I felt the familiar tightening of my throat muscles as microscopic beads of sweat broke out on my upper lip. My stomach did a somersault. I couldn’t seem to catch my breath even as the sound of my speeding heart pounded in my ears.
Nervously I averted my stare away from that of my friend. I thought for sure she could see in my eyes the grip of fear that had taken hold of me.
What brought on this sudden flight response, you might be asking?
Simply this. It was my friend’s sweet and unexpected invitation for me to come and speak at one of her church’s women’s group meeting!
She sat beside me smiling, patiently waiting for my response. Thankfully, she seemed completely unaware of the chaotic fight that was going on inside my panic-stricken head. Every reason and excuse for why I could not accept her invite was flashing across my mind. They were about to make their way out of my lips when I heard the gently voice of my Heavenly Father. It was the same gentle voice I heard when He encouraged me to step out in faith to start my blog. The same gentle voice that encouraged me when my husband and I were called on to start and lead a couple’s home group.
“You can do this. I will be with you every step of the way.”
His voice was lovingly reassuring and it was comforting. It made me want to obey. I smiled back at my friend and said, “Sure. Let me know when. Just to ensure I have enough notice so I can coordinate work and family.”
My voice spoke with a confidence that belied how I was actually feeling. After all, I knew my limitations and my insecurities. I was the one hearing the enemy whisper in my ears telling me “You won’t know what to say” and “Who do you think you are?”
Choosing to be fearless
I grew up “playing it safe.” Playing it safe meant less chance of failure and less chance of embarrassment. In my safe zone, I allowed fear to hold me back from doing many things. However, as I got older, I started to realize these fears were literally sucking the life and energy out of me. And, I was allowing fear to take God’s plan and purpose for my life with it. I started to see that playing it safe was keeping me trapped more than it was keeping me free.
Blogging was one of my first significant steps taken to break free from the prison of fear. I remember overcoming the hurdle of writing my first post and the moment I was about to hit the publish button. In between the pounding beats of my heart, I heard something else. I heard the click of the key as the first lock on my prison door sprung open. And I heard another lock sprung free the night my husband and I hosted and lead our first couple’s group meeting.
Moments of accomplishment that felt really great!
Those taste of freedom allowed me to realize something truly profound. I was not satisfied with continuing to live an ordinary life. I wanted more and I wanted all God had in His plan for my life. Jeremiah 29 :11 says this
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I actually don’t fully know or understand what His plans for me are or what they entail. What I do know is that He loves me and that I can trust in that love. I also know when I hold on to that truth, it gives me confidence. But I am a work in progress and I still need His gentle reminders, more often than I care to admit.
Steps to becoming that fearless woman
Becoming a fearless woman of God might look different for each of us. I believe we all struggle with a measure of fear but it may not be in the same areas as the next person. However, I will share with you a few of the main areas God has been highlighting in my life. Please note they are not written in any particular order.
1. CHOOSE COURAGE WHILE DEMONSTRATING FAITH IN GOD
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 9:1
I need to be courageous even in the face of fear and not let it steal my obedience to God’s plan for my life. You see, God has predestined me (and you) to be courageous women of change. Don’t you just love the sound of that?! We cannot afford to let fear steal that from us. So I am purposing to step out in faith and obedience. Consistently and confidently trust in God even when I’m unable to see where He is leading me. We can miss out on accomplishing great things for the Kingdom of God when we allow fear to keep us focused on our limitations instead of God’s promises.
2. PRAY EFFECTIVE FERVENT PRAYERS
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
In the process of becoming fearless, I need to have a consistent and active prayer life. A prayer life that is not just about going through the motions of praying. But instead be filled with intense passion targeted at what I am asking and expecting God to do. It is a prayer life in which I cannot be seeking my own agenda while still expecting God to answer. God’s will has to be the focus of my prayers as I learn to align myself with what He wants to accomplish in and through me. Facing God in total and fearless abandonment.
3. LOVE AND FOLLOW HARD AFTER GOD
“Love the Lord with all your heart and with all soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
I need to pursue God as my first Love. I need to keep alive the passion of knowing Him and serving Him. The bible tells us in Matthew 6:21 that where our treasure is, that’s where our heart will be. That means my attitude and actions should demonstrate my love for God and the things of God.
It includes living a repentative life and obeying his word. It includes loving others with a willingness to influence them to Christ. Personally, it means embracing my role as my husband’s help meet and nurturing and loving my family. After all, they are one of God’s greatest blessings in my life.
Moving forward in Faith
Choosing courage is not easy. It comes with sacrifices. For me that means stepping out of my comfort zone and heading into the unknown. I know very little, if anything about the bumps in the road or what lies around each bend. If you know me you would know that’s not me. I don’t like surprises! Yet I choose still to move forward, taking one day at a time and one step at a time, out of my comfort zone, knowing He who promise is faithful. Taking a journey that will strengthen my faith and trust in God and lead me to freedom. I can only do this through Christ.
I also move forward because of a bigger fear. One bigger than failure and not fueled by insecurities. That is the fear of missing out on what God has for me, the possibility that I could indeed be a woman of change for the Kingdom. Yes, the fear of missing out on embracing and reaching my fullest potential in Christ trumps all my other fears.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 5-6
I fearfully but definitely, choose to become a fearless woman of God. Dear friends, may I encourage you to join me as we journey together by faith today! God bless you!