I’m not afraid of snakes or spiders.
I am, however, quite fearful of the dark (still) and of being alone for extended periods of time.
Fear equals loss of rational thinking.
One thing that defies rationality is my fear of speaking. Publicly.
It may be hard to believe that I, with so many words and opinions–and such a strong desire to share all of them–would struggle with being given the opportunity to share those words and opinions efficiently with a large group of people.
Where I have no problem picking up spiders with Isley or holding a snake with Sydney, public speaking brings an unsettledness to my stomach that requires me to be in close proximity to a bathroom.
Fear is a funny thing.
The things I fear are those things I’ve no control over, I don’t understand or have no confidence in accomplishing.
I don’t fear snakes and spiders because I’ve held them and have never been bitten by them. That could change. I fear the dark because I don’t know what it holds. My imagination gets carried away with things that go bump in the night. (I’ve read too many scary novels. And comic books.) I fear being alone for long periods of time because I know me–I waste time and can get into trouble. (In a sane, adult way.)
I fear public speaking because I’m not sure my words will really communicate what’s in my heart. That I’ll misspeak and say something so wrong or so stupid that I can’t talk my way out of it. Plus I don’t do it enough to be comfortable with it.
So I faced that fear. Wanting to be courageous and confident. A five-minute presentation. (No big deal, right?) Before 1,000 people.
And it was fine. I didn’t embarrass myself with goofy words or ludicrous ideas.
People were genuinely kind with their encouragement.
Pretty sure I’ll still be fearful if I’m asked to do this again.
Life is full of fear. Some rational. Some ridiculous. Each of us has our pet fears that we hide away hoping they won’t be discovered. Not wanting to deal with them.
God understands my fears. He’s not surprised by it nor put off by it. He consistently reminds me that He’s greater than any fear I may have.
“So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my Helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’” Hebrews 13:6
I’m not saying that knowing Jesus automatically releases me from all my fears. It’s in developing a relationship with Him that I can grow in confidence as to who I really am in Him. And who He really is in me.
Being afraid isn’t the deal breaker–it’s what I do with my fear. Fear is something I can give to the Lord, allowing Him to deal with my heart and address my issues.
Knowing Jesus is my confidence-builder. I’m choosing to grow in that relationship.
Talking about Him? I’ll agree to that.
Hang my tummy quivers.
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