Overcoming Fear

A few weeks I listened again as someone read this quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  Marianne Williamson, Author, Lecturer

This quote makes me think, long and hard, about what is going on in my head and soul.  Just this morning, I thought, “let me just stay here in this dark room, laying in my bed, letting time go by and doing nothing.”  Am I more afraid to succeed than to fail?  When I picture my life at this point it looks like this:

jump

And when I jump will I make it or will I fall?  Jumping is scary, for so many reasons.  But then I keep reminding myself that I did not come up with this plan on my own.  It came as a result of prayer and the prompting of the Spirit.  I have talked about it with those I trust and without fail, I have received encouragement and support.  The biggest obstacle, as often is, is me!

In my faith life, the images of light and fire speak to me.  I pray often, “Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in me the fire of your love.”  Above my desk is a quote of Catherine of Siena, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”

Fire purifies, gives off heat and light, guides, comforts, invites contemplation.  It can also burn and destroy. This is where many of us stop and decide that being light, being fire is too risky.  What if someone gets burned?  When I study the saints who were on fire, they were often burned.  Some were considered heretics for a time, some suffered greatly in body, others experienced doubt,  so it seems as if being burned somehow comes with greatness.  However, if we realize that burning can strengthen and purify us, then the fire is welcome.  As is said in 1 Peter 1:6-7; “In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious that gold tested by fire, may prove to be for the praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

In the end, anything worthwhile takes risk.  I have to jump and know that God is there.  If I fall into an abyss or land on top of the mountain or anywhere in between, God is there.

Overcoming Fear
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