Honestly, when I hear the word ‘fearless’ my first though is always that Taylor Swift song. “And I don’t know how it gets better than this, you take my hand and drag me head first- fearless. And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress- Fearless.” You see, here’s the thing about this song, the thought of her dancing in a storm in her nicest dress sort of makes me cringe. Why isn’t she worried about ruining her dress? Why isn’t she worried about her make up going everywhere? Doesn’t she have something to do? This cheesy song shows a nice glimpse into my heart. I am in fact not fearless. Not even in the slightest.
I never really knew how fearful I really was. I know I struggle with anxiety, but is that really fear? I like to think of it more like being mindful of the possible outcomes. But let’s all be honest here, I am fearful. This fearfulness shows itself in so many ways in my life. This could be worry, stress, anxiety, frustration, but all of these emotions stem back to fear.
Recently, a group of women and I began a series about being brave. I was so excited to start the study. I thought to myself “Perfect! I am super brave. I am like the bravest person ever. I’ll basically talk to anyone about Jesus. I totally am not scared to ask my friends the hard questions. I am so good at calling my friends out. Courage is pretty much my middle name. Basically, I am just going to be teaching the other women what it looks like to be brave. So, awesome.” Silly, silly me. As I began to read the book, I felt myself shrinking back. Instead of the book teaching being brave enough to share my faith and have intentional conversations, it focused on what it looks like to be brave enough to deal with your own heart. Oh bless.
I learned through the study that I am actually insanely fearful. I am constantly fearful of letting others down. I fear for my future. I fear for my marriage. I am terrified of what others think about me. I cringe at the thought of dealing with the dark places in my heart. I really could go on and on for an encyclopedia-sized book. I’ll save you guys the trouble and we will leave it with, I am a fearful human.
This got me thinking, where does this fear stem from? Have I not seen God provide for me before? Have I forgotten his power? Do I just forget that no matter what this life brings, my soul is sealed? Basically what it comes down to is that my heart doesn’t believe that the Lord is good and that he is fighting for me. I am not sure that my heart completely believes that my worth isn’t based upon my performance. This is why I am constantly stressing about other people’s opinion of me. This is why I take on much more than I can handle. This is why I have chosen being busy over connecting with others. This is why I am changing into a person that I don’t even know.
But this ends today. I am beginning to believe what the Lord says about me. I am beginning to meditate on scripture like Luke 12:6-7. “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Yes, my Father sees me. Yes, he knows my heart. Yes, he values me. No, I do not have to earn his approval or the approval of the people around me.
May we press towards fearlessness today. May we lean into our fear and into a God who faithfully understands our humanity. I am still learning. I have not reach the end of the fearless journey, but I pray that together we can embrace our fears, hand them to a God who can handle them, and walk towards a life of fearlessness. Maybe we will even dance in a storm in our very best dress.
Cassie Thomas is the Director of Student Life at a Christian university in Rome, Ga.