By Emmie Rodriguez

Since we are digging deep into the giants in our lives, it only seems fit that I share the giant that was big in my life up until about three years ago.

FEAR!

Yep that’s right… I was afraid. Of what you might ask?  My biggest giant was the fear of failing. When it came to school it always seemed that I had it all together both on the academic and athletic front and that became a heavy weight. That feeling that I needed to always be on top of everything because everyone, from my parents to my peers were watching me.  Even upon graduating high school, it was expected of me to go to college and finish in an appropriate amount of time (fifth year senior right here… WHOOP!).

I was constantly afraid of the possibility that I would fail and that I would let everyone who had these expectations down. Although I am not a fan of the word “perfect” at that point in my life I felt like that was what was needed of me. Because of this mindset I began to doubt myself and the decisions I was making because I thought it better to think the worst before it could happen to me.

Isaiah 43:1 “But now, this is what the LORD says – he created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.’”

I was constantly looking for reasons why I couldn’t do something or why I wasn’t good enough, it was the easiest way to hide behind the fear that I could possible fail. That feeling of always trying to be perfect in the eyes of those around me was the front that was put on, but on the inside, I was constantly battling with the question of being enough. This constant battle began to weigh on me that was not going to be an easy fix, but I knew I needed a change that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish on my own.

2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit “of power and of love and of sound mind.”

I slowly began taking steps in giving my fear of failure over to the Lord. It was not an all at once step, it was a process that took practice in daily laying those fears at the feet of Jesus. The word that has stuck with me through this season of growing was Courage and the idea of living courageously. Courage doesn’t mean that you don’t experience fear, really it means the opposite. Courage simply means that you are willing to face your fear. I began to understand that living a courageous life meant living boldly while bringing glory to God in everything I do. Our job on this earth is to make Jesus famous.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

What an awesome reminder that no matter the fear you may be facing in your life, God is with you through every season, and he calls us to be strong and courageous in all we do. I don’t know what fear you may be facing today, but let me say this, God is bigger than any situation, so when you find yourself in the midst of fear, seek first the kingdom of God. If you can ask it, God can exceed it!

Be encouraged, have a fantastic day, I love you guys!

Emmie