Some days I feel like I am in a war.
The internal battle inside my head is crazy intense and I find myself arguing with my inner self like two 10 year old girls.
“You are such a baby!”
“No I”m not! You are!”
“I know you are but what am I?”
I end up sticking my tongue out at myself and pouting for the next 6 hours.
I am so incredibly immature sometimes…. Don’t you dare judge me. You know you are the same way.
For as long as I can remember, everything has scared me. EVERYTHING. Georgia O’Keefe was speaking about me when she said, “I have been absolutely terrified every moment of my life.” Fear has kept me from so much. It has crippled me, and made me to believe that I am a an total and complete freak.
However, over the past year, I have slowly started to face my fears head on. See, Georgia O’Keefe said more after she made that statement. She finished by saying, “and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
I started living my life in a way, where instead of hiding from fears, I started conquering them. I was no longer weak. I was strong. I was fierce. And I was amazing!
Then came the text from my sister a couple weeks ago….. She wanted to go on a hike…. with ME. And that absolutly terrified me.
Now before you go laughing at me. You need to understand that my sister is not a normal human being. She is a beast. She runs ultra races, is crazy healthy, and can do things in half the time it takes me to do them.
While I have made great strides in the past year, I am still very much insecure in my abilities when I am around someone who is extreme. And my sister is extreme. Everything she does amazes me, and while she is my baby sister, I spend a lot of my time looking up to her.
More then anything I wanted this time with my sister, but I knew I was not going to be able to go the pace she was used to and I was so afraid that she would be frustrated with me by the end of the day. However, she assured me that no such thing would happen, so off we went.
The morning was cold as we started up the mountain. In 5 miles, we would arrive at our destination, Mt. LeConte. While my pack was fairly light, I was loaded down with my fears, doubts, and anxieties. However, as we moved up the mountain, the weight of those things became lighter and lighter.
I started worrying less about trying to keep up and found myself enjoying the moments spent with my sister. The conversation and the banter were so enjoyable and delightful that before I knew it… we had reached the top of the mountain.
It was then my sister informed my that we had made the 5 mile trek (most of it straight up) in 2 hours and 15 minutes. A year earlier on my first hike up this very trail, it took me 4 hours to get to the top. On this day, I did it in half the time.
On this day I learned a very valuable lesson:
My strength is bigger then my fear.
There are always going to be obstacles in my way, mountains I am going to have to climb, and problems that make me question my faith. But that is no cause for me to stop wanting to live life to the fullest.
Sylvia Plath said it best,
” I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain.”
Fear does not need to hinder you. Feeling pain is not something to be terrified of. With each step I took that day, and each mile I walked, I overcame the battle within myself. I proved that despite the fact I was hurting, was a little slower then my sister, and had little confidence in myself, I AM strong. I AM able. I AM unstoppable.
2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” All I need to do is trust, and enjoy the ride.
This journey I am on is amazing. Each and every day I am finding out more and more about myself. Some days are terrifying and I don’t want to get up out of my bed. Sometimes I don’t make progress the way I think I should. There are days that I fall short of the goal, and I feel like a failure.
But I am NOT failure.
The only way I fail is if I refuse to try.
Last weekend, I went up the mountain again. As I stood looking out over the vast miraculous beauty before me, I could not help but feel overcome with emotion. The journey is not easy. There are moments I want to quit. There are those who think I am crazy. And sometimes the voices of doubt and fear in my head are deafening. But now I am stronger. I know that with each and every fear I tackle comes a beautiful gift.
No longer do fear and pain scare me. No longer do I live to hide from them. Now I live to taste each and EVERY day.