didn’t have before. Realizing it, accepting it, and overcoming it has allowed me the freedom and confidence to continue to drive.
Fear comes in many shades. The fear of abandonment is another emotional factor. For me, it was the day my father walked out the door. For years as a young adult I feared never finding “the one.” I feared that when I got married, the same thing would happen to me. My husband would walk out on me and our kids. Still, I did fall in love and I had to make a decision when my husband asked me to marry him. Do I risk following my heart or letting my fears deprive me of a love filled marriage?
Love is a risk and I chose to accept that he loved me and embrace the moment of feeling in love and the possibility of having a family in a marriage “til death do us part.” My thought process was that it was better to be in love, than to never know love at all. Again, love is a risk and we can choose to welcome it and allow ourselves to be loved or to reject it and not welcome the greatest need God has wired in us. We are meant to know love and be loved, whether in marriage or other relationships.
Perfect love casts out all fear. 1 John 4:18
Fear also dictates our actions. You probably learned this as a child and maybe even had it reinforced in your psychology class. I learned that fear can leave us paralyzed. We can choose to face our fears or run from them, in which case the fear is still there. We can choose to fight back and do something about it, or we can even choose to do nothing. We may not even realize that by doing nothing we may be living in fear.
Sometimes we are afraid to make a decision, but that in itself is a decision.
You might be afraid to lose a job, so you don't update your resume or prepare yourself for new opportunities.
Or you’re afraid to lose a relationship, though it might be toxic and you are better off without it.
Afraid of doing something new, because you would risk getting out of your comfort zone.
Afraid to love, because you've been hurt before.
Afraid to let go, because you are not trusting that God has a better plan for your life.
Afraid to take a chance, because you may fail.
Afraid to succeed, because then what comes next?
Afraid to put yourself out there, because you won't be accepted, liked or loved back, understood, welcomed, included, or you might be abandoned, again.
A part of overcoming fear is to:
Acknowledge your fear by being aware of it and identifying the triggers that cause the fear.
Face your fear so you can not only overcome it, but grow from it.
Hand your fear over to God! Pray and give it to God. You can also use an object to visualize handing it over to God. You can use a rock and cast it away or write your fear on a paper. Tear it up. Throw it away. No longer to be retrieved. No longer to be feared. For with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
Turn your negative thoughts and fears into positive action steps. This may come in the form of journaling, or seeing a counselor, a life coach, a Pastor, or being in a therapy group to help you identify and process your fears. Journaling is a therapy used by counselors and can be a therapeutic way to process our emotions.
Choose to take action and move forward. There is not one person I know who doesn’t have some type of fear, but it doesn’t have to control us. We can choose to start over, get back in the saddle, or take a chance.
What has been holding you back this year, this season, today?
Just imagine the possibilities that come with seizing those moments which God creates uniquely and specifically for you!
The moments God has set right in front of you. All you have to do is believe in the One who designed you with a purpose and plan and seize the moment which is right in front of you today!
So don't walk, run. Run toward the person you are meant to be. Begin today! One step; one moment at a time.
Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name.
You are mine. Isaiah 43:1