This past weekend I spent two days with a few Texas girls. Okay, more than a few. About 2,500 of them.

Goodness, if I could’ve packed ’em all up and brought ’em home, I would have. These Texas women know how to celebrate faith, friendship and deliver a two-arm, neck-wringing hug like no other. I came home filled up, head to toe.

The world could use a few more of them, in my opinion. Both the Texas women and their hugs.

Every January, led by the beautiful and talented Michelle Carson, Tyler, TX hosts the Cowgirl Get-together. It’s a gathering of those involved in the cowboy church movement, something I was unaware of before they invited me to speak in 2013. Now I know these sisters firsthand, and I’ve seen their faith spread like a fire.

How I love them so.

This year, my second year, the theme was “No Fear!” A fitting topic for me, considering my too-long wrestling match with the beast. So I pulled a message from the gory guts of my personal experience. Not glamorous, I tell you. Just the rock-hard truth of mistakes made and lessons learned in the fire. This is what I said, to both them and myself:

If you and I want to leave fear in the dust, to push past all the what-ifs and if-onlys and find a real and lasting peace, then we need to make some serious changes. You ready?

  1. First, change what you believe. This is where it starts. Why? Because fear is a liar and a thief. It wants to convince you you’re alone, powerless and trapped. It taunts you with all the things that could go wrong tomorrow, or the next day, or even twenty years from now. In nearly every case, it’s nothing but air. But Fear doesn’t care. His only goal is to steal from you the experience of today by making you worry about tomorrow. Instead, tear down the lies with the truth. For me, these are the truths that break fear’s chokehold on me: (1). God’s presence is with me. (2) God’s power will carry me. And (3) God’s glory will thrill me. Regardless of what may or may not happen, these truths will not let me down. Fear, on the other hand, will.
  2. Change how you talk. Words are the fuel on the fire of our feelings (go ahead. read that again.). Want more fear? Keep talking about all the things that could go wrong. Want to feel alone, unwanted and unappreciated? Make sure you nurse that cocktail of poison by rehearsing them outloud as often as possible. On the other hand, if you want to feel secured, reassured and loved, talk differently. We all need to vent from time to time, I get that. But our problem is we don’t know how to stop, and move on. Let’s stop rehearsing what is wrong and start celebrating what is good and right.
  3. Change how you live. Our feelings influence how we act. No doubt about it. And sometimes that’s a good thing, like when that warm-and-fuzzy love feeling draws me to the store to buy a card for my man. Too often, however, I let my negative emotional sludge dictate how I live. Anyone hear me? The result is disastrous. When fear is the driver, we make reactive, emotional, and unhealthy decisions. Fear is a normal part of the human experience, and it’s going to creep up from time to time. But we don’t have to let it be boss.

This was the heart of my message both Friday night and Saturday morning. Truth is, it’s the heart of the message I’m trying to live day in and day out, in this crazy, often frightful life.

Want to live fearless? Believe the truth. Speak the truth. Live the truth.

Everything else is air.

Which of these three changes do you most need to make right now? I’ll start. I need to change how I talk. My mouth gets me into too much trouble. Imagine that. 🙂 

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