Prior to purchasing Ruby (my car), I decided to pay for lessons to learn how to drive. Now, anyone who knows me knows how intensely terrified I was of driving–this is no exaggeration! Why was I so afraid of driving you ask? A seed had been planted in my head years ago, that drove me to believe that I’d be a terrible driver. While helping my father work on his car, I’d made a small error and rather than simply teaching me the correct way, he yelled at me and told me that I should never get behind the wheel of a car because I’d “kill everyone by stepping on the gas like that!” This may seem silly…clearly my father was irritated and said those words out of anger–why would I internalize them so much? Whether it was intentional or not, those words resonated with me for years! For years I was terrified of learning how to drive and allowed this fear to prevent me from even trying…
While driving my mom home from work yesterday, she looked over at me and said, “Look at you, the girl who wouldn’t even sit in the driver’s seat…maneuvering her way down Flatbush Avenue!” We then went on to further discuss how crazy it was for me to be so afraid of this simple thing. I allowed a comment that was made years ago, stop me from learning something new. Metaphorically, my fear of driving paralyzed me. When I finally got my license at the age of 27, I felt freedom! I was eventually able to purchase my first car, I picked up multiple tutoring jobs outside of my neighborhood because I was now able to travel farther distances, I could spend more time with my family because lugging myself on the train and bus was no longer a concern…there were so many new doors that opened up for me. All because I let go of that fear!
How often do we allow fear to paralyze us?! I’ll answer that–way too often! I know my driving analogy isn’t as serious as some of the real serious situations that we encounter in life, but when you really think about it, the same idea applies…We are afraid of the unknown, buy into the belief that we are incapable, and allow the fear of failure prevent us from taking risks and ultimately living life! One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” This verse gets me so excited! When you really think about its message–we were not created to be confined and limited by fear, but to live our lives boldly–knowing that in Him, all things are possible! I encourage you today to be bold and not let fear hold you back from accomplishing your goals, chasing your dreams, or even trying out something that you’ve always wanted to do! Walk through doors and take on new experiences. Refrain from living in fear and choose to walk in faith!
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