• Paige Barker

Page 26: Don't Let Fear of the Pain Stop You

My feet will sometimes get red, itchy, swollen, and hot after taking a walk when it's cold outside (reason still unknown), and it's excruciating and uncomfortable. Last week my boyfriend asked if I wanted to go for a walk, and I said no due to this issue with my feet. But I suggested a bike ride instead...hoping that would be better for my feet.

When we got back, I stayed outside for a little bit to let my body catch up and cool down before going inside. Hopefully, this would help my feet not do what they've usually been doing. I didn't tell my boyfriend at the time, but internally I was nervous about going inside because I didn't want to experience the pain again. I had experienced it the night before and a handful of times in the last few weeks, and I was over it.

Eventually, I walked into the house and was so worried that my feet were going to start up with their thing... but they didn't (thank you, Jesus). Then it hit me. I let the tiniest amount of fear of the pain keep me from going into the house. I allowed the smallest amount of fear to keep me stuck outside. And friends, that's how crippling fear is. It will keep you stuck where you're at even if everything inside of you wants to move forward. Fear will remind you of your past pain; fear will remind you of your past failures; fear will remind you of the lies you've stopped believing once before; fear will try and convince you that you don't have what it takes to move forward.

I don't know about you, but I have the tendency to listen to fear way more than I care to admit.

The enemy will try to get you fear-FULL, so you don't take action on what God is telling you to do, because the enemy knows how much of a threat you are to his schemes. God is not the only one who has a plan for your life; the enemy has a plan for you too. And it's full of lies and destruction, while God's plan is full of hope and peace. God wants to get you faith-FULL, so you trust HIS plan. There's a reason why the phrase, "Do not be afraid" is in the Bible 365 times. God knew we would feel fearful at times, so He put it in His Word to remind us that He is bigger than our fear. He put it in His Word to remind us that He is victorious and that He is for us, so whom shall we fear?

I hated that I allowed the potential of fifteen minutes of pain to keep me outside in the cold. I hated that I gave in to an ounce of fear because I was unsure of what was going to take place on the other side. If only I knew that the pain wouldn't be there, then I wouldn't have allowed fear to take control. But that wouldn't require faith then. If we were to know what was on the other side, we wouldn't need to trust in God...we wouldn't need to grow our faith muscle. There's a lyric in a worship song that I cling to when I'm feeling the ugly head of fear rear up: "My fear doesn't stand a chance when I stand in love."

Remember, friends, God's perfect love casts out all fear. When you position yourself to live in God's love, fear doesn't have a seat at the table. So, here is my encouragement to you today: Stop allowing the fear of the pain to keep you outside. Stop letting the fear of the unknown keep you stuck. Choose love over fear today so you can move forward in what God has for you on the other side.