I recently joined an online writer's group where the moderators ask a question, and members email their responses to each other. I read and I learn, but I don't usually share anything because I am so new to this writing "gig" that I feel I don't have something worthy to share. This week's question, though, was one in which I (unfortunately) have a great deal of experience: "What are you afraid of?" The question, of course, related to the field of writing, but I felt led to share what I will now share with you as well.
Since I will be speaking at a Ladies Tea in June on the subject of fear, I have had this on my mind. If you are coming to the Tea and want to be surprised, stop reading here. But this is a preview of what I'll be sharing.
Fear has been a constant companion all my life. One of my biggest fears has always been the fear of public speaking. I’ve heard that the fear of public speaking is the #1 fear in this country. The #2 fear is death. That means that at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than delivering the eulogy! Jerry Seinfeld said that, and it’s the only punchline I can ever remember, probably because it hits so close to home.
Over the years, I’ve learned that there is only one fear we ought to have – the fear of the Lord. There is nothing else to fear. I’ve heard that “fear not” appears 365 times in the Word. This means that there is a “fear not” for every single day! Fear has served a purpose in my life. It keeps me on my knees. I know God can supernaturally remove it, and He has done so on occasion. But, if He doesn’t, I understand that it causes me to go to Him.
Despite my fears, I have been a speaker for years, but writing is a new endeavor for me. I struggle with whether I am good enough and how much there is to learn about this craft and this industry, but I do not want to be like the servant who buried his talent. We have to give an account someday of what we’ve been entrusted with, and I want to be found faithful.
To me, fear is like the threshold found in a doorway. It prevents me from going further. When I was little, I remember being afraid of participating in a pillow fight my dad was having with my sister. I stood silently at the entrance to the room, even after they invited me to join them. I still find that fear prevents me from moving forward. BUT, as the bride of Christ, I daily choose to allow my Bridegroom to carry me over that threshold, past that fear, leave it behind and enter into a place of peace, free of fear.
These verses have ministered greatly to me:
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 1 John 4:18
“In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:4