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Fear and faith can’t co-exist.

Why are we not where we want to be? Why are you not where you want to be?

Have you ever set out to accomplish a goal and gave up long before the finish line? Or maybe you accomplished a goal, only to return to your baseline. If so, you are not alone. This is not more evident than in the statistics on maintaining weight after a weight loss. But this is also true in business where the “failure” rate is 50% in the first 5 years. And we can’t leave out the “new year, new me folks” where close to 50% of those polled have maintained their new habit at the 1 year mark.

So what gives?

Fear and faith can’t co-exist.

I tend to get a little overwhelmed from time to time. You see, I am not the “entrepreneurial type.” I was raised to believe that choosing a career that offered “job security” was the path to success. My dad’s famous words… “Go into healthcare, where there will always be a demand.” I can sense the discomfort on his face even now as I relive the moment I left “job security” in pursuit of a better life.  But here I am. Most days, I consider my “job” as nothing more than a “fun hobby”. I rarely think of myself as a business owner until I need to do something “business ownery-ish”. I still don’t feel quite right associating with the word “entrepreneur”.

All that said, most days I am super proud of myself that I have made this “thing” work for 9 years without needing to default to my “back up plan”….. return to the hospital full time. Fun fact, I am still employed at the hospital where I work once a month. Because, yeah, back up plans….

But this new, “better life” comes with the inevitable challenges. It’s in these moments of facing down a “new something” (I am utterly inadequate to “fix”) that the “overwhelm” floods my nervous system.  Doubt takes over, fear sets in, and the shackles of hospital life don’t seem quite so bad.

Fear and faith can’t co-exist.

You might be familiar with a story in the bible where Jesus “walks on water”. Often times we focus on the fun part of the story where “Jesus walks on water”. But there is another more valuable part to the story where Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, walks on water. As the story goes, Peter is in a boat and sees Jesus walking on water toward the boat. Jesus calls Peter to step out of the boat and walk toward Him. Peter, with his eyes on Jesus, has faith and courage and steps out of the boat and starts walking toward Jesus. However, a wind comes and Peter becomes afraid and starts to sink.

Faith and fear can’t co-exist.

Here is the reality of your life. You are not an accident. Your purpose on this earth is not to just take up space. You are here for a season and with a reason to exist.

When I was 22 years old I was gifted a book by Rick Warren titled The Purpose Driven Life. This book changed my life. A light bulb went off and everything started to make sense. I was here to serve those who are “sick”.

As I reflect on the last two decades, I see there have been TONS of moments where I seemed to be on autopilot. The days were long, but I never felt fatigued. My strength came from somewhere within me. I was living a truly purpose-driven life. On the other hand, there are seasons when I can recall feeling completely exhausted and miserable. These were usually during times when I felt overwhelmed by something. The problem seemed insurmountable. The list of “I can’ts” were in focus. The “pain” of the problem seemed to dominate the fog that overshadowed the “purpose”.

Faith and fear can’t co-exist.

You are here for a season and with a reason to exist.

In my 20s and 30s, my purpose was to serve the sick. I was positioned in a hospital where Jesus brought the “sick” to me. But he has brought me into a new season. He has grown me up and given me the tools to “go out into the world” to find the “sick” and serve.  When I get overwhelmed, I have two choices…. I can look at the problems and allow fear to take over, jumping back into the boat (aka: the hospital), or I can look to my creator.

When I look to my creator the wind dies down and the fog lifts. And I know that its going to be ok.

Problems exist but you are going to ok.

Researchers at Penn State ran a study where they asked a group of people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) to write down their worries for 10 days and review the list for 30 days marking the worries that actually happened. The results of the study revealed that 91% of the things the participants wrote down never happened.

I believe God works out everything for the good. But even if you don’t share my belief on this, the evidence is clear. You are going to be ok. “It” is going to work out far better than you might imagine.

You don’t have to know how, or why, or who, or when. You don’t have to be some “super spiritual” church-going evangelist. It is not lost on me that I still keep one foot in the boat (aka: keep my employed status at the hospital).  I am a work in progress ?.  We know arms exist, but we don’t try and figure out how they work every time we want to reach for a glass of water. 

What is one small step you can take today to step out in faith knowing that you are here for a season with a reason?

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

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