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Jul 08, 2022 516 Jackie Perry
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Do Not Be Afraid

Hesitant to take that leap of faith? Then this is for you.

Five years ago, my then-boyfriend now-husband and I were seriously dating while living seriously far apart. I lived in Nashville, TN and he lived in Williston, ND—1,503 miles apart. The distance wasn’t practical for two people in their mid-thirties who had love and marriage on their minds. But we had well established lives in separate states. While dating, we prayed separately and together about our future, particularly about the distance factor. After we prayed a Novena of Surrender, his job suddenly offered him a transfer back to his home state of Washington, and soon I decided to also move to Washington where we could finally date while in the same city.

A New Adventure

One afternoon as I chatted with a friend, I shared my decision to move to Washington. I was stunned when she said, “You’re so brave!” I could have used one hundred words to describe my decision, but ‘brave’ would not have been one of them. It didn’t feel brave; it just felt right because it was grounded in contemplation and discernment. I had been praying long and hard about our future together, and while I prayed, I realized God was not only changing my heart, but also preparing me for this new adventure.

Over time the things that once had kept me tethered to the city I had lived in and loved for almost ten years lost their hold on me. One by one, my obligations began to neatly wrap themselves up or were redirected entirely. As I experienced those changes, I was able to pull away from my once busy life and continue to pray about my future. I experienced a new freedom which allowed me to become somewhat of an obedient nomad able to follow the Holy Spirit’s promptings.

Do What is Right

As I said, being ‘brave’ had never crossed my mind. I simply felt I was doing the next right thing for my life, regardless of the unknown and despite the look of surprise that would wash over people’s faces when I told them my plans. It turned out that I was doing the next right thing for my life. It was one of the most right things I have ever done.

My boyfriend and I eventually married (three years and counting). Two years later we conceived our first sweet babe whom we lost in utero, and then our beautiful baby girl was born the following year.

Lately, I’ve thought often about my friend calling me brave. Her comment aligns with a Scripture passage that continues bubbling up in my mind: “…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

If I had chosen fear instead of the courage the Holy Spirit gave me, I would have scuttled the future God had planned for me. I would probably not be married to the man God had in mind for me. I would not have my baby girl or our baby in heaven. I would not have the life I’m now living.

Fear is rotten. Fear is a distracter. Fear is a liar. Fear is a thief. God did not give us a spirit of fear.

I encourage you to boldly, and lovingly choose the path of courage for your life, with a sound mind and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Tune into the Spirit’s promptings and drown out fear. Fear is not of the Lord. Do not journey through life with a spirit of timidity, passively watching your life pass you by. Instead, in the spirit of power and love and self-control, be an active participant with the Holy Spirit. Be bold. BE BRAVE. Live the life God has planned for you and you alone.

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Jackie Perry

Jackie Perry is a wife and an inspiring writer. As a Catholic, Perry believes that one of the most important things you could ever choose in your life is to live radically, authentically and unapologetically as your truest self. You can learn more about her at laughsandlove.com

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