Aside from our current heat wave (reaching a balmy fifty degrees), it’s been a cold winter here in North Jersey. I possess a supreme intolerance for winter. (Those of you who know me well see the gross understatement that is.) I wasn’t made to withstand temps below seventy.
I should live in SoCal.
But I don’t.
I live here. In the frigid Northeast, which I understand is slightly warmer than Canada, but I’ll not likely venture to Canada to ever test that, because I’m already too cold.
And so I walk around looking something like this:
Okay, I look EXACTLY like that. Except this is me in my kitchen. If I go outside, I add a huge double-wrap-around sweater scarf. It’s multi-colored and really adds to the look. Trust me.
I was so very excited to find this Muppet hat at Disney World last year. It’s perfect for me! Fleece lined, fully covering my ears and forehead … I love it.
My husband rolled his eyes and prophesied that I’d never dare to wear it. He’s not really a prophet, and, as soon as the temperature dropped to forty, I proudly walked all the way to school with this on my head. Would you believe I was the only 30-something mom there wearing a fuzzy, fuchsia Animal hat? I know! Shocking.
I expected my friends and neighbors to laugh at me (not that I would care), but they didn’t. I have received more compliments on this hat than any of my others. And I have a lot of very cool hats! Every single time I wear it, I hear things like …
“Only you could pull that off!”
“I wish I could wear hats.”
“You look so much warmer than I feel!”
It’s not like I have a special Animal-shaped head. I don’t have a face better-suited to hats. The glasses certainly don’t prevent any fashion or social faux pas. So, how do I “pull it off?” I simply have the courage to wear it in public. That’s it.
You can pull off anything with the right amount of courage.
Now, I’m not saying that my beautiful 5’2″ sister can play in the NBA or that I could become the queen of England. As hard as I try, I simply can’t master the accent. What I am saying is that too often we allow unsubstantiated fears to dictate our actions or perceptions.
We convince ourselves that something is inappropriate — when it’s not — or that we can’t do something — when we can. We submit to limitations that don’t really exist.
If you like hats, wear hats! If you want to be warm, wear something that will keep you warm. If you want to learn to play an instrument, go buy a guitar or a keyboard or a bongo and a book. If you want to quit your job and move to Africa for a year (or more) to work with orphans, DO IT! It’s really pretty simple. Be the person you want to be.
Dear Christian, I want to tell you that:
- God has not given us a spirit of timidity. (2 Timothy 1:7)
- He has prepared good works in advance for us to complete. (Ephesians 2:10)
- It is He who enables to do all of those good things for His glory. (Philippians 2:13).
I want to tell you all of these things because fear robs us of the joy that He wants to give us. It robs us of opportunities to be great and to enjoy life. Sure, it may start with something simple like wearing a crazy hat or elevating your level of BOOM. It may start small, but you can’t even imagine where God might take you if you simply set fear aside and live the life He has planned for you.
Be courageous, sweet friends. It’s the secret to pulling off anything.
Your Turn: Tell me about a time you refused to surrender to fear. What happened? Or maybe you have a story where you’ve let fear hold you back. What steps might you take to overcome it?