I think I can speak for most people I know when I say we all have fears. Some of us feel afraid only once in a while. Others entertain some form of angst daily. Regardless of how often, if you’re human, you’re bound to be scared sometimes.
I remember a time after both of my parents died when I’d go out walking alone at night, to Lake Michigan. This isn’t something I’d normally do, as I’m a firm believer in the Buddy System after dark. But there was almost a fearlessness in me during that stage of grief which felt like nothing could hurt me more than I was already hurting. Fear seemingly had no hold on me. I was a single young adult at the time and, though I certainly didn’t want any harm to come my way, deep sorrow had me feeling there was nothing more to lose.
The truth is, however, so long as we are alive, much is at stake. We are made vulnerable - our bodies, our minds, our relationships, and all we hold dear. Fearlessness is a myth.
So how does one find courage to live with the fears, the vulnerability that we all have? Whether the threats are big or small, fleeting or anchored, real or perceived, we need courage. Courage is defined as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty” by Merriam-Webster. But perhaps, for a person of faith, it’s explained better in the famous saying, “Courage is fear that has said its prayers."
Yes, prayer is about the only way I have learned to manage the frightening parts of life. Prayer allows us to come to terms with our vulnerabilities because inherent in prayer is surrender. And surrender allows for some measure of peace because it acknowledges a power greater than ourselves can hold that which we need held.
May you be inspired!