If you want to get my skin to crawl say the word “spider”. I hate the things.
Now for all of you who like the fact that they kill other bugs, thereby protecting your gardens, and they are more scared of you than you are of them crowd, I say, well...yeah…whatever. I fight tears every time I am near one. I know that in the grand scheme of things this fear is irrational and petty, but it is something I need to overcome.
There are other things that I am afraid of too. Things that are not as corporeal as spiders. Things like fear of failure and the fear of rejection.
These fears are more common than you think. Next time you are in a crowd, look to your left, look to your right: chances are one of those people have at least one of these hang-ups. I have no farther to look than in the mirror.
I know where these things come from. I am a kid of divorce and after several different types of separations from loved ones as a young person, I became highly sensitized to any form of rejection. As a matter of course, I became so highly attuned to rejection; I began to react before anyone had a chance to reject me. I became the emotional equivalent to the porcupine. I was a jerk. I saw offense and slight were there was none, or blew little things up until they were huge things.
For me the fear of failure also stems from some similar circumstances. My relationships never seemed to work out; I couldn't keep friends, or really make quality friends. I had moderate success at work, but something always seemed to go wrong, and I never could quite make a go of anything in my career. I began giving up before I even tried, because that seemed easier than failing later.
Though I had all this potential, an IQ in the low 130s, moderately educated, my friends called me a fountain of useless knowledge: and that is how I felt: useless. Then something happened.
I took a real look at what it meant to be fearful. Stuck, cowardly, whining and living my life like a victim was all fear ever got me. I was tired of it. I wanted to be confident. I wanted to be authoritative. I wanted to live without fear of rejection or failure.
So I gave it all up. I gave God my fear, my pain, my hurt, and I asked for courage: courage to do something, anything, and have success in it.
It hasn't been easy.
When I first give something to God I sometimes treat it like the baggage claim area of an airport. I lay my baggage down, watch it leave through a little whole in the wall, and then I stand there, waiting.
Sure enough, it comes back around again.
I know my baggage immediately.
It has been mine for a while.
I have lugged it around for years. I know the weight of it, the way the handle feels in my hand. The temptation to pick it back up again is there. But in order to surrender fully to the experience of giving my burdens to God, I have to walk away from the conveyor.
You do too.
Once we do, we are filled with relief. We no longer bare the weight of our burden, and we realize how truly light God’s love makes us.
Joshua 1:9 says this:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
So lay your burdens and your baggage down. Let go of the fear, and just know God has you, and He has this, whatever “this” is.
What are you letting go?