“And are you over that fear now?”. . .
“Not yet…I may never be.”
“So they don’t go away?” . . .
“Sometimes they do. And sometimes new fears replace them. But becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it, THAT’S the point.” (Veronica Roth, Four)
As I pondered these words, I marveled at their truth and transparency. I decided to take a minute to write about them, as this concept of Being Free is central to ALL we do as a Coalition – for ourselves and those we work with.
I have heard people proclaiming that we should be FEARLESS – that this is the ultimate goal. Certainly, on the surface, this concept is ideal and it’s what we strive for! Who doesn’t want to be able to jump off a cliff into the deep blue without any fear of what lies below the water? Who doesn’t want to be unencumbered by the nagging fear of failure, of rejection, of past mistakes haunting us?
Let’s consider this from the perspective of someone who has survived a great deal of trauma. Like the 500 Christian women abducted and sold for sex in Iraq, for example. Whether it is human trafficking, abuse, a severe injury or mental illness…all these things cause fear to grow. Even without traumatic incidents, many of us battle fear on a daily basis. It’s part of being human. We each face different fears and deal with them in our own unique ways.
Yet Roth’s words rings true. Until we enter the next life, we will have fears to overcome. We won’t reach perfection, though we strive for it. But we can be FREE.
Free! Free from fear. Our Coalition believes this comes only from Christ, and the only way to ‘control’ fear is in fact to entrust our whole selves to God. Freedom is available to anyone who embraces it! Our fears, while still real and legitimate, do not have any power over us unless we let them.
When I see someone else who has faced and overcome their fear, it gives me strength, hope and deep joy. It fuels my passion. When I am part of someone else’s journey, even in a small way, and I see them step out into the unknown, taking a huge risk – it’s indescribable! And interestingly, often the external results are irrelevant. What matters is finding the courage to JUMP. To be brave. And bravery builds on bravery.
Fighting human trafficking can take courage. Escaping it always does. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1, NIV)
…”To be free from _(fill in the blank)___. That’s the point.”
~ Jessica Pittman, co-Director