One weekend a couple summers ago, I was blessed to have Bryson, Brailee and their parents over for the entire weekend. If that wasn’t blessing enough, a friend of theirs had loaned them one of those commercial bounce houses with a slide for the kids to enjoy while we worked in the yard.

Bryson loves bounce houses and has always had them at his birthday parties, but it was Brailee’s first bounce house. Oh my goodness, did she love it. We could not keep her out of it. If Bryson wanted to go inside and take a break for a minute, she would stand at the door and yell ‘BRYSON!!! BRYSON!!! COME ON, BOUNCE…BRYSON!!!’ It was too cute. On Saturday they played for hours.

At one point, Brandon got in the bounce house to play with them while Breanne and I took a break and sat on the porch swing. We were watching the house bounce up and down. All of a sudden we looked and the bounce house was tipping over and falling to the side. We both ran for the kids at the same time. Brailee and Bryson were screaming and panicking. Brandon was trying to get them out. Breanne was trying to get them out. I was trying to set the house back up so they could get out. Breanne was yelling ‘push! Mom!’ It was a sight for a few minutes. We got them all out, set the house back up and life was back to normal. Almost.

Bryson was over the drama in just a few minutes. We talked with him and told him not to panic at times like that, to stay calm and just work his way out. He understood and was ready to jump again…but not Brailee.

She would not go near the bounce house, she stood on the porch and cried ‘oh no, we broke it’ for the rest of the day.

Sunday afternoon, Bryson, Brailee and I were home by ourselves for a few hours. I decided to try to get Brailee to jump again; she had so much fun the day before that I hated for her to be afraid of the same thing that just thrilled her the day before. For over an hour, I tried to talk her into it.

Then I just picked her up and carried her in while she clung to my neck.

Bryson was jumping and playing and sliding; having a good time, but not Brailee. As I sat there I thought how sad it was that she was not enjoying her day because of her fear. Then God began to speak to me.

God began to show me that there are millions of people who don’t enjoy life or who don’t live their lives to the fullest because of fear. Something has happened to them, one incident, large or small and they have allowed that thing to paralyze them and cause them to not enjoy the things they once loved. They have instead chosen to live a ‘safe’ life away from the chance of anything bad happening.

Just like Brailee, sitting on the porch, missing all the fun, crying because of one little incident in the scheme of life, crying over what is broken instead of getting back in there and having fun.

It made me do some deep heart searching to find out what ‘fears’ are stopping me from moving forward. What fears are causing me to not enjoy the fullness of life that Jesus died to give me? What fears are stopping you today?

2 Timothy 1:7 says; God has not given us a spirit of fear. Fear is a spirit and it does not come from God. Don’t let anything that is not from God stop you from living a full and joy filled life.

Friend, if your house has tumbled over on you, if some incident has happened that has allowed a spirit of fear to come into your life, deal with it today, and get rid of that fear, get back in the house and enjoy your day…jump, and slide and laugh and sing…enjoy life. Jesus died so that you could enjoy life to the full…do it!