From Fear to Freedom
We all have them. Fears that keep us from taking risks, experiencing adventures, and pursuing dreams. The road from fear to freedom is journeyed one step at a time. Sometimes big, stretching steps and sometimes small baby steps.
As I think back over my life, I can see a number of times I forfeited a dream or desire because I was afraid. Other times my fears delayed my dreams for months or years. Older people often say some of their biggest regrets are the risks they didn't take, the dreams they didn't pursue.
And one of our biggest fears is the fear of failure. We ask ourselves intimidating questions like:
"What if I don't succeed?"
"What if no one is interested in what I have to offer?"
"What if I don't do it perfectly?"
But how about this question, "What if I don't give it a try because I'm afraid?"
I've faced fears my entire life. One of my big tests was related to my dream of making music. I had grown up singing and writing music. My dad was from Tennessee and played guitar and sang. My younger brother Tim was an incredible guitarist and songwriter and my music partner. We often performed together and our dream was to record our music.
When Tim died suddenly at the age of 31, I felt my dream relating to music died as well. I had huge fears of pursuing the dream without him, without his talent, without his voice. I let the dream die.
But after several years, friends and fans continued to encourage me to pursue the dream. With the encouragement and support of my husband and many others, I stepped out of my fears and walked toward my dream of recording my music. And then the doors began to open.
Since then I've recorded two CDs and performed in incredible settings. I've included music in my speaking events, led worship, and written love songs for the weddings of three of our sons. My music has been heard locally and far and wide. One fan ordered fifty CDs to send to missionaries around the world!
I am so glad I decided to stare down my fears and not let them keep me from going for my dreams.
And this has happened every time I've wanted to chase after a passion, a vision, or a business idea. I've had to face my fears and choose to take steps on the journey toward freedom. And it feels so good when I arrive!
What fears are holding you back? Keeping you from taking a risk, pursuing a dream? Ask yourselves the following questions:
What am I most afraid of?
Are my fears related to my own expectations or the expectations of others?
What is it that I really want?
Is what I really want worth the risk of failure?
Is it really failure if I'm growing and becoming bolder and braver through my experiences?
Being brave means doing something scary. But great rewards come with bravery. How can you be brave today?