When You Are Afraid to Live {31 Days}

Photo by Vito Vilcina
Photo by Vita Vilcina

Skyscrapers taller than any I’d ever seen towered above me. I craned my neck looking up. Their steely, concrete frames cast shadows long and wide across the city. Lots of gray all around. There was a nonstop flow of people flitting here, there, and everywhere. Some were serious faced. Some were eyes-forward-don’t-smile faced. Some were touristy-look-around-at-everything faced, and some were dumbfounded-gob-smacked-by-the-city-that-is-New-York faced. I think I wore almost all these faces the moment I stepped out of the Pennsylvania Station depot and onto the streets of New York destined for Times Square and waffles and dinges too. I was amazed by the sights and sounds of the city. It was nothing like what I had imagined. It was one of those adventures I never thought I’d experience in my lifetime. When you’re afraid to live, you don’t think about all you’d be missing. You cut yourself off from experiencing the beauty of what it means to dream and fully enjoy the wonders of life.

I’d seen the Big Apple characterized in television and movies. There wasn’t anything about it I wanted to see or experience. It all looked like a lot of foolish hullabaloo to me. Flashy bright lights, strange people, dingy streets, violence, and some class mixed with a bit of street. Such stereotypes in the media do such injustice to the City that Never Sleeps. There is literally something for everyone, even introverts, but that’s a whole other series of stories I hope to some day dive into. This much I know is true, when you’re afraid to live, you miss living in the here and now. You miss the present. You miss the beauty in the ordinary, everyday mundane, and you miss being fully you. I think I’m pretty much done with that kind of living. It doesn’t really work for me, aside from the fact that we are not called to live from fear but from love, power, and sound mind.

When you’re afraid to live, you miss living in the here and now. Choose to live into the now moments. #thelemonadestories #storiesofwhen #31days Click To Tweet
Photo by Matthew Pla
Photo by Matthew Pla

Faith is teaching me to live fearlessly, to exercise my trust muscles, and to take chances on what seems good and prudent. I don’t know why we restrain ourselves from living boldly just because it looks like it might be scary. I’m not talking about living dangerously. I mean doing things like trying new foods, going to new places, experiencing new environments, traveling, expanding personal and professional horizons, and living divine mission in the right-now space of life.

I think about all the myriad ideas I’ve held in the treasury of my soul wondering if they’re worth pursuing. I’ve pondered the risk taking and then shrunk back from fear of failure. But I’m learning failure does not mean I didn’t success. It just gives me room to try again and again and again. I’ve missed more than my fair share of opportunities because fear. I’ve waiting one day too long to say yes to good offers because of fear. Well, I have had it with being robbed of abundant life!

Who’s to say that the goodness or opportunity unfolding is not God’s provision? He does move in mysterious ways. Who’s to say that He can only operate in our lives in specific way? Yet biblical history tells us otherwise – that God moves in mighty ways that defy our finite expectations. And now He’s moving me to stand firm, fearless, unashamed, and be undeterred by circumstance. He whispers, “this is the way; walk in it,” and I shake my head in humble agreement because He is right. He’d never lead me in the wrong direction. He calls me deeper, and often that takes me out of my comfort zone. Perhaps we were never meant to rest in the lackadaisical comforts of life.

Photo by Mike Petrucci
Photo by Mike Petrucci

Sometimes living by faith means stepping out into the abyss of where there is no road upon which your feet can land. That’s what seeing New York for the first time was like for me. Like stepping into a place not knowing if where I landed would become solid ground worth exploring. Well, of course it was, but can I tell you something? It’s not about the city exploration or the place itself. It’s about being unafraid to live in the NOW, to take hold of the dreams in your hands and breathe life into it. Take one step at a time toward achieving long lost dreams that refuse to let you go. Realize that what God has placed in your heart to do is nothing to be feared but something to be celebrated. Make the dreams and hopes happen because if it is in your heart to do, no one else can do it but you.

Photo by Ewa Stepkowska
Photo by Ewa Stepkowska

So these days I’m leaning in to being unafraid to live ALL of life. Maybe it’s going to look a bit different than it has. Maybe it will take me places I never dreamed. Maybe it will open doors I didn’t know existed. That’s not the point. What matters is to live each day abundantly, fearlessly, and with renewed vision.

Here’s to living adventure in every facet of life all the while holding God’s promises in my heart. I’m ready to live in the wonder of this thing we call life. It is full of possibility.

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This post is a part of my 31 Days of Writing challenge. It’s all about taking the sour things of life and reframing them to find the sweetness of faith, hope, and resilience. I hope you’ll join me on this month-long journey.  You’ll also find me sharing bits and pieces on my Twitter and IG accounts. I’d love to see you here, and you can also subscribe to my blog/newsletter here.

2 thoughts on “When You Are Afraid to Live {31 Days}”

  • 1
    Emily McFarlan Miller on October 9, 2015 Reply

    When I was an 18-year-old kid, I packed up and moved from small-town Illinois to New York City to go to New York University. I wasn’t afraid to live then. Somehow the more living you do, the scarier it gets, though. I’m trying to hang on to that fearless kid inside.

    • 2
      Marvia on October 10, 2015 Reply

      Wow Emily! I now wish I’d done that kind of daring living when I was younger, but I only have these right now moments. So here’s to living fully into them. You inspire me. Thank you for reading!

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