FACING YOUR FEARS

I was frozen with fear. I was sweating and the room was spinning. In the distance I heard people shouting, “Jump! Jump! Jump!”

I wasn’t on the second-story of a burning building – I was at the end of the diving board in my college swim class. I would never have taken the class if I knew the final exam involved a jump off the high-dive platform! Just call me acrophobic. Heights have a tendency to paralyze me. I would have done the crawl of shame off the diving board if I wasn’t afraid that any movement would cause me to plummet into the abyss below.

Other swimmers grew impatient behind me. My classmates below continued their chant, “Jump! Jump! Jump!” When  reality hit that the only way down was off the end of the board, I screamed, “Cow-a-bunga!” and hurdled myself into midair. I cannon-balled into the deep end of the pool, pushed off the bottom and came up gasping for air.

I passed the class, but more than that, I surprised even myself: I did it! I faced a gigantic fear!

I have also struggled with arachnophobia. If you told me years ago that I would ever get past my fear of spiders, it would have seemed the impossible dream. However, when my children were small, because I didn’t want to pass my phobia on to them, I prayed that God would take the fear from me. I don’t pretend to be fond of spiders, but today I am willing to settle for peaceful co-existence – if they stay outdoors. If they venture into my living space – all bets are off – I whack them on the head with a shoe, something I couldn’t have done before.

Did I mention that I am also techno-phobic? Thirteen years ago, I felt nauseous whenever I walked past the computer that had sat on my desk for more than a year. Having hopes and dreams of someday being a published writer, I signed up for a “Computers For Dummies” class. I hung on the instructor’s every word: “This is a mouse. Move the mouse.” I followed up with more advanced classes.

Once again, I amazed myself: I am capable of much more than I give myself credit for. I am still learning, but I’ve come a long way from my first computer class, and…I am a published freelance writer.

This summer, with my daughters at my side, I faced my techno-fear again, and upgraded to an iPhone-5. I am having a blast with it. Tomorrow I will face yet another fear: updating my computer. (Pray for me!) I am trading in my 9-year old pc for a Mac. The room isn’t spinning (yet), but the question is still in the back of my mind: Can I do this? The answer is: Yes! I can – with the help of a knowledgeable friend.

Facing our fears can be scarier than snakes – just ask Indiana Jones – but it is also empowering. When you do something you thought you never could, a world of possibilities opens up before you. You begin to ask yourself, “What else might I be able to do?”

Living in fear is not God’s plan for us: “God did not give us a spirit of timidity (fear), but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)
If you have a fear that needs facing, here are some suggestions that might help:
Talk about your fear with someone you trust – somehow it takes away some of the power that fear has over you.
Pray – ask God to help you to overcome your fear. Ask Him to do what seems impossible for you to do on your own.
Get help – there are probably knowledgeable friends and resources available to assist you. Don’t rule out getting professional help.
Remind yourself of past victories over fear and of accomplishments you never thought possible.
Extend patience, grace, and mercy towards yourself as you work through this process. Give yourself the time you need to get past this.
Face your fears. You are capable of much more than you give yourself credit for. As a matter of fact, you just might amaze yourself!

Today’s Challenge: Do you have a fear that is plaguing you? Refuse to submit to it any longer. Take the first step to face it today. God bless you as you do. I am praying for you!

2 Comments

  1. Susan
    Oct 26, 2013

    Thank you for your blog on fear. I plan to share it.

  2. Kathy Fortney
    Oct 26, 2015

    Written so clearly, so simply yet so powerfully. Great verses to memorize and store in my mind for all those “phobia” adventures.

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