I don't think of myself as a particularly brave person. Snippets of all the days and hours and experiences I've missed out on because of fear flash through my mind like a slow, elusive dance.
Sometimes the fear is ferocious, clawing its hand down my spine with long fingernails and unforgiving reminders of my failures and inabilities. Other times it's small and seemingly invisible, starting as a seedling before it sprouts into a weed. By the time it grows, it doesn't feel like fear anymore. It feels normal.
Because when you live your life in fear, that's just what it becomes: your life. A life choked in and strangled out, and not having fear seems almost scarier than having it because at least fear is something we can hold tight between our fingers. At least we know what fear looks like.
I don't want to live my life afraid. Afraid of the headlines and the diagnosis and the phone call or the email or the thousand thousand other terrifying things. The small and scary things too. Writing the book, singing the song, starting a new job, making a new friend.
But there are days when fear creeps in and it's all I can think about. I think I can't do this because I'm too small, too unworthy, too unintelligent. I think I can't get through this because it's too hard, too big, too impossible.
What trumps fear? Love. Who is love? Jesus.
So these are the two things you need to know when you're afraid, and I'm memorizing them too, branding them on my hands and heart and wall:
There is no fear in love.
...God is love.
So this is what I'm clinging to today. And tomorrow. God is love, and there is no fear in love. No fear, fear not, do not be afraid...