Getting to travel is one of the BIGGEST perks of my job, I get to go to some pretty cool places and experience some pretty amazing things. Last weekend My husband and I got to go to Chicago with His family for a little get away and I got to snag some photos for my BIL and his finace'.(double PERK) Chicago truly is beautiful. But along with being a tourist in chicago you are faced with doing some interesting things, whether its riding the ferris wheel at the Navy Peir or Towering over the city at the Sky deck/Willis tower, or whether you are gazing at your own silly reflection in The Giant Bean. With all the sight-seeing we did...Willis Tower and the sky deck was one I was dreading most. As of lately I'm a pretty fearful person; the funny thing about that is I havent always been that way. I used to be reckless and fearless and truly thought I was invincible. Before Jesus came into my life with a furry and passion, I really didn't put much thought into my actions. But God changed me and my eyes were suddenly open to the horrors of this world. Instead of burning with passion to do something about it, I became a coward, I became a scared little mouse who ran into her hole. I constantly find my self trying to shield myself from the reality of the world. I don't like tragedy..I don't like pain, I don't like reading article after article about another shooting or another terrorist attack. I feel too much and just empathize to deeply with people so I hurt when they hurt. Instead of turning that empathy into a good useful tool, I continued to live in fear.
Now, I am going to be completely vulnerable and transparent with you for a second I've let fear control my life, As I was standing in that LONG line for the sky deck uncertainity, paranoia and fear were crippling me. I thought about 9/11, I thought about how chicago lets their planes fly awfully close to their buildings(I mean seriously though they do) I thought about evil and who would ruin family fun and joy with so much evil. I thought about the shootings that happen on a regular. I was crippled by fear. I think that is what satan wants for us though, he wants us to be scared, he wants us to be afraid to even leave our house in the mornings. Let me elaborate even more to how outrageous my fear(s) are. I STILL struggle like have major panic attacks even walking into a movie theatre I constantly wonder who is going to burst in and take life away. My anxiety is no joke when it comes to the reality of evil in this world. Im not sure if you can relate or not?
But while the family was at breakfast that morning, I needed sometime to just calm down and recharge, I read in my devotions this scripture:
1 John 4:18
-"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with much punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
As I read that scripture my heart sank deep into my chest (like I knew what was coming) and I read on to read this:
"There I read that perfect love casts out fear. I realized fear will not get us through danger. But love can. God's love resides in us, but we're not always confident of that because we can't see it. We do see the dangers----Being too high off the ground, perhaps, or staring into the cold face of an enemy. So we doubt, we question---and we let fear take over." -Christine Caine
I felt humbled as I read those words. She then asked a questions :
* Think back to a time when you were fearful but you took a risk and now you are glad you did. How did that victory make you feel?
As I remembered the words in my devotions I heard God say, "Amber remember I AM, the one in control...I AM and there is no one like me...I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future. Be still, I have hold of your right hand." So I decided to just DO IT.
My hands were sweaty, my stomach turning, my ears popping as we reached the peak of the tower in that awfully crowded elevator.
As the door opened I felt this peace...As I saw the city in a whole new BIG picture kinda way; I realized that in the midst of my fear God did something amazing...He showed me beauty despite the fear. He showed me goodness and kindness.
I took an even bigger risk that day...I want out onto the clear glass of the skydeck...I stood above the city and conquered a fear that day. After I decended from the tower and walked out the doors of willis tower I made a pact with myself and to God to Be Brave...To take some chances to live Fearlessly. To Be Bold for the Gospel the way Jesus and the disciples did. To not be afraid to step out in faith.
Willis tower and the Sky deck was a small victory for God and I, I wonder what we will do next.
Cheers to Living Fearlessly,
On a side note...I think the beautful thing about God is that pushing us out of our comfort zone isn't fun, it can somethimes be even painful at times but it can lead to beautiful moments and wonderful experiences.