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This Year, Lean Into Fear

on 01012015

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I’ve spent the greater portion of the last 3 years battling fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the known, fear of my future, past, or even present. Fear of letting my people down, fear of letting God down. Fear of missing “it” (or missing out – #FOMO <– that’s really a thing). All of those (semi) legitimate fears inevitably produce anxiety which simply leads to worry. Gosh, I worry a lot. And as I look around me, watching the stories unfold, listening to the testimonies of others, I realize that I’m really not alone in this. There are so many others out there who have legitimate fears, they worry and are anxious and it’s really become a part of our culture.

Many of us live in fear, don’t we. Spend 5 minutes watching the local news and you can see an anxious tension in our airports, on our streets and for some, even in our homes. We are a nation whose leaders have tried to perpetuate an emotional state of groundedness, belief, strength, and resolve. As individuals, we truly want to believe our country and world are grounded, secure and strong. In many ways it is, but that tension still resides doesn’t it?

 

We must take heed and remember it is better to lead afraid than to not lead at all.

 

What an incredible responsibility Christians have to lead, even in fear. We must understand that even when we are afraid, we must resist temptation to shrink back. No, we are not a generation that shrinks back and is destroyed, but we belong to a brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ who will lead, despite opposition, circumstances, failure and fear. We must take heed and remember it is better to lead afraid than to not lead at all. {tweet this}

 

Fear Is A Motivator

Afraid, vulnerable, perhaps even in weakness, I see my fellow brothers and sisters who do not settle for fear as an inhibitor to bring change, but instead, they lead on. For many of us, fear can be paralyzing, yet sometimes the best movements begin when we are still, and let Him lead the charge. {tweet this} Although the feeling of fear is a genuine and legitimate response to something troubling, we must not let fear prevent us from rising up and pursuing the callings we have all received. If we do, the enemy to our cause – the opposition and the naysayer – wins, and the world loses the greatness of a leader who never was. Instead, we must learn to lean into that fear, accept it for what it is, and still put one foot in front of the other, even if at times it’s a stumble forward – because even a stumble forward is progress.

 

Sometimes the best movements begin when we are still, and let Him lead the charge.

 

Fear Brings Clarity to Your Cause

When we stand face to face with fear, many of us dig deep into our souls and ask, “Is what I’m striving for, leading towards, and fighting for worth it?” It presents an opportunity to review our values, go back to our foundation in Christ and remember where it is we want to go. Fear is a check in our checks and balances and may even realign us when we get off course.

 

Fear Will Rally the Changemakers

When we face opposition, circumstance, or defeat, my hope is that we will rally together a community of reverently fearful leaders to step one at a time, forward—graciously, courageously, and faithfully. Because we have been called not to lead with a spirit of timidity, but with power, strength, and resolve that comes from Christ alone. May we know that whatever we face, it will not overthrow or overwhelm us when we stand together, but instead, will embolden us to lead towards greater success.  May we learn to harness our fear for our good and His Glory and let our futures ignite with endless possibility.

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking…As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

Alongside you, and happy new year 🙂
beth

 

 

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Image Credit: Magic Mermaid, Creative Commons

This is an adapted article first published at Switch & Shift.