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Tag Archives: Inspiration

(Un)afraid {Day 4 of Life Unafraid}

I am finding that many important places in Germany have gates outside.

They’re usually pretty cool, in my very American opinion. Except when they’re not. Like the one outside my kids’ school. I mean, I am thankful for the gate. Because, let’s face it, nobody wants just anybody walking onto a school campus without having announced their presence and gaining permission from the powers that be. But it scares me. Okay, the gate doesn’t scare me, but the button/buzzer thingy that I have to push if I want access to the school (and my children) on the other side of the gate, well that thing terrifies me.

Scares me so much, in fact, that I believe I have only been brave enough to use it all of one time. If the gate is closed when I arrive to pick up my children after school and I am the first parent there, I usually just wait for another parent to arrive and follow them in. After they push the buzzer and speak to the voice on the other side.

You see, here in this land of Deutsch (and by Deutsch, I mean the German language) we non-Deutsch speakers rely heavily on the use of nonverbal communication. (i.e. We use our hands to help describe things, our fingers to point at props, our facial expressions to help with the charades.) And, well, gate buzzer thingies have very strict codes regarding the nonverbals. So speaking into them calls on a certain kind of courage that I often don’t have. The courage to show my ignorance of the German language, the bravery to display my I-don’t-belong-here-and-I-really-have-no-idea-what-I’m-supposed-to-do-with-this-buzzer-thing-anyway.

I think a lot of fear is like that. It comes from not wanting to look stupid or sound like we don’t have a clue. In my brain, that not having a clue thing leads to the what-ifs that convince me I will end up a victim of some heinous crime (yes, I know. I have issues.) But maybe in your brain it leads to others fears. Like the fear of failing. Or worrying that in the end you’ll find your own insignificance. Or maybe looking stupid for you means losing credibility that you feel you can’t afford to lose. Whatever it is, the fear cannot win. Because the truth is that if I don’t push the buzzer and no other parents come, I won’t get to take my kids home. (And then they would have issues of an entirely different kind.)

So — what’s your buzzer thingy?

*This month, I’m joining a bunch of other bloggers in a challenge to write for 31 days on a topic about change. Having struggled with fear (sometimes paralyzing) for a lot of my life and missing much of the living that I know God wants for me, I am on a mission to live unafraid for 31 days straight, challenging you to join me. And I’m writing about it. You can catch up here if you’ve missed any of the days.