DANCING WITH FEAR

“Fear is not what will win.” He stands in front of us, hands in his pockets, relaxed stance, firm voice. “We have all been there in tragedy, when it is hard to get out of bed. But in the end there is light and hope.” The minister stands in front of his congregation, offering these words of consolation and faith. His belief soothes me — I notice the sun dancing through the stain glass bringing color into the church, as his words bring warm colors of hope into my tired heart.
 
Lately, I cry in church. Three out of four Sundays, I am crying, and I’ve decided to embrace them because I know my tears are fear being released. Every week, they make rivers down my face. My husband supports me and allows my weeping; he hands me a Kleenex. Starting out on my own, even with all the support of my family, my church and my community, I have to admit it’s scary quitting a consistent paycheck. Wondering if I am determined and disciplined enough to do the work I feel called to do. . Today in church,my fear is still there. It doesn’t rest on Sundays. And yet, in some ways fear drives my work and has become an ugly blessing that keeps me going.
 
When we are kids, our fears are external. Monsters under the bed, parental approval, loud thunder. But as an adult, your fears become internalized, do you ever feel that way? As an adult, there are no monsters except the ones I create with my own thoughts. They are sneaky. They dance around, trying to sneak into my spirit. My own thought monsters hide in the crevices of my mind, waiting to jump out at me like a spooky bedtime story. But even bigger than the fears of what my monsters do to me, I fear that if I don’t tackle them myself, they will creep into my daughter. Motherhood makes me face my fears. It is the courage I get from loving my daughter that moves me — makes me jump out of bed every day and get busy. The fear moves, then I move. It’s the dance all adults do. But as I practice daily courage, the tide starts to turn. nowadays, I’m starting to lead the dance.
 
Now I turn it to you, readers. How do you tackle your fears? If you are a mom, how do you ensure the monsterish dances you do stay away from your children? It’s a challenge! But take courage, there is strength in tears, strength in admitting fears, and strength to be found in the love you have for those around you. May you and I both always find the courage to lead the dance.