Thousands of thoughts pass through our mind each and every day. Some build us up. Others tear us down. They direct our steps. They hinder some. For this week to be all that it can be, all it was destined to be, it will require you to do one thing differently. It will require you to silence fear.

In any given day I could fear the future of our country. I could the fear systemic racism my son will undoubtedly struggle within his lifetime. I could fear what you think of these words I post on the Internet week after week. I could fear for my health. I could fear that my dreams will be derailed. I could fear there won’t be enough food for my table. I have no shortage of things to fret about.

What about you? Does fear of what others will think or say consume you? Are you overcome with what could go wrong? Are you so paralyzed by fear that the abundant and vibrant life you were meant to live sits tucked under a mound of worry?

I tell you now, fear has no place in the lives of brave, Jesus-loving women. Fear has kept me from doing the right thing, the hard thing, far too many times. What I failed to realize is that fear only has the power I choose to give it.

Bravery is a much better option.

Bravery says you’ll fight for what you believe in, be vulnerable with those you trust, not fear what other’s will think, and boldly walk in the fullness of God. As you fold laundry, negotiate in that meeting, have that lunch date, wrangle those kids, have the hard conversation with a friend, and take a moment to yourself, remember, you were born for this.

2 Timothy 1:7 tell us, ” For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 

I don’t know when fear finds you but it sneaks up on me most often when I’m alone. It’s when my thoughts get to me. It’s when I’m tired. Feeling weak. Since having kids, my fear meter has gone through the roof. In those moments, I take a deep breath and let the words from 2 Timothy ring true over my noisy heart.

May the words that have calmed my heart calm yours.

Dear sister, you are not a coward. You are not bound to this fear in such a way God cannot redeem your shaky self. He is faithful, powerful, and sovereign. May his firm grip on your shoulder assure you that you are not alone. The Shepherd goes before you. The Rescuer rides in on his white horse, with mercy and truth.

Take the fearful thoughts captive. Offer them to the Redeemer. He will be faithful to exchange your fear with love, hope, and bravery. He will not fail you. He will not hang you out to dry. He brought you this far and he intends to lead you on.

If fear won, Moses wouldn’t have led the Israelites across the Red Sea. If fear won, Noah wouldn’t have built the ark. If fear won, Esther wouldn’t have approached Xerxes. If fear won, Abraham wouldn’t be the father of many nations. If fear won, Deborah wouldn’t have led her army to victory over the Canaanites. If fear won, Gideon wouldn’t have defeated the Midianites. If fear won, we would not know the strength, grace, and victory of those who’ve gone before us, offering us living proof that God is for us.

You may not slay an opposing army or witness the Red Sea part, but you will face fear. You will have an opportunity to lean into the Master or crumble under the weight of worry. May your choice be rooted in power and love. For this is the way to live.

In the words of Jericho (my five-year-old son), “the only thing you have to fear is fear itself… and bears.”

Since most of us won’t encounter bears on a regular basis, let us silence fear and commune with the God who made us, cares for us, and fights for us.