Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Afraid of Not Being Afraid

When I was training for a half-marathon in 2011 I found that the root of why I had never tried something like that ever before started with fear.  I was afraid.  I had a lot of logical excuses of why I couldn't run 13.1 miles, and some of them did make perfect sense, but at the bottom of the pile was one - fear.

It wasn't fear that I would get hurt, a possibility.  It wasn't fear that I was too old.  I saw lots of runners, much older than me running in the races I saw my daughter run in.  It wasn't fear that I would die of a heart attack while training, although that was a possibility.  My body was at risk of going into complete shock being used in the way training demands.

It wasn't fear that I would look ridiculous running.  I was able to laugh at myself easily and I knew I would get quite a few laughs on that one.

It wasn't fear that I'd get hit by a car, and believe me, there were times when I was running that I would pray for that to happen just so I didn't have to train anymore!

It wasn't any of those types of things that I was most afraid.  I didn't realize until about midway in my training that the true fear that had kept me from trying this and so many other big things in life was rooted in the fear that I would..... succeed.

The potential for succeeding was keeping me chained in fear.  If I succeeded, if indeed I do manage to run/walk 13.1 miles, if I do manage to train week after week, adding distance and time to my ability, if I keep on keeping on and God forbid, succeed, well, than what' the next thing I'm going to sense the crazy need to overcome?  Climb a mountain? Run a marathon?

I was afraid of where success would lead me.

Now, I'm beginning to prepare for another I-would-never-do-that moments and face a challenge that used to scare the crap out of me and it's all because I succeeded in running 13.1 miles!  If I can do that, I can do _________.

Fear of succeeding kept me locked up for a lot of years.  I was afraid to be a nurse.  I was afraid to even try to be a nurse.  I was afraid to even take the necessary prerequisites to be a nurse.  I was afraid to even apply to try and be a nurse.  I was afraid to even think of applying to try and apply to be a nurse.  I was afraid.  Deeply, deeply afraid.

Not of failure, I had failed things before.  I knew my limits.  I knew I didn't have a math mind.  I was okay knowing I wasn't the smartest person in biology or science.  I used those things as a cover to hide where the real fear was lying.


If I succeed in passing my classes and clinicals and God forbid, again, passing my state boards, then what was next?  Logically, I had to USE that license I was granted and then what?  What if I was a good nurse?  What if I succeeded then?  I was afraid of where success would lead.

Crazy, huh?

It's easy to admit we are afraid of logical things.  Afraid of failure, the dark, heights, spiders, closed spaces, death.  Those are equally understandable fears.  Lots of people fear some if not all of those things from time to time.  But who is willing to admit that what our logical fears boil down to is really success doing what we are afraid to do or success at doing what we said we would NEVER do?

To succeed at something will automatically mean that something in me and around me will change.  Who I am before I face my fear of success will no longer be the comfortable place I can stay when I would rather not change anything but instead just keep checking off my list of reasons why I can't do the things I'm "afraid" to try.

Maybe I'm the only person who is, or was, afraid of success.  I don't think I am though.

What about you?  What are you afraid of succeeding in doing?

I'll let you in on a secret.  God did not give you that fear.  God put in you the desire to be and do so much more than what you tell yourself you are able to do.  He gives us the ability to be and do  who and what he created us to be and do.

He knows more of what we're capable of doing than we could ever imagine actually doing.

What about you?  Where are you afraid of succeeding?  What are you going to do about it?  You'll have to do something now, you took the time to read this far, something already stirred inside you a little as you read my words.  You won't be the same now.  Whatever you have said you could never do, that thing is now going to start gnawing at you to do.  Believe me, I know.

Just remember, "God did not give us a spirit of  Deilia - fearful, timid, cowardice, afraid - but of dynamai - to be able, possess ability, have power to do something by virtue of one's own ability and resources, to have potential for, to be capable, possess skill or competence - of love, and of self-discipline."  This quote is from the book of 2 Timothy.  I'm not going to give you the verse if you don't already know it, pick up your Bible and look for it!  Who knows what else you may find.



  1. Hi Ronda
    I see you linked-up after me at Heather's. Fear is the last thing our Lord wants us to have, but then, we are but human. I was living for a long time in fear to succeed in life too, for I feared that success might become an idol in my life! Well, it may or it amy not ... it all depends on how your heart is before our Pappa God!
    May you have a fearless 2013.

    1. Thank you for your insight, Mia. I've been thinking about success being an idol and can see how a believer may be afraid of success for that reason. The wondrous thing about Pappa God (I LOVE that!) is He still has great plans for us knowing the risk that we may make an idol of it. Isn't that amazing? He sees the success we are despite the mess we can make of it and wants it for us anyway! Yay God!