Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (Deuteronomy 31:6)
By: Heather Riggleman
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)
This was my moment to push through. Feel the fear and do it anyway; I told myself with the acute awareness there was over 1,000 pounds of power, muscle, and bones beneath me. The day was supposed to be spent bonding with my daughter via horseback.
I used to love to ride. Horses were my freedom to roam on my uncle's ranch until one accident changed everything. Deep jagged scars on my forearms glare brightly in the sun, a constant reminder of the accident. Its ugly hues of white and pink were never more apparent than at that moment. How I missed the freedom and trust I once had!
I watched my daughter giggle as her horse turned to nibble at her shoe. I desperately wanted a dose of her fearlessness. Breathing out a shaky breath, I tried to relax, but experience taught me horses jump sideways, buck, and bolt in the blink of an eye.
Taylor shook his mane and danced, antsy to get home. I squeezed my legs and froze, scared he was ready to bolt. Christine, our riding instructor, appeared at my side, patting his neck. She recognized my crisis. She didn’t belittle me nor did she cater it. Instead, she acknowledged my fear and walked beside me. “If you can sit with your fear today, you will fear less tomorrow,” she said.
Her words resonated with so many areas of my life. Later, I sat with her words and had a realization. Fear had become an unwelcome paralysis in my life, damaging my relationships and hindering my faith. Or so I thought: because I didn’t understand what fear really was.
What if fear wasn’t the bully or tyrant I thought it was? What if fear wasn’t here to cause problems but to help us come alive? How would our lives, connections and relationships transform if we sat with fear? What if we believed Jesus was walking beside us, teaching us the benefit of understanding fear in an authentic way?
In Deuteronomy 31:6, the Lord promised He would never leave me or forsake me: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Today’s key verse reminds us God is with us no matter the situation or moment. He came to give us life so that we may live it abundantly. A part of living a life in Jesus Christ is remembering fear isn’t in charge. God is!
This realization has transformed my soul. It has been a holy awakening of sorts. God reached out his hand to me and said, “Heather, stop believing how fear could hurt you and believe in me.”
Since that moment, God has breathed new life into the meaning and made it mean new things in new seasons of my life. I have held onto that idea since first feeling the fear of 1,000 pounds beneath my body several months ago.
I sat at fear’s feet as I struggled to find my voice again as a writer.
I welcomed fear when I learned I had uterine cancer.
I met fear as tears glided down my face as I was rolled into surgery for a total hysterectomy.
I thanked fear when it presented itself in the confines of marriage counseling.
This fresh perspective of fear has taught me to not run, not hide, not whimper, not panic, and not freeze. Integrate instead of disintegrate; instead feel it, face it and do it anyway. We can face fear because God is with us, He is bigger than the fear in front of us. Face the fear and do it anyway because He is always with you.
Heather Riggleman is an author, freelance writer, speaker, award-winning journalist and podcast co-host of the Moms Together Podcast. She calls Nebraska home with her three kids, her husband of 22 years, and two obsessive cats that follow her everywhere. She believes Jazzercise, Jesus, and tacos can fix anything and not necessarily in that order! She is the author of I Call Him By Name Bible Study, the Bold Truths Prayer Journal, Mama Needs a Time Out, and Let’s Talk About Prayer and a contributor to several books. Visit www.heatherriggleman.com or on Facebook.
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