Last week, I shared about being tethered and walking on a ropes course at a ladies’ retreat. So many life lessons came from that afternoon.
On the ropes course, each woman was on equal ground. Sure, some came in having suffered the loss of marriages, or children, or the death of a loved one. We all came in with the lies we struggle to erase. We—each of us—had at least a small degree of fear.
Yet, when we gazed up at the course—when we dared glance down from the zipline platform before plunging into space—we were women who wanted to do something daring.
Each woman who traversed the course displayed courage framed in by cables. Each of us stepped our way across from the beginning to the end, cheered on by the women watching below. We took steps in faith.
Faith that the cables would hold us.
Faith in the tethers that bound our bodies to the cables.
Ultimately faith that the Lord would cross with us and keep us safe as we stepped out into space.
As women paired up to make the crossing it was fun to see them—eyes uncertain, yet sparkling.
Something happens when you overcome a fear. Sometimes we can only succeed with the cheers and encouragements of those around us.
On the zipline, the women who made the decision to just go for it found it easier. Those who sat on the platform staring at the ground found it more difficult to make the drop.
But, women watching below encouraged them.
Prayed for them.
Some women initially hesitated before taking the plunge into nothing. Once they released themselves into the air and survived, they knew they’d conquered that fear. They could do it again. And some of them did.
Isn’t that how it is in life? Most of us fear something. Sometimes the fear seems insurmountable. We don’t think we can overcome it. But, someone (or many someones) come alongside and encourage us, reminding us Who goes with us. First of all God, but also people who have walked a similar path. I’ve been pondering these experiences and lessons learned on the zipline.
Four Steps Toward Overcoming Fear:
- Know that God is with you—all around you, above and below. He isn’t taken by surprise with your life’s circumstances. He knows the fears you deal with, and He doesn’t expect you to handle them on your own. He’s the One to tether yourself to when the fears seem too big to overcome.
- Make up your mind that you’re going to master it. No, it won’t be easy, but determining in your mind— in your heart—that you will face the fear is the biggest part of the battle. Once you make up your mind to conquer it, cement the determination in your heart.
Sometimes this comes through finding someone/something that inspires you to move forward. One “afraid-of-heights” friend told me she considered me to be a cautious person. So, when I braved the ropes course last year, she decided she could do it too. And she did.
3. Enlist warriors to walk beside you. God created us to be interdependent. We’re not designed to walk through this life alone. You’re not alone in dealing with your fear. Find trustworthy people who will pray for you, speak truth and encouragement to you. This is especially important when your determination wavers.
4. Act. Determination is good, but if we don’t act on it, we never change. If needed, create a plan to help you overcome your fear. Set goals and get your cheerleaders on board with you.
Your fear may not be one of heights. Maybe it’s handling a difficult situation. Or speaking in front of people. Maybe it’s dealing with a hurtful relationship. When we let fear master us, we live in subjection to a pattern of thinking that holds us captive.
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.
Let’s stop letting fear overcome us and take action today.
What about you? What fear have you overcome? What helped you master it? What suggestion would you add to my list?