By Wanda Grimsley
In January I assigned this powerful word to the new year that lay before me. Everything in my stream of consciousness seemed to shout “FEARLESS!” It was everywhere. I was hearing it, singing it, wearing it, and speaking it over myself. I felt it too, every remnant of fear falling away, like I could conquer anything. It was amazing, intense, and invigorating!
It was also fleeting. It didn’t last. Not for me.
While I don’t remember anybody saying explicitly what fearlessness was supposed to look like, I did hear the word ninja at some point, and I chuckle as I admit that set me off down a path and put a certain image in my mind. All I saw were powerful, stealthy, uncompromising, bold, women, calling out all sorts of evil, slaying devils left and right.
Life starts happening again pretty quickly after a moment like the conference. Far-reaching decisions have to be made thoughtfully and executed carefully. Challenges arise and it doesn’t take long to recognize that subtle tap on the shoulder or the worrisome whispers of fear. At that time, I was facing a new invitation to fear. It was encompassed in all the realities of aging parents who live far away.
I no longer felt like an unstoppable force for God. I felt afraid. I was tempted to believe I just don’t measure up, I must not have enough faith to live in fearlessness. What does God think about that?
During the next few months, God gave me his perspective on that question. I have a new appreciation for ‘fearlessness’ in my life and it started with realizing my fearlessness doesn’t have to look like yours.
I am not a ninja. I’m not stealth and smooth in any way. But I am learned in and steadied by the Word of God. I am not demanding and confrontational, but because God gives me unmatched power, I’m courageous and stand firm. I am not daring or audacious, but His Spirit makes me bold. My nature is quiet, but His nature in me leads me to be fervent and persistent in the things He calls me to. I don’t charge full speed ahead to conquer, but I do not back down and I refuse to give up ground to anything contrary to the Word of God.
Fearlessness is faith in action, whether dramatic or quietly confident in nature. I thank God for women demonstrating “Fearless” for me in many different ways.
- Rahab who stood in the face of threatening authority and didn’t cower.
- Hannah’s fervent, persistent prayers and her faith to believe. (1Samuel 1:9-28).
- Sarah’s surrender to God’s plan, which included submission to her husband to literally pack up and follow and trust God.
- Queen Esther’s strategic risk-taking and standing up to the King.
- Mary’s willingness to sit at Jesus’ feet when her sister was pressuring her to be busy with other things.
Faithfulness equals Fearlessness
Fearlessness can be seen in the everyday things we do as believers, things often overlooked. It can be as simple as showing up when you’d rather not. In my case of aging parents, it has recently meant showing up at doctor’s offices, not knowing what the diagnosis will be. When fear starts whispering, I do it afraid. I show up.