Is Fear Keeping Your Life Tiny?
Fear shrinks your life and keeps it small!
Tiny houses are all the rage! Often mobile, these wee homes that are typically between 100 and 400 square feet, rarely more than 500 square feet. That not a very big space! Perhaps, just a hair bigger than the room you had growing up!
There are a variety of reasons people are attracted to the tiny house lifestyle, including the lower cost of living, smaller carbon footprint, and the ability to transport your home. I confess, I find watching the various tiny house shows on HGTV and other networks fascinating. It’s remarkable how they are able to puzzle together so many features into such a tight space.
As intriguing as it is to explore tiny homes, I just can’t see myself actually living in one! Maybe if I lived alone – then I might be able to do it…maybe! Attempting to do it with another person or persons – no way!
In working with preschool children for many years, it was clear that children did best when there was plenty of space. In fact, according to National Resource Center for Health and Safety, you need a minimum of forty-two to fifty-feet per child in the classroom. Less space that that creates unnecessary friction.
While you and I are far from preschoolers, I bet most of us want to progress past that childhood bedroom-size dwelling. It doesn’t need to be an extravagant space, just room to move and easily engage in all the activities that take place under our roof! Space is freedom.
You may live in a spacious house, and yet it’s still possible for you to be living tiny! Fear has a crazy way of doing that! It’s powerful. Fear keeps you comfortable inside its familiar walls. It prevents you from branching out and taking risks that would allow you to grow and become all that God created you to be. It keeps you from doing what God’s called you to do too! God has a way of calling us to something big – something that we aren’t able to do on our own. He intentionally calls you to do something you need Him for and it’s going to be outside your comfort zone!
- Traps you inside your comfort zone and keeps you entrapped in the familiar.
- Keeps you passively waiting – aka stuck.
- Prevents you from embracing change.
- Stunts your growth.
- Inhibits you from trying new things and taking risks.
- Steals your confidence and makes you feel small; incompetent and incapable.
- Never has your best interests in mind!
We are supposed to fear God in a reverential way. Rather than fearing God we fear everything else. That’s messed up! We even attempt to manage fear by trying to control and play it safe. Sadly, that only perpetuates fear and brings about the very thing we were trying to avoid.
So How Do You Ditch Your Tiny Life?
We start at the beginning…the source of love: God.
God is love. I John 4:8b (ESV)
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. I John 4;16 (ESV)
…He first loved us. I John 4:19b (ESV)
His love makes us fearless!
Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. I John 4:18a (NCV)
If the God of the universe loves you, and He does, that’s big! In fact, He loved you enough to send His Son to earth to die for you. By dying on the cross, Jesus took on the punishment for your sin so that He might enjoy a relationship with you. He wants to connect and be a part of your life that much!
This is what real love is: It is not our love for God; it is God’s love for us in sending his Son to be the way to take away our sins. I John 4:10 (NCV)
God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NCV)
If that isn’t proof that you are loved and valuable in His eyes, I don’t know what is!
When you accept His love and believe that He values you it changes everything. It impacts your choices, and infuses you with the courage you need to pursue an expansive life. And it keeps fear at bay.
Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears. I John 4:18 (NCV)
The next time fear creeps in, remember…
1. You Are Loved By God!
Spend time with Him. Savor His presence. He is with you! Dwell on truth. Look for signs big and small of His tender love for you.
2. To Love Others
Allow God’s love to saturate your life in such a way that you can’t help but love others. Make that your focus! He doesn’t lavish you with love so that you keep it all to yourself! No, He wants you to be a conduit of His love.
Loving others means forgiving others just like God has forgiven you. Being patient and kind and all that is so eloquently described in I Corinthians 13.
3. To Rejoice
As long as we are on this earth, we will feel fear from time to time. We don’t have to let fear dictate our choices. Simply acknowledge fear, zero in how loved you are by God, and rejoice in all that you have to be grateful for. You will know that you are growing when you are able to navigate that process quicker.
4. To Accept Yourself
Yes, right where you are right now! You see, a healthy sense of how much God loves and values you – imperfections and all – impacts how you view your worth. When you live from that loved place, it makes it possible to takes risks and step outside your comfort zone. Change becomes less threatening and it’s less necessary to engage in destructive behaviors.
Don’t Remain Stuck!
Pleasure is quite motivating! Venturing outside of your comfort zone and into the unknown – that might be painful, so you huddle in your tiny space. Unfortunately, fear clouds your perceptions. Colored by fear, your perceptions are rarely accurate.
You can’t will fear away when it pops up. Sooner or later, your feelings will override your willpower. That’s because when you boil fear down it’s about your beliefs. That’s why learning to make the changes needed to succeed is really about learning to believe that God truly loves you, that you are valuable in His sight, and that He is eager to help you venture outside of your tiny life.
When you’re operating from a loved place, it not only impacts your self-esteem, but also expands what you are comfortable doing. From that loved place life is an adventure, an opportunity, and something exciting, not something to be feared. Living loved changes everything!
Did you know that resisting change makes you rigid? Embracing change keeps you flexible. Let’s just say that there’s not much room to stretch in a tiny house!
It’s not surprising that many tiny home dwellers ran into a host of snags that forced them to ditch the tiny lifestyle. Some have resorted to weekend living or the occasional get-a-ways in their tiny homes.
I trust that you too spend less and less time your tiny life too. Why not embrace the wide-open spaces of God’s grace instead?
And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that He has already thrown open His door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide-open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise. Romans 12:2 (MSG)
How would your life be different if you gave up the tiny lifestyle?