Monday morning my daughter starts kindergarten. She is my first to go to elementary school. For the most part, I have kept it together really well … well, I had been keeping it together until yesterday. While I was sitting outside, my daughter sat down beside me, laid her head on my shoulder, and started crying. I asked her what was wrong. She replied, “Mom, I’m just not ready for kindergarten.”
Cue the tears … the kind that come without effort and the ones you have to use all of your might to hide.
We talked about things that frightened her—not knowing anyone, not knowing how to read just yet (she’s convinced she’s the only one), not knowing her teacher, and not completely understanding how the cafeteria works, to name a few. As we talked, my heart hurt. How many times have I been in that same situation? I remembered my first day at a new school my sophomore year in high school. Who would I sit with at lunch? Better yet, where was the cafeteria again? I thought of all the new experiences I’ve found myself in—new jobs, new Bible study groups, new churches, new neighborhoods, new small groups, new schools. College. Full-time jobs. Grad school. Marriage. Parenthood. Stay-at-home mom. So many times I’ve said the same thing— “I just don’t know if I’m ready.” And every time I’ve faced a new endeavor, I have had the same choice to make:
I can choose to walk in fear, or I can choose to walk in faith.
Too many times, unfortunately, I’ve chosen to walk in fear. It’s kept me from meeting new people, doing new things, and walking through doors that could have led to incredible experiences. I’ve had many of the same fears as my daughter—what if no one likes me? what if someone can do it better than me? what if I make a mistake? what if it turns out to not be what I expected? what if, what if, what if …
When I was younger I thought I’d outgrow many of these things that held me back, but, in reality, I haven’t. I still have to make a daily choice to walk in faith, choosing to believe God has my best interest in mind, and He will never leave or forsake me. He equips. He provides. He sustains. I just have to have faith in the One who holds it all together.
Honestly, it’s easier for me to walk in fear. In fear, I stay in my comfort zone. In fear, I don’t really worry what others think. In fear, I am safe.
In fear, however, I am not trusting God. I am not seeking to be used by Him. I am not living the abundant life God has granted me.
In faith, I may have to take a leap out of my comfort zone. I open myself up to what others think. I run the risk of making mistakes.
Walking in faith is always better than walking in fear, no matter what circumstances may come with that step of faith.
I’m not sure if this blog post is for anyone but me today. Honestly, there’s a situation I’m dealing with in my own life where I am taking a step of faith, and it has me completely frightened, uneasy, and anxious. Why choose that path when staying in my comfort zone is so much easier? I want to honor God with my life, and that involves putting all my faith in the One who has called me. I don’t know how it will turn out, but I want to at least know I am walking in obedience. And, walking in faith doesn’t mean I’m not scared. It just means I’m choosing to trust the One who has promised to work all things out for the good of those who love Him.
My daughter won’t have a choice about whether or not to go to school on Monday. She will, however, have a choice on how she chooses to take her first steps. I know she will be scared. But, I also know she will love every minute of her day. She can’t see that just yet, but she will.
What about you? Is there a step of faith you need to take today? Maybe you have been asked to lead a small group but think you aren’t wise enough. Maybe you want to participate in a group at church or work or school but you’re afraid you won’t fit in with the others. Maybe you are looking for a job … or looking to leave a job. Maybe you need to reconcile a relationship. Maybe you simply need to go across the street and invite your neighbor to church. I don’t know what steps you need to take today, but one thing I know for sure: Walking in faith will carry you much farther than walking in fear. Are you ready yet?