Fear can be paralyzing and make us feel like there’s no way out. Annie Downs, a speaker and author of the book “Let’s All Be Brave”, recently delivered a message on fear. She posed this question in response to “What if?” questions of fear in our lives: “… And then what?” This really hit me because I HATE feeling STUCK and it helped remind me of so many things that I learned in The Journey Training.

I’m a planner, always have been – always will be. I remember making college plans from a young age. I thought I was destined for Harvard, Florida State, or Notre Dame. I always thought I knew what career I was going to choose – everything from Chairman of the Board or lawyer to an actress on Days of our Lives.

I pursued both medicine and nursing in college. In my mind, it didn’t matter that I’m legally blind with a left side weakened by a prenatal stroke. There were still plenty of things I could do in those fields! Well, those plans didn’t pan out. And I vividly remember when it occurred to me that I MIGHT not get an acting contract and marry one of the actors. I was devastated!

The day I got rejected from nursing school, my Dad drove up to my college to have dinner with me. He was expecting to have to pick me up off the floor. And then what? I made the choice to believe that I was going to be okay, that GOD HAD BETTER PLANS FOR ME.

I actually went to the University of Georgia for my Bachelor’s degree, the University of San Diego for my Master’s degree, and now I’m a Special Education teacher. There were a lot of steps in getting there, a lot of tears cried, and a lot of plans that changed.

Fears can stop us if we give up and let them – or we can choose to do something else instead.

Your boyfriend breaks up with you. And then what? You enjoy more time with your friends and you go meet new people.

You don’t get a job you wanted or you lose your job. And then what? You keep networking and applying for other jobs.

Your weight loss methods aren’t working as you hoped. And then what? You try something different.

We can’t completely stop fear from entering our lives, but life doesn’t have to stop when a fear is realized. We can choose to find an answer to the question, “And then what? It usually just takes one small step to begin working through the fear. I’m not saying it will be easy and we don’t have to do it alone.

No matter our circumstances, God doesn’t give up on us: “I’ve never quit loving you, and I never will. ” Jeremiah 31:3

Are you feeling stuck somewhere in your life? Do you feel like nothing is changing? Are you afraid to make a move because you don’t know what to do next? Consider enrolling in The Journey Training’s next class. There’s your first small step and to answer the question, “And then what?”