Thank you to Mary Rabe for bringing up some inspiration to the Raising Rices community! I love learning and growing with you! Thank you for opening and sharing where God is taking you!
Just Do It Scared
By: Mary Rabe
Have you ever gone about your regular routine and had it end up leading to a “milestone moment”? You know, the kind of moment that you look back on later and realize it totally changed you? That happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been attending a fabulous workout/dance class called REFIT that is basically dancing like crazy for an hour and having a blast, followed by an encouraging message and prayer. It’s my favorite workout ever, and something that I’ve done almost every week for about 4 years now. In spite of all of that time, though, and the fact that I’ve learned the dances pretty well, I’d never once wanted to be up on the stage leading a song like the amazing instructors I’ve had do week in and week out. I remember my first REFIT instructors doing a song where they would randomly select people in the crowd to go up on stage and dance, and I would literally flee the room when I knew that was happening. I DID NOT want that kind of attention or pressure! I was content to stay in the back row, hidden in the shadows, enjoying the workout as well as the anonymity.
Fast forward a couple of years and now one of my closest friends teaches my REFIT class. I’ve been able to overcome my need to stay in the back row, and actually prefer to be in the front so I can see better (being barely 5 feet tall doesn’t lend itself well to seeing my teachers from behind other people). On this particular night, my friend pulled me aside and told me she had noticed that I knew the dances well, and I had what it takes to lead a song “sometime.” “You know what you’re doing!” she said, “So that means you’re ready to lead a song or two.” I was flattered, of course, especially having it come from someone I admire so much, and I told her “Sure, ok, yeah. I think I could do that now, sometime, as long as I had time to practice beforehand.” Then I let it go, figuring I didn’t need to worry about it for at least another week, when the next class would be.
Well, halfway into that class, that very night, my friend called me out. “Hey! You know this song. Come up here.”
I imagine my expression was pretty priceless. I was so not prepared for this. My brain started running a million miles a minute. “DO I know this dance? What IS this song, anyway?!”
I mostly felt blindsided, and didn’t really have time to get truly scared before another friend began physically pushing me toward the stage. So I got up there, heart pounding. And you know what?
I did it.
It scared me to death. I was shaking pretty much the whole time. But I did it.
The girl who would literally run out of the room if there was even a chance of being put in front of others willingly jumped up on the stage and led a REFIT song. It was pretty exhilarating!
So, how exactly does one get from that first scenario to the second one? From automatically running away from scary scenarios to jumping in and facing them? I’ve been processing that, and here is what I think.
1. Having a solid identity in Christ. The main reason I am able to do anything at all that scares me is because of the work God has done in me. I’ve mentioned before about how He has shifted my thinking and brought me to a place of confidence in who He made me to be, and that has taken away so many feelings of self-consciousness and doubt in my abilities. My identity isn’t in what others think about me, how well I can accomplish something, or how silly I end up looking; I am deeply rooted in the security of having God’s “seal of approval”, no matter what, because of the sanctifying work He accomplished on the cross. Knowing that makes even scary things lose their edge, at least a little bit, and makes me willing to take more risks. It isn’t really about me at all; it’s about the work God has done, who He is shaping me to be, and how He empowers me to do what He calls me to.
“…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:10)
2. Having friends who call me to more and walk with me in it. My awesome friend knew what I was capable of even more than I did in the moment. She believed in me, and she called me out to move forward in who and what God made me to be. At the same time, though, she didn’t just pull me up there and then ditch me to do the best I could on my own. She led the song with me, and even made sure she was following what I did so I at least appeared to know what I was doing! It helped immensely just knowing I had her next to me to look to if I got lost or froze up. All of those sweet ladies in my class also cheered for me and urged me to do this thing, and knowing they were there for me and were “in my corner” made all the difference. Doing scary things is much, much more doable when you have people who love you, tell you they believe in you, and then walk with you in it.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
3. Desiring to grow and not just stagnate in my comfort zone. We had a very wise speaker come to our church one morning and share about how we are all either in our comfort zones, or in what he called “The Growth Zone”. We can go through our lives doing what is comfortable and easy, but we will never grow and mature to become all that God intended. Being in the Growth Zone is often scary, and stretches us far beyond what we would prefer (hence the term “growth”), but it leads to so much good. Steve Clark said, “There is no comfort in the growth zone, but there is no growth in the comfort zone.” and Adam Stanley stated, “Without courage we will simply accumulate a collection of good ideas and regrets.” If I want to lead the best life I can (which I do) then I’m going to have to care more about growing and maturing than being comfortable, and that will often involve doing things that scare me.
“…walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Colossians 1:10-12)
I hope you all know, this story isn’t about me, like I’m suddenly some kind of amazing and fearless miracle of awesome; I guarantee you I will still be scared the next time my friend calls me up on the stage, or I have to talk in front of people, or face some other challenge. Being afraid of certain situations is just part of being human! I know, though, I’ll be able to do it, because God has given me a solid identity, amazing supporters to walk with me, and a desire to grow. He’s provided that to you all, too; so, what scary things are you going to jump in and do now? Let me encourage you to do it; even if you have to do it scared.