By: Tessa Valadez
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” One of my middle schoolers asked me during our homework hour at Ciudad Nueva’s after-school program. I smiled as she typed away at the computer, not even realizing that I was already a grown up. I mean, I graduated from college with two degrees. Then I laughed. Am I grown up?
“Well, I –” I paused. She turned and looked at me, waiting for my reply. I felt twelve all over again, feeling myself burst.
“If I had absolutely no fear in the world. None, whatsoever. I mean, no worries about competition,” I rambled, “or impressing people, or changing who I am — then I would be [insert drumroll here] a film actress. No! A director…” Or an astronaut. Or an archaeologist. Take your pick.
The evening’s drive home left me thinking back to that conversation. As I took the on-ramp to the freeway I thought of another conversation this past weekend with my grandmother. She told me about a lady who died of cancer and came back to life. In that in-between moment, she explained she had a choice: to be with Jesus or continue living on earth.
“She chose to live on earth,” my grandmother replied, “she chose to go back to a life of suffering.” I took a moment to pause and think about that. Granny kept going, “But she came back unafraid of death. You know what she did? She decided to use all of her energy to be positive rather than focus on her previous fear: death. She had already faced it! Imagine — to live without the fear of death!” My head swam with the dreams I could achieve without fear. What would it look like to love others without the fear of being rejected? My middle school years hit me head on. But really. What would it look like if I loved all of the people in my life without fear of — I don’t know — impressing them, losing my self-image, looking foolish? What would it look like to love without the fear of death?
What would it look like to have someone love me fearlessly?
Christmas music kept rolling with the crawl on the freeway as these thoughts zoomed at a faster speed than the cars boxing me in. What would life look like with no fear?
No guilt in life. No fear in death — this is the power of Christ in me.
Life with no fear would look like an individual confident in who Jesus says he is. Period. Increase, LORD.
It’s going to take me awhile to get through this steak.