What Fear Can Kill

Today’s post is from Bianca Juarez Olthoff. ‘B’ works for The A21 Campaign as the Chief Storyteller. And she is believes in me, and my dreams, even when I can’t believe in them myself. Bianca dreams and she dreams big.  I am immensely thankful Bianca and her husband Matt and how they have welcomed me into their life and their family. 

Read Bianca’s blog here. 

Follow her on twitter here.

In a pivotal moment of life, I had the opportunity to connect with a brilliant man who challenged my dreams, my aspirations, but more importantly, my fear. It went a little something like…

Me: I want to do [______________] and I can’t.

Him: What’s stopping you from doing it?

Me: I don’t know. I can’t explain it…

Him: I don’t know you well, but I can tell you know what it is. And I’m pushing you to articulate what’s holding you back.

Me: Okay, okay. I’m… I’m so… fearful.

Him: You’re fearful of being fearful?

Me: Yes.

Him: What’s the worst possible thing that could happen? What’s the worst case scenario? Lay it on me!

Me: I’m fearful of the consequences of following my heart and failing. I fear losing money on empty pipe dreams. I fear poverty. I fear inability to change what everyone seems to believe cannot. I fear failure and embarrassment and humiliation. I fear being a neglectful wife and poor step-mother and failing homemaker. I fear dreaming so big that I’m lost in the orbit of a universe outside of our galaxy… floating past the point of no return where I can’t come back and live a life I once did. But most of all, I fear the audacity of believing I can change the world and feeling ridiculous for believing I can.

Him: If all those things happen, are you still alive? Can you still dream? Will your family still love you? With all due respect Bianca, I don’t think your fear is of failure. No, your greatest fear is that you will succeed. And you don’t know what to do with that.

In pursuing the calling God puts in our life, what can fear kill? Everything. Fear will inhibit and thwart us from being the person we sense in our hearts we truly are. The one who is talented and compassionate and gifted. The one who is smart and logical and able. The one who is called and predestined and confirmed.

Me: What are you dreaming of? What is stopping you?

You: _______________ 

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • wow. 

    this is speaking to me right now. i haven’t commented in a blog in a really long time. 
    i too am a big dreamer. last year, i moved 2500 miles away from home (LA) to hawaii to be a missionary out here and help a small church out (by small i mean 30 people small). i knew no one and had no family out here but i knew  God was gonna make it happen. i was scared, i was fearful but i stepped out and did it anyway coz I knew God was gonna take care of me. and He did. a single mom doing missionary work. i was doing what the world thought was impossible. =D i’ve been here for 10 months and it has been the most fruitful journey personally (i got married even though i thought i never wanted to and my son is soooo happy he finally has a dad) 
    ….yet the hardest professionally. what i thought i came out here to do didn’t exactly happen. i just resigned from my minister/missionary position because working for the small church hasn’t been the healthiest situation (there’s a reason why they remained small apparently) and i have no idea what is going to happen to me next month or what my job situation looks like and what to tell my ministry partners.  

    to be jobless is hawaii (the most expensive state to live in) is not the most pleasant situation to be in. and i have been praying and dreaming of stepping into a full-time ministry position for 10 years. and it’s heartbreaking that it ended up like this. i feel like my dream was choked. and it breaks my heart that my dream was choked because of unhealthy situations in church, not even by non-christians.

    i wrote a blog last night about “doing what you love”. i admitted that right now,  i have no idea what it is that i love to do anymore. if you ask me now what my specific dreams are…i can’t even answer. i know i love to help people. i know i want to be a voice for those who don’t have one. i know i wanna tell the world of His love. i just don’t know what that looks like for me right now.
    i guess it’s good coz it’s like i have a new slate. it brings me back to the place i was last year before i flew out to hawaii. im scared. im fearful coz i don’t know what’s gonna happen. but i know a God who sees and knows all the details and I know He’s gonna take care of me. 

    for now, I will sing His dreams and praises in my heart till His Word brings my dreams to life once again. thanks for this reminder. 

    • lindseynobles

      Wow, Patricia this, your story, is so powerful. God will use it, will use you. He won’t let those incredible talents He gave you go to waste. It’s hard when it doesn’t unfold the way we anticipate. (Believe me, I know.) But He is good. And He’s still at work. Thanks for commenting. Congratulations on the marriage. So exciting. 

  • You know, now that you mention it… I am just as afraid of success as I am of failure. Absolutely. I like my life the way it is. I know what to do with my life the way it is. Pursuing a dream opens me up to the unknown and the unknown terrifies me, no matter now much or how little money, status, etc are attached to it. 

    Apparently I have some issues to work through that I didn’t know where there. FUN! Thanks for that. (No, really. Thanks. 🙂

    • lindseynobles

      I get it. Me too. 

  • francine

    i’m dreaming of finishing my masters’ in june and becoming a family nurse practitioner that helps the underserved… but i’m afraid that i won’t remember the things i learned in school and that i’ll hurt someone. also, i’m afraid that when it gets hard, i’ll want to bail.

  • I’m working right in the middle of this exact thought. I can’t get over the fact that I feel like I can be better than I am, but I’m afraid of going after something great and failing. After reading this post, I now see that’s not the biggest fear I have. What happens if I really am successful? Will I know what to do with it? I get it! Thank you for the post! It hit home more than you can imagine. 🙂

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