Live Out Loud Despite Fear

Right now, I’m not much of a dancer. I have rhythm, but sometimes that rhythm gets lost in translation when I have to move my arms and feet at the same time. So typically, I focus on moving just my feet or my arms, not both. I’ve always wanted to be a great dancer, and while I’ve attempted to practice in the privacy of my home, the thought of dancing in front of others terrifies me. I’d rather sky dive. You could say I was fearful.

Until recently, I thought I knew what fear was. I thought it was that sense of dread you get when you’re afraid. At least that’s what most dictionaries say. But fear is something more—it’s an unpleasant emotion that can disable you. But only if you let it. Just the other day, I heard someone say, “You can feel fear, but still do the thing that frightens you.” How?  By not waiting for the feeling of fear to disappear in order for you to act. See, the absence of fear doesn’t indicate courage—acting despite fear is what’s courageous.

I think many of us work on trying to eliminate fear before we tackle the thing that frightens us. We tell ourselves, “If I don’t feel afraid than I can do what I need to do.”

It’s not our fear that should dictate our choices or action, but the word of God. And, 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us exactly what we need to know.  

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

This is my favorite scripture because it reminds me how God designed me. I’m powerful, not fearful. I might feel scare, but that’s just a matter of my flesh—not my spirit.

I gave fear a kick to the backside this past weekend. I’ve always wanted to try Zumba, the Latin-infused dancing fitness program. But the thought of having to shake my behind in front of strangers kept me from trying it.  But since God has moved me to conquer my fears, I decided to give it a shot. I found a Zumba meet up group on Meetup.com and the classes were only $5. It was time to put my fear to rest. I was going to give this class a shot.

The first 10 minutes were difficult. Ha! It felt excruciatingly embarrassing. I fumbled through every move as I watched senior citizens effortlessly nail each move. I even stood on the dance floor for a few minutes not moving—literally disabled by my fear.  I had to leave the dance floor to regain focus. Then the Holy Spirit confronted me. “You can feel fear, but still do the thing that frightens you. Act despite your fear.”

So I went back on the floor and attempted each move to the best of my ability. You know what? By the end I felt good. I wasn’t even focused on how silly I might have looked or whether I got each step right. I was having fun and enjoying myself.

At the end of the class, I spoke to a few other participants, who comforted me by letting me know they started out just like me. But they got better with every class. I look forward to the day when I can tell a new class member that same thing.

Pushing past our fears and embracing the strength God gives us will move us closer to fulfilling the glory he has instilled in us.

The only thing that is truly fearful about us is how we’re made, not who we are. Praise God!

Read more of my faith-based writings at SimplySoulfulOne.Scriply.com

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