There are many times in my life where I have been paralyzed in fear. How is that possible, you ask? I am a woman who speaks in front of many other women, sometimes hundreds at a time. I have written a book and had it published. I have traveled across the United States on my own. Well, I am still this introverted and shy woman. I do not naturally just go up to someone and introduce myself or extend my friendship. I don’t like big crowds – funny, huh! I am a homebody if ever there was one and I am content to be in a tiny little town away from the city life.
For much of my growing up years I moved from town to town. My dad was a pastor and we rarely stayed past two years in one place. The longest I have lived anywhere in my entire life has been five years as of the writing of this article. My husband was in the Army and that caused us to move in my adult years. All this change has helped my fear of coming out of my shell and letting others in.
I realized that I was stepping away from things that were meant to help me grow as a person and in ministry and I started to ask myself, what can I do to stop shying away in fear?
Let’s look at some ways you can take action against fear and start to live a full and meaningful life. This won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
- Do it even if you are afraid. I’m not talking about fear of heights, though you could really work on conquering that too. Just because something is scary to you doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. Many times that thing that is meant to help us grow is the most challenging thing we’ll ever have to face. I wasn’t a great public speaker and many will tell you that I still am not, but I knew that I was supposed to do this and I just started doing it anyways. I still pray before every event I speak at and introduce myself as friend and sister. Is it hard? You bet ya it is!
- Grab a friend and partner it. Sometimes we are afraid because we feel that we have to do it alone. NOPE! That is not how God intended life to be. We are to live life together and that makes us better individually and as friends. We carry each other’s burdens and sometimes that means helping them through a scary situation. I have had many great friends to walk with me through some of my toughest life seasons. I wouldn’t be where and who I am today without those very special friends.
- Pray through it. This may seem like the “Christian” answer to fears, but it’s the best of all of them. When I am afraid I pray and God always sees me through. When I don’t feel that I can pray on my own or that I don’t have the words, I call upon my prayer team and close friends to do it for me. I know that they understand and even if I can’t give them details of my season, they just intercede for me. God hears all your prayers.
The only healthy fear we should have is the fear of the Lord. Anything else is just not from God. He doesn’t want you to walk in fear. He wants you to live in fullness. Experience of things we never thought possible gives us a greater view of life and how very wonderful it is supposed to be. Had I walked away from the invitation to write a book, I would have walked away from being added to a select group of individuals by my speaking agent and missed out on touching lives I never knew existed.
Ask yourself if you need to start breaking out of fear that is holding you back from growing as an individual and in faith. Are you in a season of unknown fear? Maybe God is asking you to do something that you don’t feel prepared or equipped for. Journal about it and ask every question you can think of. There will be answers and sometimes the answer is just to do it. Your reward is often in simple obedience.
Lord, fear of anything other than you is not what you want for us. You want us to live a full and joyous life. You want us to step out of comfort and into challenges that will help us to grow as children and in faith. Show us what it is that you would have us do today. Pour out comfort and blessings over each women needing to walk through their fear. Blessed be Your name, Amen.