Are your fears worth listening to?


A few months ago, my husband and I took a trip to our family’s cabin in the mountains of eastern Oregon. 


The cabin has become a place of solace and rest for me.

It is quiet, remote, and we make due with no running water and only occasional power (when we fire up the generator). That area also experiences high and low temperatures.


One day, we returned to the cabin from a nearby town and it was sweltering inside. So, we opened the windows and doors to cool it down and allow a draft through.


Tyler laid down for a nap, and I sat down to write. After a while, I got hungry and decided to grab a quick snack from the car, which was just outside the front door. As I was about to cross the threshold, I heard a strange noise.


Let me rewind by saying there are some strange bugs over there. One of the first things we do when we get to the cabin is sweep out the dead bugs and catch the live ones and clear them out so the cabin is habitable (and so we aren’t swallowing extra protein in our sleep).


So…I’m back to standing at the front door…


When I heard the strange noise, I wondered what kind of bug would be making that noise. Fortunately, I stopped to investigate. Not so much out of fear as curiosity. 


After a couple of seconds, I saw it. 


A rattlesnake. 


It was within three feet of where I was standing. It blended in with the rocks behind it but there was no mistaking the little rattle shaking around on its tail. Had I not paused for that quick moment, and instead taken a step past the threshold, I would have stepped right next to it. And it was on high alert!


Who knows what would have happened. 


It may have bitten me. 


It may have eventually wandered inside the cabin.


I was able to jump back inside and shut the door. And my brave husband came to the rescue to make sure the snake would not surprise us again.


And even though I escaped being harmed by the snake, the fear I experienced lives on. 


Whenever we consider going to the cabin now, I think about that rattlesnake. And my gut reaction is to avoid making the trip.


But I make the trip anyway, even if I don’t feel 100% comfortable about it. 


I could let fear of rattlesnakes stop me. But if I do, I forfeit the peace, the quality time with my husband, and the connection to God and nature that cabin trip brings. And for me,

avoidance isn’t worth the price of what I would lose.


Oh, I’m careful now. I thoroughly scan the path when I head to the outhouse. I keep my ears open when I’m out on the property. But I don’t avoid the trip altogether.


We have this same choice in life. We can let fears stop us completely. Or we can decide to move forward, even if we do it cautiously. 


I want to challenge you to consider your “rattlesnakes.” 


What fears in your life are stopping you from moving forward? From saying yes to that really great thing? From getting out of the stuck spot you’re in?


How can you make the decision take the step anyway, even if you’re afraid? Life is full of things we can’t control. But you only get one chance, one lifetime, here on earth. Will you avoid living full out because of “rattlesnakes?”


This week, make a list of your rattlesnakes (the things that stop you from living out your calling, from living out everything you know you can be). Then, for each rattlesnake, 


1. write down why you want to move forward (past the rattlesnake)


2. how you can make it happen


3. and when you will start


Life is full of rattlesnakes. But none of them are a match for a woman living out who God is calling her to be.


Right now, Tyler and I are back at the cabin for a few days. I’m sharing pictures of the spectacular view with you. And this view is worth the price of pushing past fear.


You are made for more. Rattlesnakes come and go. Don’t let them stop what you are intended to do in this life.

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Julie Watson2 Comments