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Heart pounding, I was anything but fearless.
Taking a deep breath, I stepped off of the white bus with five fellow students. I glanced up at the tall tree with the orange flowers; it looked so different at night.
Peering down the street, I took a deep breath. The house I was staying at during my time studying in Costa Rica was only a five minute walk from the tall tree with the orange flowers (if I practically sprinted)… but the fact that my house was the farthest away from everyone else’s didn’t bode well with me. I gulped.
This was exactly why I refused to be out after dark during my time in Costa Rica- I didn’t want to have to walk home in it. And considering the fact that it was pitch black around 6 PM… I didn’t go out much.
However, this night our teachers required that we all go out for a “girls’ night” at a fancy restaurant on a mountain outside of San José since this was the last Thursday of our trip. The pretty restaurant had a peaceful atmosphere and seeing all of the city lights down below had a calming effect on me.
But now that I was actually back in the city, I felt anything but calm. My breaths quickened and my eyes darted around. My hands tightly clasped around my purse and I glanced down at my watch.
11:16 PM. Holy cow! I typically had been falling asleep around 9…
One of the girls in my small little group lived down the street perpendicular from the tall tree with the orange flowers. She hugged us good night and we watched from the street corner as she walked to her house.
Then we all trekked a little further, and then arrived at another girl’s street and watched her walk to her house.
Anxiety crept into my heart as our group grew smaller. The worrisome thought of “My house is the farthest away- will I have to walk alone?” replayed and replayed in my mind like a broken record.
Two girls crossed the street, as their houses were on a street that branched out from that side of the road. I kept moving, keeping my eyes wide and fixed straight ahead.
The girls remaining with me discussed who would walk to my street with me. I guess they could tell I was afraid. Maybe the light of the full moon reflected off of my white-with-terror face.
Eventually we decided that the two girls on the other side of the street would walk me home and then they would go to their houses together so no one would have to walk by themselves.
“Kara, you need to go to the other side of the street.” One girl bluntly stated.
I nodded. Jaw clenched. Kept walking straight ahead on the sidewalk I was on. I did not want to cross the road and then have to cross back just a few minutes later. That seemed like a waste of my precious energy.
“They’re the ones walking you home, you need to be with them.” She bossily said.
Something within me snapped. “I KNOW!” I lashed out. “I know.”
Shock briefly crossed that girl’s face and I sped past her, tears filling my eyes. I can’t believe I just snapped at her!
My emotions were at an all time high. I continued walking on my side of the sidewalk so I wouldn’t have to cross the road and then cross it back once we got to my street. Eventually, the two other girls crossed to my side.
We passed the bakery and the soccer field, both of which looked eery in the dark.
Finally, we reached my street. The girls stopped at the corner to watch me speed to my house. I tightly grabbed my purse and then ran down my street, jumping when the big dog behind one of my neighbors’ gates started barking angrily at me.
Finally I reached my house and waved goodbye to the girls at the corner. They waved back and I reached in my purse to take out the key. It was the first time I had to unlock the chain around the gate since my Tica mom usually kept the chain unlocked during the day.
I trembled as I stuck the key in the lock. Fiddling with it, I finally got it open and moved on to unlock the gate. Eventually, I got inside the gate and then inside the house.
I collapsed into my bed and finally allowed the tears to flow from my eyes. Exhausted and scared, I breathed a sigh of relief, thankful to be home.
I thought back to when I snapped at my fellow classmate. With a sinking feeling, I knew I owed her an apology and needed to ask for her forgiveness in the morning. I dreaded that encounter, but knew God would want me to do it.
That night was one of my scariest moments
of my life during my trip to Costa Rica. I know my fear was practical- for one thing it was after dark, and for another thing I was in a foreign country.
Something awful could have happened that night… but it didn’t.
And I let my fear outweigh my trust in God.
When we fear, it is because we have a wrong view of God.
It is because we are doubting that God is an all powerful God who is able to protect us. Who has a plan for us.
So when we feel afraid, we can counter those fears with these truths about God.
1. God made everything.
“I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like the grass, and have forgotten the LORD, your maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth.” -Isaiah 51:12-13a (ESV)
If we believe that God made everything, then that means He is more powerful than everything.
He will protect us. Through remembering that He created everything, even the scary stuff, we can embark on the road to fearless living.
2. We are God’s children.
“But now, this is what the LORD says– he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” -Isaiah 43:1 NIV
God redeemed us, and not only are we His creation, but we are also His children.
Children of the King do not fear about something in the kingdom harming them. They know they are under the protection of their Father, and so they are fearless.
Imagine a dad who holds their child’s hand as they cross the street because he doesn’t want the child to get hurt by a car. God is that father, and we are His children; He is holding our hand so that He protects us, and so that we can feel comfort from Him.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” -Psalm 46:1-3 (ESV)
When horrible things are happening around us, and when we feel like we have every right in the world to be afraid, we don’t have to fear.
Even when shootings are happening around us and even in the midst of terrorism, God is our refuge and strength, and therefore we will be fearless.
4. God is with us.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” -Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
God is with us; He is by our side enabling us to live fearless lives.
Think of Him kinda like a body guard- things would have to get through Him in order to get at you. And so those bad, scary things that do come at you, you can know He has a purpose in the trial. And He will be beside you every step of the way.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” –Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
So when you are afraid, will you put your trust in God?
Believing that He is powerful enough to protect and comfort us is the only way we can be truly fearless.
My prayer is that the following verse will become your battle cry- that you will scream it from the rooftops whenever the enemy desires for you to live a life full of fear.
“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” -Psalm 56:3-4 (NIV)
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