Friday, January 17, 2020

Facing My Fear

Early last year (2019), my friend and I decided to work on a bible study book together by Priscilla Shierer called Fervent. Its all about prayer. A battle plan. A chance to take an in-depth look at one's life (mine) in every area and pray for it. A chance to rid all the possibilities of being personally attacked within those areas. It was INCREDIBLE. Going into the book, we knew that it was going to be an amazing adventure, if we allowed it to be. I don't think I fully understood how amazing it would be though. A year later, I am already craving a reread of it. Yes, it was that GOOD! 

Each chapter focused on an area in one's (my) life. The first paragraph was a blurb about how if the author was the enemy, how she would personally attack this specific area. Every chapter, after reading that blurb, my friend and I would literally text each other with an "oh boy!" exclamation. There were so many chapters that hit close to home, and so many things that I didn't realize I was doing or avoiding or simply assuming that it was just an Emilyism. All things that I didn't realize needed prayer! 

Then we turned to the chapter on FEAR! hahah (insert nervous laughter.) Actually, I knew going in that it would be a good chapter, but I assumed that would be it. It would be just another amazing chapter that I highlighted like crazy, prayed for the areas that needed prayer, and then moved on to the next. I didn't honestly think I was fearful of anything. Nothing was coming to mind that screamed "BE AFRAID." However, this is the chapter that stopped me in my tracks. This is the chapter that made me question literally everything. Every move I made. Every so called thing that I put under the list of Emilyisms - things I did differently than other people simply because I am a weirdo (and said in the "I am totally okay with this" tone, not the ashamed to be a weirdo tone). 

Whew. Boy. Was I wrong. 

Under several things that I am currently working on, driving was the thing (issue, Emilyism #1, problem, avoidance) that continually kept coming to mind. I got my learners many, many years ago, but after a couple of failed attempts at pursuing my licence, I stopped working on it cold turkey. Looking back I think I was embarrassed that I failed and I was really hard on myself because of that. The fear of never being able to do it (the failure) crept in and I let my brain and heart consume that consistently. I then started lying to myself and continually repeated that I actually didn't need my licence. Which worked for several years. Then my lack of a licence became a "well, its kind of annoying, but we are making it work without it, so whatever" frame of mind. 

I AM SO THANKFUL to my husband who did make it work. He is amazing. He continually questioned and encouraged me to go for my licence, but while I was in denial of needing it, he was there supporting me, providing for us, and being my chauffeur when I needed one. 

Several years ago, I sort-of, kind-of, thought about actually getting my licence. I was new mom and the idea of going somewhere with my baby seemed nice. Friend's house. Starbucks. Grocery shopping. The list goes on. However, at this point in my mind, it was much too big of a task. I was overwhelmed. I was tired from being a new mommy. I quickly let the idea go. 

Every moment from there on I would think of my licence in a negative, OH MY GOODNESS, there is no way that I can do this, way. It became a BIG deal. It became a huge mountain of stress. My mountain grew and became enormous, too large to tackle. Ever! 

I couldn't push it away though. The denial cloud couldn't cover up my mountain anymore like in the early years. The possibilities were ever pressing and my heart would continually imagine what life could be like if I had it. There were so many things I wanted to do. Places I wanted to go with my kids and without. People I wanted to visit and connect with. Things that were hard to make work with my husband's work schedule. These desires and hopes and dreams continued to grow. 

I was stressed. 

...but not fearful. Right? Right ... ?

"Because if he's (the enemy) working that hard to keep me from moving forward, there must be some blessing or beauty from heaven he's trying to divert me from." - Priscilla Shirer, Fervent

Earlier of last year, reading Fervent, a mom of two, I decided to challenge myself and attack my mountain head-on. The list of reasons seemed to forever be growing in favour of why I should get it rather than why I shouldn't. I could see myself doing all the things that I have wanted to do over the last decade, but couldn't do it easily because of lack of mobility. Or time on my husband's part. I could feel this chance, this chapter of my life, this huge opportunity blossoming and encouraging me to grow into something more than I was. And I really wanted that. 

I started to pray. A lot. Way before I started practicing to drive. I invited God into this area of fear. I shared those dreams that I had for growth with Him (like He didn't know them beforehand, haha) and asked for His help in this matter. Seriously though, if I had God helping me get my licence, I would be unstoppable. I gave my fear, my issues, my discouraging thoughts, to Him. I asked my husband if he would help me practice. We booked my test and went out driving daily. We drove so much (too much) that my oldest daughter started saying "nooo" when we told her that after supper we would go driving. haha. Poor kiddos.  

Every time I got behind the wheel, the anxiety and fear would creep in, which made me a very bad, jumpy driver. After more prayer, I realized that giving it to God, literally meant giving it ALL to God. I continually reminded myself that there is nothing God cannot do. I let go of viewing it in its enormous state, and just focused on one moment at a time. Get into the drivers seat. Get out of the garage. Get out of the drive way. I can control what I am doing. Nothing more. I cannot control the other drivers or the weather. I can only be in the moment. God can control the rest! So I let Him. 
Three months later, last November, I gave myself the best present ever. My licence. MY LICENCE! AHH! I remember the day so clearly. It was snowing, my two year old decided to scream the entire way to the licence agency place. I remained calm! Thank you, Jesus!!!!! I passed the test and life then kind of moved on as normal for about a week. It wasn't until my licence came in the mail and I was holding it in my hand when I realized that this part of the journey was actually over. I then cried some ugly, happy tears in my kitchen! I had finally tackled my mountain! 


Whew! Wow! ahh! Repeat! 

I know that I still have a ways to go before I am level 10 driver, but I am so happy that the test is over with. I now have the challenge of getting into that car without my husband and drive by myself. I had a couple of opportunities to do so before Christmas, but mentally I was burned out and declined each one. I think I just needed a break. Now the roads are thick with ice, so I need to wait for a warm spell. I want to take my daughters out for tea. I want to visit my sister. I want to take myself out on a date. And so many, many more dreams to fulfill. I am super excited for what 2020 is going to look like. God is good! I can do anything if I have Him by my side! This has been such a huge moment for me and I wanted to share. Thank you so much for reading. xo 

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