Friday, August 24, 2012

Fearless Living

The fear has been the bane of my existence.

From my earliest memories, it's always been there... yapping at my heels... keeping me on the move.

My appreciation for dogs is quite minimal, to say the least.  Ok, so there've been a few over the years that have worked their way onto The List of "tolerable dogs of the world".  The first was Betsy.  She was my Uncle Ray's dog and the first whom I allowed within 10 feet of myself.  My grandparent's dog, Bear, came in second.  He was laid back, friendly and willing to leave me alone.  He made The List as well.

But, oh the memories of the ones who never made The List!  There was the little nasty thing that chased me across the yard at the home of some relatives (whose names I do not recall) in Georgia... or maybe it was Iowa.  Either way, the little monster was possessed.  Had orange eyes that glowed... and fangs that were longer than my pinky finger.   (At least that's how I remember him.)

The Georgia/Iowa dog was joined by Dog-That-Chased-Me-Through-A-Houseful-Of-Ladies-Until-I-Knocked-Over-A-Large-Plant-And-Thoroughly-Embarrassed-My-Mother.  Mom finally forgave me for that in 2011.  (I'm kidding)

By now, I think I can say that I've overcome my fear for the most part, but there are still times when the anxiety rears it's ugly head and I feel like that little girl again... running full speed ahead... Chihuahua on her heels.

When I first considered running, my fear of dogs was one of my concerns.  I scoped out the area and over time deemed my neighboring dogs worthy of The List.

One day while running past my next door neighbors home, I could hear her dog barking.  My heart skipped a beat, until I saw that he was in his kennel so I relaxed and kept running.

Fear is crippling.  God showed me that in a beautiful illustration that morning.

He said, "Lynette, your purpose right now is to run, but if you let your fear of that dog take over, you're going to end up running too fast right now - leaving you with no energy to reach the finish line."

It was an "aha" moment for me.

You see, the thing I feared the most that morning, was right there.   He was so close, I could hear him.  In fact, I could see him.... but he couldn't touch me.  He wasn't given permission to come near me.  The borders of his kennel didn't allow it.  He could make all the noise he wanted, but he couldn't approach.

This world has a limitless supply of "Things To Fear".  But, you were not called to fear-filled living.  Fear-filled living means always looking over your shoulder, panicked running, and exhaustion miles before the finish line. 

Rather, you are invited to living a life of trust.  Of faith.  Of hope. 

God has your life in the palm of His hand... and the things you fear?  When running with God, those things aren't allowed access to your life unless He grants them entrance.

So run with peace for if God allows the barking dogs of your life to come towards you, He'll also give you the strength you need to rise above your fears and keep running.

Your hand in His.

And at peace.

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