It’s always a treat to share a friend with you here in this space. I’m a friend maker and a friend connector and so it is a great delight to share the things God is doing through people I know. Today I want to share my friend Kelly Balarie with you. I met her somehow randomly on the internet and she started praying for me while I was running Allume and writing Curious Faith. Honestly I wasn’t so sure about her at first…maybe I’m a little gun shy sometimes when I can’t decide if someone wants to just be my friend or wants something from me. So I kinda held her at arms length for a bit. Then she started emailing me her prayers. The stuff she prayed for me was as if she was reading my brain before the Lord, and that’s when I knew that this woman was the real deal, and I let her into my life.
I’m so so glad that I did. She is brave and kind and wise and she loves Jesus something fierce. I trust her with my heart and my prayers, and so I’ve invited her into my space here because I think you can trust her too.
Please welcome Kelly Balarie:
She’s not going to like you.
That. That – right there – is the voice that tells me you and I could never really be friends. Even though we hit it off as we watch our kids play sports. Even though you laugh at my jokes and we connect over our deep love of coffee and chocolate. Even with all these fabulous friends-in-the-making signs…I still doubt you’ll really like me. Nope. You won’t really like me once you get to know me.
I’ll be too much: too intense, too intrigued, too energetic, too interested.
So, when you turn to me, as we say our goodbyes on the field, and suggest we hang out… “do coffee or something, someday”, I nod my head. I make it look like we’ll do just that. We’ll get together.
But, come a few days later, when you text me to hang out, my feelings run sour, my hands get sweaty and my fingers don’t work.
I let her down. It pains me to do so, but, still, I do…
Friend-that-could-have-been, I wish you knew it’s not so much about you – you’re not the problem, I am. It’s my issue.
I get afraid. As I wrote in my book, Fear Fighting, I get afraid I of giving up my time, my sacred time that I only have so much of: my sacred time on my couch of comfort, my sacred time taking walks by myself, looking in magazines, scrolling Facebook or basically doing anything that is some semblance of peace without the screams of violent and accosting toddlers. All this safe time, earned time, and recovery time is, well, hard to give up. In a way, it is so unassaultingly – mine. And, yes, unassaultingly, is not even a word – I know this – but it so well defines my fear of you.
I’m desperately afraid – if I lay down my comfort, I will be thrust into this weird place of awkward found across the circular platform of wood and a cup of coffee. Here, we’ll look at each other and wonder why we ever thought of this to begin with. We won’t have anything to say. Our mouths will open and crickets will march out. And, then, it will happen – the painstaking chirp will escape, something stupid. I’ll sound like a complete idiot.
All this feels assaultingly horrible.
Just the idea makes me snuggle into complacency, pull my blanket up and hit Pinterest, with the pretend idea that I am actually going to use those table settings for some super awesome party. News flash: I’m not.
So what’s my deal? I don’t know…I ask myself the same question: What’s wrong with me?
I am afraid of wasting time.
Or, looking stupid.
Or, you ditching me.
So, I wipe my hands of you – and ditch you first.
I thought dating games ended at marriage. Apparently not. I’ll stand you up faster than you can text me.
So, with all this said and done, you have every right to hate me. I’ve, at times, hated the people who have hurt me too, except for, now upon writing this diatribe – I’m realizing they were probably just scared too. This is, probably, in large part, why they hurt me, ditched me, turned on me or never followed through. Because, many times, fear held them back. Because they weren’t so sure about themselves either. Because pain from the past feels repetitive.
Sadly, though, I never cared. I never reached out enough to love them. I never extended a hand.
People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Sam. 16.7
I can’t know a person’s heart. They can’t know mine either. But, who does know is God. And, God always gets down to the heart.
What if we did the same?
To get to the heart, sounds like this: The risk to love is worth the reward. God won’t abandon me. He’ll help me take the risk. Even if I act dumb, this may give another freedom to look dumb too. I can be authentic and say, “I’m nervous”. My fears might be shared across the table. My imperfections make space for others.
Interested in fighting fear? Join the 4 Days to Fearless Challenge!
About the book, Fear Fighting, Awakening the Courage to Overcome Your Fears: Author and Speaker, Kelly Balarie didn’t always fight fear – for a large part of her life, she was controlled by it. Yet, in her book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears, with God, Kelly charts a new course. Join Kelly, on the journey to go and grow with Christ’s bravery, the Spirit’s counsel and God’s unending love that squelches fear. This book reads like a love letter from God, while offering practical heart-calming prayers, anxiety-reducing tips, and courage-building decrees that will transform your day. www.fearfightingbook.com
Kelly is both a Cheerleader of Faith and a Fighter of Fear. She leans on the power of God, rests on the shoulder of Christ, and discovers how to glow in the dark places of life. Get all Kelly’s blog posts by email or visit her on her blog, Purposeful Faith. You can also find a variety of resources for your fight against fear here.