Fear. No More.

Fear. It controls us. It captures us. It paralyzes us. It dominates our thoughts, and it can easily negatively influence our mind, our memories, our dreams.How do you deal with the fact that bad things happen– and they even happen to innocent lives? How do you deal with the fact that there is incurable illnesses, pain, dysfunction and brokenness that you have no control over? That at any moment, all of that can seep into your life and turn your world upside down?

Many of us know what we’re afraid of and do everything to avoid it. I know I did and I still do. Putting off doctor appts for fear of test results. Missing monumental moments with my kids due to working such long and hard hours for years. Fearing that despite promotion after promotion, it could all go away and my kids and I would go back to barely scraping by. Not being who God called me to be for fear of what others would think. Fearful my opinions won’t matter. Fearful to let my guard down because I don’t want to be hurt again. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. I’m sure you can relate to some of not all of the above. What you fear now will probably be drastically different 5 or 10 years from now. Overcoming fear isn’t something you will master once in your life, rather it is an ongoing process. What I can tell you, from my own personal experience, is on the other side of facing my fears head on is freedom, hope, joy and love.

Speaking of fears...I'd love to share with you my experience today with FEAR and how I almost let it get the best of me. Our goal was to hike to the peak of Old Rag Mountain, just in time to watch the sunrise. A 9 mile hike, elevation of 3,284 feet and an exposed summit at the top with 360 degree views of the Shenandoah National Park. This was on my daughters bucket list and I have to admit, I could understand why. When she mentioned it my first reaction was, “yes...let’s do it!” Then as we drove there this morning, fear crept in. Fear of the unknown. Would we make it safely to the top? I knew it’s a difficult hike with rock scrambling, tall boulders requiring bolstering up, long stretches of bare rock that have a close resemblance to the rugged peaks of Yosemite. Throw in the fact that when you start hiking 4am in January...it’s dark and there’s not many other people along the trail. In fact...we didn’t see anyone else our entire way to the top. Not going to lie...it was hard. We each had different moments where we questioned what we were doing, me more than the two of them. And when we were 3 miles into it and

came across a bear warning sign...I may have cried. We obviously made it up to see the beautiful, breathtaking views and gorgeous sunrise, but the most amazing part I took away from today was how we worked together, as a team. When one of us struggled to figure out the next steps, we’d put our minds together and come up with a solution. We each brought different strengths that enabled all three of us to accomplish what we set out to do. We stuck together, laughed, cried, froze, sang, took in the beauty that surrounded us and most importantly created memories that will last a lifetime and strengthened a bond that won’t ever break. All while overcoming fear and checking off an item on our bucket list.

As someone who’s pushed through times and situations in life where I was fearful, I can tell you I am so glad I did. What is your biggest fear? Is there something you’re struggling with at this very moment? What would it take for you to put your fear aside and keep going? Fear is a healthy human emotion, just don’t let it interfere with your life to the extent you miss out on opportunities as well as your own personal growth. Till next time!

xoxo,

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