A Letter to My Younger Self

Run to fear.

Do not run from it.

That scared voice you hear inside your head? Give it the stiff arm and run the other direction.

Run to that fear as if your life depended on it. Because if you run to it you will find a way to run past it and break away.

Run to the fear because that is where the Father will meet you, your strong Father who is not absent or apathetic. He is cheering you on. He is with you in the moment. He is not looking away. He is for you.

Fear will allow you exist but it will not let you live.

Fear is an angry mob of two year olds. Loud, demanding, and out of control, but completely smaller than you.

Remember when you ran to fear? Barely into your 20’s, a young wife with a baby in tow, when you moved to another country? You ran to the fear but then it snagged you and swallowed you up like an anaconda. Fear kept you silent and enslaved.

Remember when fear encased your feet like blocks of ice, making you numb and cold and unable to move? Remember the fear at night and the constant squeezing around your heart?

Fear lied to your face like an unworthy best friend, promising to keep you safe if you just listened to it, but then ruthlessly abandoned you at the most vulnerable moments.

Remember when you told fear where to go and you saw past the darkness and despair into a future of hope and light?

Remember when you stood against slander and accusations with your new freedom and guarded dreams in tow? Holding hands with fear was much worse than staring it down, even though it made you shake. You called it the liar, instead of politely letting it eat your lunch and your dignity.

You will learn, running to fear is not the same as living in fear. Living in fear paralyzes, dominates and discourages. It demands your allegiance and dulls your spirit. It kills your will to overcome and blinds your eyes. Running to what scares you is not the same as reckless living, which has no eye on redemption and no regard for the unseen spiritual benefit.

You run to fear and not away from it because everyone else is silently feeling it too. When one person breaks through that intimidating barrier it gives others permission and courage to run to their own fears.

Fear is a punisher and a mocker who knows you can’t be punished for trying, or for speaking up, or daring to love without expectations. It only punishes if you hold back. It creates an imaginary losing scenario on the other side and mocks your trust in what can’t be seen. Trying and failing still has its lessons and gain and is what God makes good and even better things out of. Fear itself is afraid of failure because in God’s hands failure is still redemptive material.

The antidote to fear is the love of God. The most tragic irony is to be afraid to open up to the love of God. Confidence grows in knowing you are a loved child. Living without fear is like living in a house with great big windows that let in the sunshine, announcing each new day with glory and beauty.

So, young Jen, don’t let this world scare you. Take it from me, I’ve already been there.


This was to be a link-up to The High Calling. but I apparently missed it! Check the link for more “Letters to My Younger Self” in the coming days.



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