. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

The Big Fat Liar Called Fear {Day 6 Life Unafraid}

She started class by closing the door. Having been forewarned by my husband that she would begin every class activity with the person directly to her left or right, I chose a seat mid-semi-circle. It had worked last week, and I wasn’t about to break that cycle. But yesterday, the first thing the teacher spoke of involved “Hausaufgaben.” Homework! Which I was not prepared to discuss. (And by not prepared, I mean I didn’t do a lick of homework. I didn’t even know we had any.) And, although I understood the word right off (no small feat for this language called Deutsch), the blood rushed straight out of my head and I sunk a little lower in my seat, trying to remain calm. Fear set in, more like angst actually, when she asked a question, and the lady to my left piped up (the lady whose presence last week had me feeling better about being in this more advanced class than I was certain I should be in). She spoke long, Deutsch-laden sentences, seemingly well-informed. I tried to remain inconspicuous there in my mid-semi-circle seat, hoping this part of the class would go quickly. I felt like a school-kid caught empty-handed, homework unfinished and ready to be sent to the principal’s office.

I was afraid because I wasn’t sure I should be in this class. Afraid that I’d be found out and that she’d tell me I’d been demoted. A different kind of fear than physical stuff, I recognized it as something that threatened my goal to learn German. That is what made me afraid. So I sat there, heart-pounding on the inside, calm and inconspicuous on the outside, hoping the teacher wouldn’t notice me. Praying her eyes would just dance right over my conveniently slouched head until the Hausaufgaben part of the class was finished.

When she asked the next question, the lady on the other side of me answered confidently. Good for her, I thought. Now, someone else, be ready for the next question. Please. And that’s when the teacher looked straight at me and used nonverbal communication mixed with very verbal Deutsch to let me know that my turn had come to show my true colors. Not sure of exactly what I was supposed to do, I looked at the paper from last week and read aloud on the topic at hand. She nodded her approval before moving on to the Japanese guy. Phew, I made it.

And the end of the scary was over. Now if I could just keep my concentration for the next hour and twenty-five minutes, I’d be good to go until the next class.

After lowering my heart rate and trying not to be obvious as I sat back up in my seat, I realized something about this kind of fear. It lies. Yep, you read that right: fear can be a big, fat liar. In this case, the fear told me I didn’t know what I was doing. But the truth is, I did. I figured it out, and that got me closer to my goal of learning German. When I faced that particular fear, it actually helped me get closer to my goal. And the fear was obliterated.

As it turns out, facing our fears helps us grow in ways we otherwise would not. And life unafraid reveals truths we wouldn’t otherwise know.

What kinds of lies do your fears try to tell you? Leave a comment and join the discussion. All you need to do is click on the little comment bubble up at the top of this post and then fill in the blanks. Yes, it’s that easy.

*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. And challenging you to join me. And I’m writing about it. You can catch up here if you’ve missed any of the days. Bring a friend, too. It’ll make it more fun. Oh, and here’s a button for you to grab if you have a blog and would like to share the unafraid life (which, btw, I would love).

and then some more . . .
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3 Thoughts on “The Big Fat Liar Called Fear {Day 6 Life Unafraid}

  1. Linda Thompson on October 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm said:

    really love reading these each day, i am starting to look back and wonder what part i may have had in you developing so many fears, and then i think i cannot cha
    nge anything, just say to you, whatever part i may have had, please forgive me. as you now know us moms can only do what we feel is right at the time we do whatever we do for our children. then ask God to take over and so that is what i have done. by the way i think you have done a wonderful job with your two little ladies…just keep praying and i will keep praying for you and them and your sister and and her three….love you all!!

  2. My fears tell me “why are you even bothering to go to seminary, join Tribe Writers, pursue my calling, try to become a runner, etc. because you know you are never gonna do it. You never finish.”. But I know it is a lie because even though it took me took me a while, I got my BA as an adult student. I know it’s a lie because I haven’t given up. Every step I take I wonder why I am even putting forth the effort, but I step anyway, in faith, knowing that God is in it and he will continue his work in me and bring it all about in his time. I love your quote, “facing our fears helps us grow in ways we otherwise would not.” This has proven itself to be true in my life time and again. Thanks for sharing this post!

    • Wow, Michelle, you are awesomely facing your fears! I totally know what you mean about being afraid to start new stuff because the fear says, “You never finish!” Yes, that’s a big fat lie. And one that I have been known to believe at times. Thanks for your input here! I love it.

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