While on my journey to become a full-time writer, I work a monthly job at a trades day market. It provides the income we need to survive on beans and cornbread (and an assortment of chicken, fish and steak dishes. God is good).
This job is hard manual labor, but I love meeting people and getting out of the house five days a month.
These portable shops are set-up and torn-down each time, and I do some of that work in addition to my sales job. But one thing I always avoided was the ladder. *shiver* Anything over two rungs up and my knees Jell-O.
The day came and the last touch left required decorations on the top shelves running the length of the booth. With other workers occupied, I bravely grabbed the ladder and set to work.
I tried just the first two steps. Not high enough. I stepped to the third one and wanted to close my eyes. Instead, I glanced around. Wow. What a view. Familiar faces and corners took on a new depth, and I felt a rush of elation for no reason. I loved the new view. It was cool.
I remembered my fear of the third rung, but I didn’t tremble. I continued decorating the shelves, repositioning the ladder down the line as I worked. I paused at each spot to take in the view. I felt empowered. Not only was my fear conquered, I found that facing it brought a pleasant experience. I enjoyed it.
What else am I afraid of without cause? What’s keeping me from the wonderful things God has for me? How much have I missed in life because of fear?
Back to writing. I constantly force my characters to face their fears (sometimes I feel so mean). I strive to make the outcome realistic. If you can’t relate to my character, what good is the story? It’s not right when things turn out rosy for them and it could never happen that way in real life. But my characters do have the power to motivate you to face your own fear.
Whether it’s heights or sharing the gospel with someone or visiting a new church, I pray the real fears in life shine through my characters and into your heart; and hopefully give you a fresh perspective.
Rise above your fears–God has a new view for you.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV