I confess: I live in fear.
I’m not talking about the kind of fear that makes me still avoid watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller video at night….. alone…. I’m talking about the crippling fear of not knowing what tomorrow brings.
Recently, I challenged myself to identify the areas of my life I am most afraid of. I realized that I live with 5 major fears. Some of them have kept me from reaching my full potential. Others forced me to expand my territory.
1) The fear of loss: My biggest fear while I was away in college was losing one of my parents.
I don’t know why, but I was always worried that my phone would ring in the middle of the night with someone on the other end telling me I would never see my mother or father again.
This paranoia kept me from enjoying many of my days on campus. Instead of hanging out with friends, I was traveling home every weekend checking on people who didn’t need to be checked on.
In fact, I was causing a financial burden, because those bus tickets weren’t cheap.
2) The fear of speaking: I developed a speak impediment when I was in kindergarten.
Out of nowhere, I began stuttering. For years, I was afraid to answer the phone, afraid to share my jokes, and say hello.
One day, in high school, I realized that my voice was important. I had a lot to share….say.
So I pushed through it.
I still stutter. But for some reason, God gave me the responsibility to use my voice to help hundreds of youth and students over the past 12 years.
Didn’t Moses stutter? Yeah, I thought so……..
3) The fear of parenting: My husband and I recently made a decision to transfer our son from a school he had attended for several years to a neighborhood school. This decision kept us up at night. We were so worried about him.
When I think about it, we let a situation that happened five years ago impact us for years. And because of it, we almost kept him from experiencing an opportunity of advancement.
This is just one example. Parenting is such a serious job. The responsibility of raising a person to be his/her best is very challenging.
Like many parents, my biggest fear is failing in my role as a parent.
By the way, our son is thriving at his new school. God is good!
4) The fear of sudden death: I had the strangest fear that I would develop a blood clot. Blood clots are dangerous and can be potentially deadly.
Well, I developed a blood clot.
And it didn’t kill me.
In fact, it came and went. My doctor just confirmed yesterday that the clots in my leg and lungs are now dissolved.
5) The fear of success: It’s strange, but I am one of those people that struggle with receiving accolades.
I don’t want to be acknowledged. I just want to do the work and help others shine.
Therefore, often I stay out of the light and focus on building a platform for others. This strategy keeps me safe. Keeps me under the radar.
And I suppose it keeps me from fulfilling my purpose at times.
Now that’s some scary s#*t!
Don’t let fear cripple you. Live with faith….not in fear.
God has delivered me from every barrier I’ve faced and has continued to provide when I was too afraid to move.
You can’t worry about the things you can’t control or see.
Just live, love, and be good to others.
Though I suppose I’ll always live with some fears, I now make an effort to recognize it.
Keep your faith…….
Dr. Lauren Meeks