Well, we have reached the half-way point of the book. I won’t say that we have reached the half-way point of our journey though because the journey will continue long after we have finished the book.
This week’s chapters were something that I needed to read and grasp. (I’m still working on the grasping part.) They are on overcoming fear and the disclaimers that come with pursuing your dream.
A Guide to Overcoming Fear
As I said on Friday, fear is something I struggle with. I have let it become a part of my identity and many times it has kept me from obeying God. I wish that I had waited to write Friday’s post because after reading this chapter in You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream I have a much better concept on how to handle fear.
In this chapter Holley points out that you will face fear. It’s not an “if” but a “when.” Fear is an emotion that we will all face at some point(s) in our life. She also points out that fear in itself is not a sin. Feeling fear is not a sin. Fear becomes a sin when we let it keep us from obedience to God.
Fear is an emotion, and like any other emotions it is not good or bad in itself. It is neutral. It is how we handle fear or how we behave when we are fearful that can make it good or bad.
So how do we handle fear?
Step 1: Stop avoiding it. Fear is something that we are going to experience, but many times we go out of our way to avoid feeling it. We have to stop avoiding it.
Step 2: Face your fear. Write down your fears and take a good look at them. Your fears are attached to something important in your life. What are they? What are they attached to?
Step 3: Be the boss of your fear. Take control of your fear. Don’t let it take control of you. This is something I need to work on. I let fear control me especially lately, but I need to stop and take control of my fear.
Step 4: Train your fear. How do you train your fear? By feeding it the truth of God’s Word. We are told 365 times in the Bible, “Do not be afraid.” Look up those verses. Memorize them. Post them around you. Carry them with you. And when you feel afraid, read them. Quote them. Feed yourself the truth.
If feeding your fears the truth doesn’t seem to be working, ignore your fears. Keep calm and continue on with your dreams. Eventually your fears will turn tail and run or you start to tune them out.
Step 5: Make your fear work for you. Listen to your fears. If your fears are helpful, they will tell you about something specific that you need to take action on. If they are not, train them. Your fears tell you about what is important to you. Your fears can energize you. Think of the excitement of riding a roller coaster or going through a haunted house. Your fears can also lead you to God’s love, and they can expand your faith.
According to Holley, fear is a gift…because it shows us what is important to us and helps to keep us from harm. I want to learn to see my fears this way because I can’t let them control me anymore. I need to be controlling them.
It seems like everything comes with a disclaimer anymore, and that includes our God-sized dreams. When we are dreaming our God-sized dreams, we see the big picture and everything seems perfect and happy along the way. We forget about the disclaimers.
Disclaimer #1: You will never feel ready. Let’s face it. Many of us put on dreams on hold because we think that everything has to be perfect or that we will know when it is time because we will feel ready, and many of those dreams go unrealized because things will never be perfect and we will never be ready. If you wait until you are ready, you will be waiting forever. The truth: you don’t have to be ready for all of it. You just have to be ready for the next step.
“When we don’t feel ready, God has the opportunity to get the most glory.”—Holley Gerth
Disclaimer #2: You will not like your dream sometimes. This is so true for me lately especially when it comes to blogging. I love the writing, but I do not like everything else that comes with it. But this blog is a dream of mine, and it is where God has shown me that He wants me to be right now so I keep plodding along and praying that He changes my heart and that it gets easier.
Disclaimer #3: You will sometimes feel alone. I had to kind of laugh at this one because in my experience, no matter what dream I have been pursuing, I have always felt alone. I’m not saying that I haven’t had support or encouragement from others in pursuing my dreams, but rather that I have always felt out of step with others and that because my dream is my dream I alone have the vision to make that dream come true.
Disclaimer #4: Success will look different than you think. Success in our God-sized dreams isn’t about wealth or status like the world tells us. If you want to be successful in your God-sized dream, just be obedient to the One who gave you the dream. That is true success.
Disclaimer #5: One day this dream will be your new normal. This dream, whatever it is, is going to be your normal one day and you will be pursuing a different dream. Believe it. Count on it and watch it happen.
Now I want to hear from you. What are some of your fears that are holding you back from pursuing your God-sized dream?
What are some Bible verses you read or quote to help you overcome your fears? (See Friday’s post for a free printable with 22 verses to help you overcome your fears.)
What are some ways that you can make your fears work for you?
What are some successes that you have had that have looked different that you thought?
What do you do when you don’t like your dream at the moment?
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