6.13.2011

No Cage For Me.

Yesterday I sat in church. And, through the moments of holding a squirming boy and giving a certain seven year old girl the stink eye, found my heart truly moved by the sermon. I know this is not a religious blog...but part of who I am is anchored deeply in Jesus Christ. So, I'd like to share a little piece of what I learned yesterday-- because it really made me view my fears in a new Light.

I hate the feeling of fear. Ugh! It is a huge pet peeve of mine. I remember being in softball practice my senior year and telling myself during in-field practice, Krista...keep your eye on the ball. And DO. NOT. FLINCH. Well, I kept my eye on the ball--all the way down to the moment it hit me in the face, shattering my nose:). (And yeah, it was completely shattered into tiny pieces...Had to have surgery and everything!) But, looking back, I know I kept my head down. Granted, it might have been better to have looked away at that particular moment; but I feel a little satisfaction in knowing that I beat my fear. My natural instinct to avoid pain. And looked that sucker all the way into my face:). I kinda always wanted a good shiner anyways. And for the next two weeks I had two black eyes. (Even got to go to prom that way...gorgeous;)

Yesterday, one of our pastors spoke about fear, using this quote from Lord of the Rings:
Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?
Éowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them, and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.

Using the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), he spoke of how we often play it safe. Shrink back from our true potential. Never take a risk. All out of fear. And, using the quote above, he put it into crisp focus-- each of us having grown old, looking back on our youth, and thinking, I missed the boat. I could have done great things...but my fears held me back. And now, because of age and weakness...it's too late.

That scared me.

God has given us all a lot to work with. Various talents and desires. Things on our hearts...goals, wishes, dreams. It got me thinking...the only thing holding me back is often myself. Who knows what God could do with me...if I just let Him. Stop burying the talents He gave me, having never really invested them in anything. I tend to be a very impatient person. It's often all or nothing for me. I don't like baby steps. I don't like the process. When I want to accomplish something, I want it right then. Here's my biggest fear-- small changes. Small goals. Small steps. But sometimes it's not about the broad but shallow waters of touching many lives...it's about deeply touching one.

I often struggle with my desire to be remembered-- to do something crazy awesome-- and my understanding that God's plan is not always about numbers or status or income or titles. It is about being a good mom. Leaving a legacy for my two kids. Being a good wife, daughter, sister, and friend. Taking risks. Stepping out of my comfort zone. And being okay with God's plan. Even if He only ever uses me right here. In my small town. In this (less than fabulous) state called Jersey:).

no fear

I'm really going to try and live by faith. Get rid of the bad fears...the ones that keep me feeling safe and comfy...but are really just the bars of a cage. A cage that stands between myself and a life where I invest myself and family in what matters most. So, if I need to get on a plane (HUGEST, HUGEST fear of mine), or speak in front of people (AHHHhhh!), or go on a missions trip to a far off place, or stay right here and work in my own community...whatever it is, I'm willing. And maybe a little scared. But, I'm gonna hold my ground. Keep my head (bowed) down. Keep my eye on the ball. It's a good feeling, even with a black eye or two, knowing you beat your fears. And kept your eye on the Prize:).

"But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." Hebrews 10:38

15 comments:

  1. awh, I absolutely adore eowyn. and i guess she illustrates your point quite well. she wanted to fight in the war, being strong and fearless, but then she realised there is much bigger strength in healing and caring for others (and i guess it takes quite a lot of guts to just go for what you seemingly despised all your life).
    thanks for talking about this, I really have the same issues often!

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  2. truly a thought-provoking post today! I feel closest to the Source in the presence of inspiring people so today, you have been my church. thank you :)

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  3. i needed to read this today.

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  4. yeah, yeah.. preach is sister from another mister. heh. May we like Peter, remember to jump out of the safety of the boat.. and walk on water when we keep our eyes on Christ!
    Mel :o)

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  5. So much truth - sometimes we don't know what impact we have & what He does with our response. It really is a process - I'm still learning that there can only be failure in not trying, not facing my fear of failure - but then how to know when to let go of trying..........the security is in knowing that He knows.... So much to think about...........thanks again for being real....& giving so much.
    Paula (PEP)

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  6. wow so well-written, friend. i love that God is so full of grace that it is never too late to do His work. thanks for sharing this, friend and being so real. :)

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  7. This post made me cry, for the past week I've been thinking about some of the things I'd wished I'd done, like following my dreams and gone to school and majored in parapsychology instead of communication, because that is where my true desires and passions have been since I was a small girl, even if it is impractical; or have just taken more chances in general. Its funny because this isn't the firt time I've read something on your blog that has inspired me,from now on I'm going to start doing the things I really want and put my fears aside and not listen to other people but my own heart, I'm not religious at all but this was really thought provoking and personal for me so thank you!

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  8. Krista, I love this post. I have been caged by fear most of my life. And it truly is a cage. Over the past few years, God has been breaking down the bars for me. It has been and continues to be a powerful and scary journey. I call it terrifyingly beautiful. There are a few things that I can think of off the top of my head that I think I should be doing, but I'm holding out because of fear. And feeling like I'm getting too old. Thanks for this post. Thanks for the inspiring blog.

    All I can say about the black eyes and broken nose is - you go girl! :)

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  9. Holy cow....I found your blog via Meet Virginia Design and this post was the first I read and it's exactly how I've been feeling lately. I really appreciate you sharing this...great analagy with overcoming our fears and being happy with the life God has given us to live. Thanks for the reminder!

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  10. I have just started to read your blog and I was delighted to know that you love our Lord Jesus, our savior and redeemer!

    I will pray for you tonight. Stepping out of our comfort zone is where the Lord can do so much work in us and through us. This is where we can be the clay and allow the Lord to mold our heart, our life, our actions and bring us into a deeper faith of Him.

    Step out girl because in His will is the safest place to be

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  11. Krista, what a wonderful post! I am sitting here with tears in my eyes, realizing you are doing so much just by writing it...this is one of those small things. Maybe only a few of us have left a comment, but I'm sure you have touched many more lives with this.

    It's can be difficult and trying to follow God's will for our lives, but He has a greater plan, and if we continue to seek Him out even in pain we will be greatly rewarded!! Continue to break down those bars and you will see great things happen!!

    xxAutumn

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  12. I know this is a bit late, but this definitely hit homes with a certain issue I am facing and have been facing since July 25th. Now that I know what I need to do to take my own risks to be free of my guilded cage, I am going to go after it to serve my purpose for my son for him to be protected...

    Thank you for this post!

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  13. Thank you sooooo much, Krista! I landed on your blog for a reason TODAY. I, too, was feeling a bit fearful of traveling miles away from home (by plane) to attend a wedding. I have been searching for every excuse *not* to go. I need to open the cage door and spread my wings and enjoy life. I know that with God, all things are possible and He will never leave my side. Although you wrote these words in 2011, they still resonate because encouragement and faith are timeless. May God continue to bless and keep you!

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