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A Note On Fear. For Dreamers.

Currently, my personal image of myself could be summed up as: the smallest drop of water in the largest body of ocean.

I think that’s called, just a drop in a bucket.

And sometimes it feels like a tree falling in an abandoned, unknown forest.

But I don’t think that always. Just sometimes. When I do, it’s loud and distracting. It’s the small flicker of my dreams being met by a furious gust of wind.

And then darkness.

I don’t think I’m alone. I think we all, at some point, hear that voice telling us how truly unlovely and insignificant we are.

I got the opportunity to hear Jon Acuff (bestselling author. You might know him from Stuff Christians Like) speak at Blissdom this past weekend. He asked us to write down the one negative statement that tiny voice keeps telling us.

I grabbed my pen but I should have grabbed my heart. It dropped so low and I knew that I had allowed myself to be marred by this voice one thousand times over.

I twirled my pen. Pretending like I just could not think of what that negative thought was.

And Jon said, write it down now.

So I did.  You should to. Write it down now.

Here, I’ll go first,

“Someone else is already doing it better than you and even if you try, know that someone else can certainly do it better than you ever will.”

And I shook my head when I wrote this. I agreed with this thought and allowed a list of names come to me. The ones who are already doing it better or are further along or have figured it out. And that gust of wind takes everything I have.

And then darkness.

Tears fell hard and silent. And I bit my lip. And “coughed.” I got up for water.

Jon said two things after that. I hope they change my life.

He said, “When your fears get louder, you’re probably doing something right.”

And  I thought about all the times that fear was so ruthlessly loud. When that fear backed me into a corner and shrunk me to just a drop. And then deposited me into a bucket.

They were all times before big steps. Larger than life steps.

Like when I married Beau.

Or when I went to Thailand.

Or when I moved back to Colorado Springs and accepted my job at Compassion.

And the time it has been the loudest? The day I said yes to God about being serious about my blog. Sometimes I never feel so completely foolish or small as when I think about this pursuit.

I am sharing this fear, that I honestly feel to be quite embarrassing and horrifically vulnerable, because I think that maybe you are at a place where your dream and that fear are colliding.

And that fear is looking mighty fierce and howling with everything it has. And it’s aimed right at you.

I want to say to you, your dream is so much brighter and stronger than that vapor of a fear.

I want to say to you that God made you for something truly bright and beautiful and lasting.

I want to say to you that this thing that you love or want to do but you are thinking of quitting or not even starting, well I think the world is going to miss out on a lot if you hold back.

I think you might need to hear exactly what I heard Jon say, “Never compare your beginning to somebody’s middle.”

I wanted to tell you because I think you are a dreamer. And sometimes us dreamers can be a little too hard on ourselves.

Or we can forget that fear is a distractor. A destroyer.

I think I need to fight this fear with a little truth. And when I wrote out my fear, I heard something else. A little piece of truth:

on fear and passion

Yes, your passion will breed love and compassion. It will breed a heart out to do the will of the Father. A mind capable of doing what it knows we’re here to do.

Fear will only silence you and hold you back. And then it will fill you with regret so poisonous you’ll lose yourself.

When I was in college a friend of mine asked me, “What is your greatest fear in life?”

Without so much as a breath I said,

“That one day I will stand at the gates of Heaven and be greeted by my Father. My. Father. And with just one look I will realize how truly powerful and mighty and awe-inspiring He is. And I will realize in that moment how much of the world I let steal my joy, or control me, or quiet me because I did not realize what I had access to in Jesus.”

The words of Jon will resonate with me, “The unstuck are unstoppable.” And the only thing fear does is get us stuck.

And I think I just want to challenge you, dreamer, to write out your dream. And then next to it write out that one negative thought which fear is using against you

And realize everything that will be lost if you let that fear get you stuck.

on fear

7 comments
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  • Kendra FletcherMarch 25, 2013 - 4:30 pm
    Brianne, I'm a little stunned. It's as if you were in my home last night, listening to the conversation I had with my husband. "What's the point?" and "I feel foolish." Those thoughts were fear stabbing me while on this path to a great unknown, and amidst the moments of clarity and encouragement are the great waves of fear that lie to me and tell me that I should just shut it all down and live a quiet life. Thank you.

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    • belleandbeauMarch 26, 2013 - 1:22 pm
      Kendra, it was so encouraging to read your comment. I will be praying for you and the journey God has you on. I miss you!!

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  • Daniele @ Domestic SerenityMarch 25, 2013 - 8:24 pm
    Words of truth here...thank you so much. I feel like Kendra, embarking on the unknown and unfamiliar {new, scary!} territory. Appreciate your encouragement... grace.

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  • AmandaMarch 26, 2013 - 1:43 am
    You have no idea how much I needed to hear that! As I struggle to finish dental hygiene school and try to find my niche as I chase my God-sized dream of writing, fear overwhelms me. I wrote a post just today about the days you feel like laying down your dreams. Thanks for the encouragement!

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  • Katie @ Paradise PraisesMarch 26, 2013 - 3:29 am
    Just what I needed to hear! Thank you for being vulnerable for others benefit.

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  • Erin @ Blue-Eyed BrideMarch 28, 2013 - 2:58 am
    I couldn't make it to do Blissdom this year because our family was invited to attend a really great family retreat with our church. But I am so sad I didn't get to hear Jon Acuff talk about this. I had just blogged on Thursday about getting stuck somewhere between ambition and fear. I don't want this fear. I want clear, defined dreams and I want to go get them! Thank you for writing this so that I can take a little bit of Blissdom with me. :)

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    • belleandbeauApril 9, 2013 - 4:22 pm
      So sad to hear you could not make it to Blissdom, Erin, but it sounds like you are on the right track with where you want your dreams to be! I am glad I could share a little piece of Blissdom with you :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Donna Henderson NortonOctober 30, 2014 - 4:17 pm
    Somehow i stubbed upon your blog. And then i read this post. I actually followed your instructions.....i stopped and wrote out that fear. And read the following lines as if you were sharing those words with me over coffee and meant every one. It has made all the difference today. thank you.

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hello love...

Welcome! I'm Bri! Accidental home cook. Lover of gathering people around a table over a meal. Author of Come & Eat (September 2017). What I really want is to pull out a chair for you at my table. But until then, I hope you stay awhile and enjoy my stories + recipes! 

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