"There is nothing to fear but fear itself."
I've not thought about this statement probably since high school and certainly have never believed it to be true as I do today. Having lived most of my life with fear as my navigator, I didn't know what peace felt like or what it meant to look into the unknown and smile. Today is not the first day of a different perspective about fear, but it is the birth of a realization that there really is nothing to fear. There is work to be done, decisions that must be made (or will be made for me), and requirements for my preferred outcomes. But there is nothing to fear.
Fear is a disease, I think (cultured by satan of course). Once you make room for it, it begins to possess the entire vessel. It does nothing profitable for the vessel, just restrains and limits. Some talk about a healthy fear - one that says if I stand too close to the cliff, I'll fall. That, though, isn't really fear in this way. To me that's decision making, prudence perhaps. I don't want to fall off the cliff so I've decided that to ensure that outcome I won't stand too close. Refusing to ever approach a cliff for fear you might launched off of one from 100 feet away - that's the disease I'm talking about.
Anyway, as a teenager I recall heading home with my mom from a baby shower and expressing terror about childbirth. I have harbored fear of that event for many years. Because of that fear for the past few years I've been focusing on eliminating it as much as possible. Still, old habits die hard don't they? :) My sister-in-law is due to bear my first nephew in a few weeks and that's my cue that my turn will be here before I know it. So, I've been thinking about fear and what it really is and does. And guess what? I'm not afraid anymore. There's always outcomes we might not want, but ultimately, if I do my best and the worst still happens, then I have to trust the Lord that He'll use it and take care of me in the process. And in what circumstance does that not apply? The Lord is faithful, has made all the necessary provisions for our failures and what is there to fear? Instead of spending time in fear and stalling, it is my job to make wise decisions, follow through on what I know is good and right and then trust.
When you take the disease of fear out of the picture, we're just left with the responsibility to make wise decisions, proactive choices and grow into the best version of ourself. Fear isn't really a part of the equation.