by Lakelie Simoneaux

Fear is a funny thing. It can be paralyzing, incapacitating, and blinding. Let’s be honest; fear can bring the strongest person to their knees! Last summer I had the chance to visit the Johnson Shut-ins in Missouri with my girls, for a day of exploring and fun. We climbed over rocks and waded through shallow waters, weaving our way through people as we made our way down stream. I was enjoying myself, feeling adventurous and surprising myself with my agility, until we came to an area of still, deep, dark water. This lay between us and an unpopulated area of the river, with a pebble beach where we could relax or continue downstream. The girls wanted to get away from the crowd and enjoy the sun and scenery, but I froze. The shallow water was fine as was the deep water, as long as I could see the bottom. But this was a different story; even though the water was crystal clear, I could not see the bottom, which meant I could not see what was lurking in the deep, dark abyss. My imagination went crazy, anything, I mean, ANYTHING could be lying in wait down there and at the moment I commit to the depths, pounce on my little toes. Standing there at the edge of the deep water, momentarily paralyzed by fear, I was reminded of other moments of overwhelming fear in my life.

Life throws many fear-filled moments at us and it is not the absence of fear that makes a great person, but rather the way that person deals with the fear. The Bible tells us "For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) When we let fear rule the day, we miss out on God’s true and perfect plan for us. When we allow fear to rule our lives, we take God out of the equation.   If I had let fear immobilize me and refused to strike out across that deep, dark water, I would have missed out on a fun adventure with my girls. Was it scary? Yes! But I refused to let what’s scares me, rule my life. There are many things I do in my day to day life that terrify me, but I refuse to live a life dictated to by that fear. Instead I choose to give my fear to God and trust Him to get me through it.

I firmly believe if God brings you to it, He will not only walk with you through it, but if you allow Him to, He will GROW you through it. He will walk right through the middle of your fear filled moment with you. Psalms 118:6 says, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” The NLT says it this way, “God is for me”. What a powerful truth. God is walking with me; HE IS FOR ME; I have no reason to fear!  Psalms 34:3 says What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. And last but not least, my favorite verse that drives His companionship for us home is found in Psalms 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

So, why fear?  Instead choose to trust. Make the choice I did that day, push out into the deep, dark water, committing to the challenge, and refusing to miss out on what God wants to do through you. Choose to believe that God is working it out for your good. Choose to trust Him in your fear filled moments. Remember that God is walking with you; He knows right where you are and He will not leave you! Make the choice to live a fearless life. Be Bold! Be Brave! God is for you!

Lakelie Simoneaux