Tag Archives: fear

The Best Mistake I Ever Made

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I entered the room shaking like a leaf, cheeks flushed. I had prepared well, yet felt no confidence. I was striving to rely upon the Holy Spirit. However, I was not experiencing the boldness that is ours in Christ. I glanced out the window into the parking lot and viewed many more women entering the building than I had anticipated, most with gray hair. Instead of being encouraged, my anxiety increased.

After years of rebellion, I returned to Jesus (my first love) at age 21. At age 22 I met, fell in love with, and married the kindest man I had ever encountered, who happened to be an insanely good looking pastor.

 

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(YES, a bird pooped in my hair on our first date.)

For his second pastoral call, God planted us in Hammond, IN when I was 27 years old, as my husband accepted the senior pastor role at Covenant Presbyterian Church. By this time I had been in inductive Bible study for 5 years but had never taught one. I did not believe I had the gift of teaching.

Because I felt the void of a weekly ladies study, I inquired about someone leading one. The previous pastor’s wife had taught one, but when she left the study ended. Through prayer and counsel, I realized the Lord was leading me to take on the role of women’s Bible study teacher. With fear and trembling, I sent a proposal to the Christian Education Committee.  However, due to my insecurities, I proposed a young women’s study as that was a little less intimidating than the thought of teaching women older than I was.

Back to that “best mistake I ever made” thing,  I ended up offending most of the older women in the church, many of whom desired to come.  The committee came back and encouraged me to begin the study but invite all of the women in the church.

By God’s grace hurt feelings were healed and the study was comprised of mainly “older” women. I learned invaluable lessons from these dear ladies and they helped me discover I did indeed have the gift of teaching.

Step out in faith and let God take care of the outcome!

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein

The following is a photo of the several of the beautiful souls who helped shape me.

 

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What is the best mistake you ever made and how did God use it? Who came alongside you to help you overcome your fears? I would love to hear from you!

Needing someone to come alongside you right now? My friend Kelly Balarie is your girl!  I urge you to order her book, Fear Fighting, off of Amazon.

Awaken Courage! Overcome your fears!

Fear Factor!

IMG_1147He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. Psalm 23:2 (NASB)

 

Are you crazy busy? I challenge you to stop your frantic pace and “lie down in the green pastures and sit beside the still waters.”

 

 

In his book, A Shepherd Looks at PSALM 23, Phillip Keller says, “Sheep refuse to lie down unless they are free of all fear.”

 

Have you considered the root of your frantic pace may be fear? Do you worry that if you stop over-achieving your life will no longer have value? Are you running hard in order to avoid dealing with past and present hurts? Do you fear that if you lie down in the green pastures you won’t be able to get moving again?

 

We all need soul-rest with our Creator, and we must be intentional about making it happen.   I used to run all day every day, refusing to listen to friends who exhorted me that I was doing too much. The Good Shepherd finally got my attention when I fell flat on my face. After many years of doctors and counseling, we finally realized my problems were three-fold: physical, spiritual, and emotional. I am doing so much better, and can now see how my neuromuscular and seizure disorders force me to take that precious time in the green pastures and beside the quiet waters with my Good Shepherd.

 

Living at a frantic pace? Take a minute to journal about any fear factors you may have. Like sheep, we cannot rest when we are fearful.

 

Phillip Keller said, “nothing so quieted and reassured the sheep as to see me in the field.”

“In the Christian life there is no substitute for a keen awareness that my Shepherd is nearby.”

 

Take an inventory of your fear factors and talk to a friend or therapist about them.

 

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8 (NASB)

 

“Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NASB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bond-slave Of Jesus: Choosing Faith Over Fear

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“Behold, the bond-slave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38 (NASB)

The above words were spoken by: Mary, the mother of Jesus, after the angel of the Lord appeared to her. He proclaimed that by the power of the Holy Spirit, she would conceive the Son of God. 

Yet her initial response to the angelic being was one of fear.  Luke says she was “greatly troubled.”  However, Mary chose faith over fear and declared herself a “bond-slave of the Lord,” and submitted to God’s will over her own.  The definition of a bond-slave is:

 One who gives himself up to another’s will; those whose service is used by Christ in extending and advancing his cause among men; devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests   (Biblestudytools.com)

 Mary gave herself up to her Lord’s will. She disregarded her own interests for His.

Are we willing to do the same?

 Will we choose faith over fear?

 May we proclaim like Mary, “Be it done to me according to your word.”

 What are your fears?

 (Remember the words of Holly Gerth: (Best-selling author of You’re Already Amazing as well as several other books with Revell.)

 “You’re more courageous than you know!” 

When the Client is YOU!

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“The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms.”
Deuteronomy 33:27 
 
I experienced a personal situation last week.  A situation that rocked my world. Sadly, I began free-falling into a pit of despair, and felt as if I couldn’t catch my breath.   I was crying out in prayer, assuming I would be crash landing any moment, when suddenly I felt them firmly underneath me.
 
Aww, the everlasting arms.  They were underneath me the entire time!  How could I forget His promise? “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 
 
This was Friday morning.  Flash forward to Saturday morning.  I rolled over in bed and set my chirping alarm to snooze.  It was time to get up and minster at the crisis pregnancy center where I volunteer.  As thoughts of pulling the covers over my head filled my mind, I remembered the faces of the girls and their swelling abdomens.  They desperately needed to hear about the eternal God.  They need to learn the feel of His everlasting arms underneath them.  
Yes, I would arise from bed and go and counsel from the heart.
After all, it’s what I do.  
 
When I arrived at the center I viewed the schedule and realized I would be seeing four different girls, all in desperate situations.  Wow, what an opportunity.  
 
The other counselor walked in about 10 minutes after I did.  I told her about our clients, as we organized the material we would be presenting to the girls.  At one point she met my gaze and asked me if I had anything I would like her to pray for me about.  I smiled,  but evaded  the question.  I had met her once before, and we had emailed a few times, but this was my first time to work with her.  I knew immediately that she was a kindred spirit, but I was a “counselor” not a “client”.  I really didn’t want to open up to her.  
 
Yet as the clock ticked on, we both realized the first two girls were going to be no-shows. That is when the Holy Spirit continued to prompt my heart to share my burden with her.  
 
I sheepishly told her that I did indeed have something I needed intersession for.  She replied that she “saw it in my eyes when she walked in.”
 
Slowly but surely I spilled, and she listened, encouraged, exhorted, an prayed.
 
The last two appointments were no-shows as well, and that was when I realized that the client that day was I!  And that was okay.