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By Martie Richardson – Piqua, Ohio

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear [timidity]; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7

That verse of scripture is familiar to many. In fact, I’d like to have a dollar for every time I’ve run this promise through the gray matter between my ears.

But running it through my mind is not enough for me. I need it to make the voyage from my thoughts deeper into my heart.

For instance, I am dealing with an issue with a bridge where I live.  Most mornings, I go for a walk for exercise, but also, to explore the town I moved to some seventeen months ago.

Not long ago, I decided to take a new route that included crossing this particular bridge for the first time. While crossing it, I could actually feel fear beginning to raise its ugly head.

My stomach started doing loops because I could see down between the boards to the murky water beneath. I don’t like heights!

I’m not always in control of how my body initially reacts to situations (fight or flight), but I am in control of how I think! I wish I could report that I handled that situation with flying colors, but that would be a lie.

Instead, it went something like this… “I hope this path leads me home by another way, because I don’t want to turn around and cross this bridge again. Lord, please let there be a different trail back to where I started! I’m never coming this way again!”

After I saw there was an alternative route and that I didn’t have to return the way I came, my mind and body calmed down. One slight problem though as I progressed on my walk… I was not happy with how I handled that situation.

I let the bridge (or the fear of it) conquer me. Hey! I’m supposed to be more than a conqueror through Him who loves me, not conquered by a bridge!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:35-37 NKJV

Someone might be thinking, “Martie, it is just a bridge.” But it’s more than just a bridge to me; it is something that got the best of me and shouldn’t have. I have a date with that bridge.

Fear Gotta GO

Actually, it might require several dates. However many it takes, I intend to conquer that bridge, or rather, conquer the fear it evokes in me.

If I can’t bring the God who sets me FREE into this simple situation, then how practical is my walk with Him?

Image designed by Altmann

I know the Lord doesn’t want me afraid of some bridge. His Word tells me not to fear, so that settles the matter.

Now, it’s my responsibility to walk it out. I’m definitely excited about what I like to call, “Practical Christianity.” Bringing my spirituality into my everyday life—it matters. I’m going to use my power, love and sound mind to attack my fear of the bridge.

I’m looking forward to my next rendezvous with that route on my path. But it’s not really about the bridge. That structure is merely a tool in my path that enables me to see how big God can work in my life.

Be An Overcomer

If I overcome this fear, won’t it also help me in other areas of my life? Each fear I conquer puts me on a greater path of victory! It’s the path of relationship with my Father and my Lord Jesus that promotes success.

God and Christ were actually on that bridge with me, but I was not listening (at the time) to their voice. I was listening to another voice, my own voice of fear.

One of the great things about God is: If I fail to pass the test, He just gives me another chance. That’s why I will need to go back to that bridge and make it my best friend…Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but my point is made!

I’m focused on marinating the Word of the Lord in my gray matter until it trickles down into my heart.

Then, letting the authority of His promises melt away any hardness or unbelief that is there, until my heart has been softened by Him. Jesus came so I can have a more-than-abundant life.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 KJV

I’m determined to make that a reality. My “Practical Christianity” has no room for fear.

Martie moved to Piqua, Ohio in December of 2018 to be closer to family and CFFM. She’s now learning all about condo living. While previously living in Lima, Martie participated in or served on the local boards of: Aglow, Emmaus, Faith Partners, Mental Health, Celebrate Recovery, various churches, as well as other civic groups. Her real passion is to be a part of praise & worship, to and for the Lord, through the arts, primarily dance & drama.