It's a crippling monster.
It's a hand that grips the heart, that tugs hard and then pulls the heart right out of its home.
It's a voice that whispers horrible, terrible thoughts into your ear. You're not enough. You'll never be enough. You won't succeed. You're just going to go off and fail- why should you try?
I've let this monster called fear reign over my life. Always the overly cautious child, I wasn't one to try new things. The voices in my head told me terrible things. They told me that sliding down that water slide would cause me to die. I shouldn't swim because I'd drown. That speck of dirt in my drink? Probably poisonous. These voices in my head told me that my "friends" would always betray me. That should never ever ever let anyone get close. These voices told me that I wasn't pretty enough, smart enough, friendly enough. I thought if I just tried harder that I could get these voices to go away- but they didn't leave. They made my mind their home. They infested my brain. They took control of my life- and I allowed them to. I didn't fight too hard. It was easier to believe the lies that they told me- or at least that's what they said.
I've ruined too many friendships. I've missed so many opportunities. I've lost so much. I think I'm starting to realize that fear is really an awful friend to have. It's a controlling, manipulative "friend". You see though, it's comfortable. It's the way that I've always lived. It's the way that I've always interacted. It's the way that I've always dealt with new and unknown situations. It's the "easy" way out. But, I don't want to be friends with fear anymore. I don't want to have this constant companion hanging over my shoulder. I don't want this little gray cloud to follow me everywhere I go. I want to be free. I want to have adventures. I want to live abundantly and love fully. I want to reach my dreams.
Months ago, I applied to the MSW program at Alabama. I was freaked out about it and it was a pretty last minute decision. In February, I found out that I was accepted to the program. I freaked out about it, made a visit to T-Town, and got completely overwhelmed. Since I was in the midst of treatment, I decided that it was best to defer my enrollment. For the past two months, I've regretted that decision. Ever since I was in 8th grade, I've wanted to be a social worker. Sure, I've played around with different majors. But in my heart, I wanted to help people. I wanted to love people. Since 8th grade, I've been planning this thing. But now that my dream is literally in the palm of my hand? I'm freaked out. I'm just not sure what to do.
Today I took a stand against fear. Even though I'm scared and nervous, I'm also excited. I emailed the university and "undeferred". Tonight, I registered for classes.
It's scary. I'm terrified about field experiences. I'm terrified about living in a new town. But, I don't want to listen to those voices anymore. I want to be free. I want to live and love abundantly. One of my favorite quotes describes it perfectly:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
-Marianne WilliamsonI'm not free from my fear, yet. I'm still anxious and nervous and terrified. But, I know that God has a plan for my life. The fingerprints of God have been all over this entire process. Every single part of it has lined up perfectly and come together. It's like God is sending me a sign. Even though the voices of fear seem to be shouting, the voice of God whispers softly in my ear,
It's going to be okay. I'm going to work everything out. While it might seem overwhelming right now, trust me. I've got this. I'm right here with you, holding your hand.
Nervous about professors? I parted the Red Sea and rescued a nation from captivity. I've got this.
Nervous about financial aid? I created the Earth you walk upon. Trust me.
Nervous about internships? Ever heard of a guy named Daniel? I rescued him from the lions den. I think I can handle whatever situation you are sent into.
Nervous about where you're going to live? I raised my Son from the DEAD.So, for this moment, I'm choosing faith- even though I'm blinded by fear and can't see. I'm not letting fear stop me from my dreams. I'm not letting fear take over. I'm trusting. I'm waiting anxiously to see the face of God. I'm choosing to let situations come as they may. Are my worries valid? Yeah, sure. Could things go horribly wrong? Yeah, sure. But, for today, I'm choosing the path of peace. I'm choosing faith. I'm choosing life...a life lived abundantly.