I immediately felt fear rush through my veins as if there was a fountain flow that couldn’t be turned off! I stopped to take a few deep breaths as I tried to exhale fear and inhale the strength and peace of Christ. I would like to say it was the last time I felt afraid but that would be words empty of truth. Fear likes to strike just as I feel a little more confident and as it did this one gloomy day, I decided to reach up and rip the mask off to see fear for what it really was….
When I felt God’s call on my life to women’s ministry it was a scary but exciting feeling! That particular day it was as clear as a cloudless sky to my heart and soul but as each day passed, thoughts of doubt began to fill that clear sky and the more the clouds came the more the fear rushed through me.
I didn’t know what God was thinking, why He would choose such a mess as myself, and what He had planned on doing with this woman who had been so broken. Days of encouragement came but just as quick the days of doubt ushered in. How was I ever going to get past these thoughts of doubt and this battle of “How me?”
God showed me I had to really see my fear for what it was, the fear of being uncomfortable. One of my biggest battles was letting go of my testimony and sharing with others. Opening myself up to that kind of transparency was very uncomfortable and it was the one thing that fueled my fear in every capacity. What would people think and what if’s ran a marathon through my mind and it seemed as if reaching a finish line would be impossible.
After sharing my story for the first time with a group of ladies in a small group at church on a Sunday evening much to my complete surprise, I felt freedom! There was such a rush of peace that flew through my veins as I took a deep breath and realized it wasn’t painful any longer! God took my story of pain, struggle, and weakness and used it to help other women and I sat there amazed as they shared with me their struggles, their pain, and their weaknesses. I can remember saying with a quiet voice inside my mind, “So this is why God, I get it now. Thank you for leading me to the edge and nudging my heart to let go!”
You see, it may have been the worse kind of uncomfortable to step away from the safety I felt in keeping my story in but it was so freeing to let God take it and use it for His glory! He showed me that day that no pain in my life has to be wasted and that He wants to use it to draw others to Him. I can’t say that it’s totally easy each time I share, but with the Holy Spirit’s leadership in my life its freedom that I can’t experience anywhere else!
That day God reminded me of scripture that He had shown to us while our daughter was facing some scary medical issues, and now these words rise up within me when that fear tries to enter my heart:
“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:15-18
Stepping out of the comfortable into the uncomfortable may be scary but there’s nothing more rewarding than stepping out and trusting God! When He’s calling us out to something new and He’s leading us, there is freedom!
If God is asking you to step out of comfort and walk with Him into the uncomfortable turn the fear over to Him and watch as He transforms it into freedom! Not only do we experience freedom, but more importantly there is an overflow to the glory that God receives! Our stories can be what He uses to make an eternal impact that far outweighs anything we could ever imagine!
Lord, lead us as we seek to glorify you through our stories. We ask that you show us which ones and how much to share and release the fear that grips us, and replace it with that freedom only you can give. Help us not to be afraid of the uncomfortable but to board with you knowing you are guiding, leading, and protecting us along the way. We long to live for your glory! In Jesus name, Amen~