I have this irrational fear that a plane will fall out of the sky and crash into my house. For as long as I can remember the sound of a plane flying through the air makes my heart beat faster and palms sweat. One time specifically I remember waking up from a nap in a panic because I heard a plane fly overhead out of fear that it would lose control and land smack dab on top of my apartment.
I have a fear of tornadoes. All natural disasters actually, but tornadoes are the ones that are the greatest threat to me. I remember last year I made all of my roommates sit in the basement during a warning until I was confident the threat was completely gone. When I was in middle school I remember telling my friends I was moving to Connecticut because I felt, in my 12 year old brain, that it was the safest place in the country.
I’m scared of people I love dying. Whenever I call my mom and she doesn’t answer, I immediately text my brother to find out where she is. If he doesn’t answer, I have a little seed of panic that takes root and believe everyone is dead. In high school, I called my mom on a weekend Speech & Debate trip and after she missed my call twice, I cried to a friend with the belief that they had gotten into a car accident and died.
I could go on forever. I am a fearful person. And I think it stems from lack of control. I feel very uncomfortable if I’m not in control. Obviously, I cannot control the weather, or a pilot steering a plane – I’m not God. So, those things scare me. Extending beyond this, I make decisions out of fear. I will quite literally change plans, not do something, if I’m scared.
The only thing I’ve found that has helped me with this is Jesus. There have been so many times I’ve been anxious about something, I’d pray about it and instantly feel at peace. Because where peace is, God is. The bible says that “perfect love casts out all fear.” This is so true. Jesus IS perfect love. Jesus promises us that he will take care of us. He tells us that two sparrows are sold for a cent and yet He knows when one of them falls from the sky. He then continues to say that we’re more valuable than a sparrow. How cool is it that I have a God who is not only with me but is FOR me. Fighting my battles, calming my fears.
I think there was a point where I just stopped and realized I couldn’t be a person who let fear stop her from living her life. I don’t want to pass up on opportunities because of fear that something MIGHT happen. I want to be a person who isn’t anxious about anything but instead prays about everything. I don’t want to be afraid of my fears. More than that, why should I be afraid when I have the God that I do? I have nothing to fear.
I want to close with this. I went to see Ed Sheeran on Wednesday night, and it was incredible. One of the most incredible concerts I’ve ever been to. However, the Las Vegas shooting had occurred two days earlier. And that made me nervous. I was super anxious about going and even considered skipping it out of fear that the same thing could happen in Columbus, OH at an Ed Sheeran concert. I voiced my concerns to my roommate (and bff) and she said something very important. She told me that you can’t let fear stop you from living. She was right. I went to the concert and had the best time.
I think I’m in the process of learning that a safe life is not necessarily a good life. When I die, I want to leave chalk-full of life experiences. I think that fear will always be there to an extent, that won’t change. What WILL change is how I respond to that fear. As Nelson Mandela says, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” So, my friends, let’s conquer our fears. I have this saying I like to live by that life’s too short to do things that make you unhappy. But, I think today I have changed it a tad. Life’s too short to live in fear things that could make you happy. So chase your dreams & be courageous. I’m right alongside you.