Life / Real Talk

Fear Has as Much Power as We Choose to Give It…

10.03.17

Photos c/o Emily Scott

I have crafted a convincing narrative for myself over the years:

I am not Christian enough for the Christian world

I am too Christian for the real world

I have clung to this story for dear life.  And every time I have a negative interaction with another Christian, or get an email about how doing yoga is wrong, or feel lonely and lost in a sea of people at church, it serves as further proof and ammunition to my story.

When I am around strangers, friends, or loved ones, and feel I might be misunderstood because of something I believe in, my narrative is justified further.  Quietly but firmly it whispers, you don’t belong in either place.

What does this mean for me?  It means I stay right where I am—maybe I’m not moving backward, but I’m definitely not moving forward.

The narratives we create for our lives are convincing.  But they only have as much power as we choose to give them.

 

The narratives we create for our lives are convincing.  But they only have as much power as we choose to give them.

I’ve realized that these narratives keep me in a victim mentality.  I allow them to prevent me from doing things I feel called to do or from saying things I want to say.  And I feel sorry for myself because no one understands me.   I tell myself, I’m all alone, and whatever I put out there is going to upset or offend someone so I just won’t put it out there.

It’s like I’m sitting in mud complaining about being dirty and cold, yet I keep sitting there making smelly mud castles.

At some point I’m going to have to get up out of the dirt.

Here’s what’s true about negative narratives, victim conversations, and limiting beliefs—they have as much power as we give them.  Most often they are lies, and we have the opportunity to reject the lie, replace it with truth and address what the fear is really about.

Digging deeper, I realized my narratives aren’t about “not being Christian enough” or being “too Christian.”  They’re about me wanting to be accepted and loved by others.  They’re an excuse that I hide behind.

As long as I have an excuse I don’t have to put myself out there.  I’m on the sideline of the game, jealous of all the players. But at least I’m not running the risk of failing, falling, or getting hurt.

There’s a price I pay for buying into this narrative:  I’m not doing and creating the things I feel like I’m supposed to be doing with my life.  And that is exhausting and frustrating.

However, there’s also a reward: if I never try, I never have to be open to failure or rejection.  I may not be walking out fully in my dreams, but I’m comfortable and know what to expect as long as I stay in this place.

Our behaviors don’t change until the price we pay outweighs the reward of being safe.

 

Our behaviors don’t change until the price we pay outweighs the reward of being safe.  This is why people talk their whole lives about doing something like writing a book, or traveling around the world, but never actually do it.

few weeks ago while visiting family in Ireland I took a walk through a field and hashed it out with God. And I felt God tenderly yet firmly impress upon me how long are you going to let your fears hold you back?  You have to surrender this dialogue, trust me, and be ok with who I created you to be and the path I have you on. 

God was right—it struck so true that I laughed out loud and did cartwheels in the field.

Here’s my confession:  there’s so much I want to do with The Refined Woman.  I want to use this space to create a curriculum, online courses, workshops, retreats, and a meaningful community.  And it’s probably going to happen more slowly than I want it to.  However, I have let my fear and insecurities keep me from writing things I want to write, from creating the experiences I want to create.

I’m tired of letting fear win. Because my narratives aren’t true, and fear is foolish.

Here’s what true:

I’ve been afraid of people finding out that I am a Christian.  That I don’t just love God — I follow Jesus.

And I’ve been conflicted about it for many reasons.  I’ve feared being misunderstood, judged, and rejected. I’ve worried that my perspective will be written off because my beliefs makes me irrelevant.

Historically Christians have handled things poorly, and in many instances they’ve done things that are flat out wrong such as misogyny, racism, and bigotry.  There has been deep damage done in the name of Christianity, and I don’t want to be associated with it.

It’s also true that I have blown it, acted ignorantly, said things I regret, made mistakes and been a poor representation of what it means to follow Jesus.

Being honest about this means I get to hold space for the messy, hard, and grey.  It’s much easier when everything is black and white—but maybe life is about more than being comfortable.

I don’t want fear of being misunderstood or rejected be the reason I don’t move forward in my life.  The reality is that no matter what we say or do there’s going to be someone who agrees with it and someone who doesn’t.

Fear has power as long as we say it does.

 

What would happen in your life if you addressed the thoughts of fear, insecurities, doubt that plague you?  What if you rejected them, replaced them with truth, and started moving forward with your life?  I have a feeling we could create powerful things together.

And for the record, all are welcome at The Refined Woman.  If you believe in Jesus, come.  If you don’t, come.  You are welcome here.  You belong here.  You are loved. You have support and community here.

Love always,

Katherine

PS.  If you haven’t checked out my Moving Through Fear PDF–please do!  It’s a free downloadable tool with practical steps on letting go of fear, and stepping into freedom and wholeness!

6 comments on “Fear Has as Much Power as We Choose to Give It…”

  1. “I am not Christian enough for the Christian world.

    I am too Christian for the real world.”

    Thanks for having the courage to put this into words. I think a lot of us feel the same way.

    1. ❤️ – beautifully expressed! A journey I know many women will identify with. Proud of your honesty and vulnerability Kat! ❤️??❤️???

  2. Thank you, Kat, for writing this.
    I want you to know that I really enjoy reading The Refined Woman because it inspires me and you inspire me. You inspire me because what I see is a woman following Jesus through normal life. It’s easy to get sucked into this Christian culture we’ve developed (no matter how well meaning it was), and not actually see it translated into real life. Sometimes it’s easy to feel (or at least I have felt) that your life needs to look like how everyone else is doing it in whatever realm of the culture you’ve gotten sucked into. But that’s not the case. We’re all given individual lives to live, and what I see with you is a woman living it with Jesus in her own beautiful way.
    You and I live very different lives… but yours still inspires the way I live mine!! Thank you for being you and doing what you do.
    Not to mention, you’ve got great style!

  3. This is beautiful! I’m 27 and 10 months deep into my first serious relationship and there’s is so much fear that I’ve had to wade through in this process. Are we meant for each other? Are we going to get married? Why aren’t we engaged yet? Is he as deep in this as I am?

    Two weeks ago I had to confront all of that fear head on because I saw how much it was affecting me enjoying my relationship and more importantly my life in general. I feel like God has brought so much peace into my life since then and it’s a lovely feeling. Thank you for writing this, thank you for your honesty. I pray that God brings all of your dreams for this space to fruition.

    Xoxo.

  4. Always look forward to reading your blogs! This one was def a fav. PLEASE make this into all the things you wrote about, I think it would be awesome!

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