Stepping Into Courage
What is your biggest passion? What are some of your deepest desires and dreams? Are you living those out right now? These are questions that I want to ask you, as well as myself. Think about your life right now, and how it lines up with God’s will for your life. Are you living out God’s will? This can be a hard question to answer, especially if we have found ourselves settling for less than God’s best. Sometimes we have spent so much time convincing ourselves that this is the life we wanted, when in reality, we have put our dreams and desires on hold. We aren’t living out the life that God had originally designed for us, because we have something holding onto those dreams, that ends up killing them, and that thing is FEAR.
I grew up singing my whole life, it was one of my favorite things in the world to do. I would sing all day and night, because I had a passion for it. My fifth grade year, I was asked to sing the National Anthem. I attended a private school from kindergarten to eighth grade, which meant that I would be singing for elementary to junior high school, as well as all of their parents attending this event. I would practice everyday with my choir teacher, to ensure I was ready to conquer the goal. I felt ready, and prepared for the day. As I stood on that stage, I was so excited and confident. My teacher played the starting note on the piano for me, and then I began to sing. It was going great, the crowd was cheering, people were taking pictures, I mean I was living the dream, at least I thought. I was coming to the end of the song, when all of a sudden my voice cracked in front of the entire school. Let me just let that sink it. All of the elementary kids, junior high school kids and parents, had all just witnessed my most embarrassing moment. Through the embarrassing defeat, I finished the song, and then walked off of the stage. You know, I cried.
My biggest passion, my biggest desire and I failed at it. I know that this may sound minimal to the failure thatyou may have experienced and I get that, but for a 11 year old girl, I was crushed. However, I will never forget what God spoke to me after my performance. He said “Don’t let your fear paralyze you from sharing with the world what I have gifted you in.” Friend, Failure is an event, not a person. You might have failed at something and it may have left you heartbroken, and ready to throw out that desire, or gifting that God has given you. May I encourage you to step out in faith, and trust in the God who gave you that desire. The devil wants us to live in fear, because he knows we won’t use the gifts that God has given us. Do not let fear be the keeper of our dreams.
I love this verse that Paul writes in Philippians, he says
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.” (Philippians 3:12-16 NLT)
This verse encourages us to not focus on the past, but to press on into the life God has for us. We are not defined by our failures. We must press on in our race, we must finish in order to get the prize, which is God. Paul finishes by saying, “We must hold onto the progress we have already made” You must do the same, maybe you failed, but you did something, you tried and God is attracted to movement.
Following my failure, I could have stayed hidden, and sealed my gift away from the world. But I didn’t. My junior year of highschool, I was asked to sing the National Anthem again. This time, I was more nervous than the first, but I stood there ready to overcome that fear. So, I sang the song and my voice didn’t crack once. I don’t say this to brag, or say that I am a great singer, because that is not it, it isn’t my point. I was okay with living in fear for years. I had convinced myself that singing wasn’t something I wanted to do anymore. I let fear hold my gift. My junior year, I decided to trust God and look at failure in the face and say that I am no longer a slave to it. I will no longer live afraid of failure. After I had finished the song, on my way home, I began to cry tears of joy. It was a freeing moment as I stood on the stage after I finished the song. I had shed the fear that held me captive for years, and I was able to experience joy by sharing the gift God had given me.
What have you put on hold because you are too afraid to try? We were not meant to live in fear of failure, yet so many of us do. God is calling you to step out and trust in Him, not the outcome. Those who try risk failure, but they also risk success. Don’t limit God, after all he is infinite. We serve a powerful God, remember that. The God who blessed you with your gift, is calling you to use it. Step out in courage, and your comfort zone. There, you might just find God’s will for your life.