Natural Born Fearer

I am a natural born fearer.

Hard conversations scare me. Heights scare me. Bills scare me. Risk scares me. Being too much scares me. Not being enough scares me. Traffic scares me. Being alone scares me. There is no happy medium in my soul—if it can be done (or done to me), I am probably afraid of it.

2010 was a year of risk for me. I did things I swore I'd never do, I got rid of things I wanted to keep forever, I moved to a state I hated upon first sight, I quit things that hurt to quit and I left somewhere that is branded on my heart as home. I stared fear in its face and gave it the bird. It was risk born of desperation and I recommend this risk. I think that sometimes the only thing to do is to do it big or not do it at all.

Staring fear in the face and moving ahead anyway, though, didn't alleviate the fear, it was just shoved aside for a bit.

So when I embarked on 2011, my word was fearless.

I wanted to take all the same risks, live just as flexibly, with open hands, but I wanted to bolster those actions with a full-bodied faith and confidence. And I didn't want my confidence to be in the fact that I could do all the things that I'd been afraid of doing before, I wanted my confidence to be in the character of God and His faithfulness to His word.

Our little home spent all day outside yesterday. God gave us a home with trees and a deck, and a December 31st for the books. It was 72 degrees, warm, clear, perfect. We perched on hammocks and chairs; I spread my notebooks and bible out, put my ear-buds in, and ushered in 2012.

Fearless, I read, in my notebook from January 2011. Right there. Penned into the page, I read a word that seemed so impossible last December 31st. I was eeking by on pennies, making art to my heart's content, joy-filled, peace-filled, but I'll be honest with you, I was shaking in my shoes every time I walked through the door of my church and I felt panicky at the slightest bit of interaction with people outside my roommates. I was doing it, but I was doing it shackled by a fear that stuck to me like bad cough at Christmas.

I checked my heart yesterday, and checked it again. I gave myself a few hypotheticals, a few scenarios. Wait for it, I told myself, wait for it. You'll find that fear somewhere.

And yet, I couldn't.

The vestiges of it, the residue of it, and the hints of it were gone.

He is faithful to His word. This year He showed that faithfulness by being faithful to my word. He imparted fearlessness in me. For now. For today.

And that is the miracle of 2011.