Create + Write + Inspire
by Jennifer Kelly on September 18th, 2014

What am I so afraid of?

THAT IS THE QUESTION. The one-million-dollar, life-changing, freedom-giving QUESTION.

Fear is the one thing that I continuously face throughout time and space. And yet, I don't always realize it's fear that I'm facing. Fear (in of itself) has many faces, lives in many places, and is so often unrecognizable in my day-to-day decisions.

I don't want to spend a lot of time talking about spotting fear in actions, decisions, conversations, and relationships (or lack there-of). We all know that fear is a manipulator, demobilizes, and all-out saboteur. Fear can be big and dark and scary, but it can also be subtle and small and grey, unrecognizable if we aren't paying attention.

Where I want to live and speak and lie and move and gravitate to: is FREEDOM. Maybe because I've experienced it. Maybe because once you smell the taste of true, air-breathing, savoring freedom, you want more.

The scales of fear peel back so slowly (and so painfully) in the beginning, because where you once could only see darkness, now exists this glimpse of light. Where your bones ached from immobility and stagnation, now (all of a sudden) they experience the pure joy from a simple twitch of the thumb or the independence gained from standing on your own two feet. 

You can't even. I mean truly, don't-know-how, to (act) or (move) or (speak) when you first start experiencing real freedom, because you've been captive for far too long. It's why Scripture proclaims, "For in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).

Freedom is a rhythm. It's a song, a verse, an act, an offering, a prayer, a service. Freedom is found in the quiet, in discipline, and in contemplation. Freedom is given to those who believe. Really, truly, believe that Jesus makes all the difference in the world.

And it-is-the craziest thing because: Freedom is found in surrender. In lifting up your hands. In getting on your knees. In submission. In forgiveness.

Brennan Manning says it best when he wrote, "Freedom in Christ produces a healthy independence from peer pressure, people-pleasing, and the bondage of human respect... In Christ Jesus freedom from fear empowers us to let go of the desire to appear good, so that we can move freely in the mystery of who we really are" (The Ragamuffin Gospel).

Freedom from fear is part of the journey from being caught in the in-between.
Fighting fear is the part of the struggle to be who you are meant to be.
You have to practice (EVERY DAY) to beget bravery, to be who you are meant to be.

It's Paul who writes, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free" (Galatians 5:1).

Whenever I look to Jesus for my identity, value, love, and worth... when I see my reflection in Him, my actions spring forth because of His great love for me, and I get hope in return. And (Hope) is not some fairy word that gets sprinkled around to make us feel better - although we tend to use it like that. Hope is assurance.

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).

Do you see it?

Yes, Jennifer is a messy, crazy, sinner of a human-being. Oh, but Jesus reached down, (and extended an over-abundant amount of patience), so that I might be His. The mystery that is me, is being found in Him. I get to see a little more of me when I (live) and (move) and (have) my being in Him (again; Acts 17:28).

I don't worry (as much) that other people most likely think I am a fanatical-crazy-Jesus loving person. My brain is relaxed to function more creatively. I have more fun with my girls. My heart is worn a little further down my sleeve. Life becomes precious and raw and exciting. Sober thoughts make the sky vivid and real. Life is not taken for granted and delivered in a way that I never expected.

I make cookies and put them in a basket and ask my neighbor, "How are you?". I'm more patient with my husband. I dance and sing and write. I have rhythm. The type of rhythm that comes with freedom. The type of freedom that can only be found in the precious name of Jesus. Because He loves me.

And every time I exercise my freedom in Christ, hope ABOUNDS. And once, where fear abounded, now finds itself in the shadow of the cross. Immovable and demobilized by the power of Christ's blood that has claimed my soul.

So practice your freedom. Pray with your husband. Do devotions with your kids. Read a new story. Turn off the television. Meet new friends. Speak the truth. Take that class. Go on that trip. Put down the bottle. Whatever the Holy Spirit is drawing you to do, try. Make mistakes. Write the wrong year. Send the e-mail.

Practice your rhythm.

Say 'Goodbye' to fear.
And 'Hello' to freedom & (a-whole-heck-of-a-lot) of hope.

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Mike Kelly - September 18th, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Really good piece, encouraging and motivational. The best part is if we will make those decisions we have no idea what God has in store and what hangs in the balance. Let no opportunity go unnoticed!
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