As a Life Coach, I am often staring smack dead in the face of fear. I know what it looks like in others and I can distinctively hear it’s deceptive and sly approach. I know how to coach this emotion and how to help my clients discover strategies to successfully navigate through these muddy waters and sleigh this monster. Oh, but when this sly snake slivers it’s way into the back of my head and shows up on my face, I don’t immediately recognize it. It is crafty and subtle and can wiggle it’s way into your head and heart, hidden by the weeds of self-doubt and vulnerability.
Just like venom, it can be debilitating with long lasting effects unless we muster up the courage to recognize it for what it is, and call it out. FEAR is False – Evidence – Appearing – Real. I can recall when I first began public speaking on a regular basis. Whew!!!Talk about fear, it had taken up residence within me for quite some time. Every week I would speak in front of 35-50 people. I would hear the hissing noise of this subtle enemy in the back of my head saying things like, “you’re not good enough, Who do you think you are? No one is going to listen to you.” Oh an here is another one, “it’s just a matter of time before they find out you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Every week before my sessions, I would engage in “knee pad” praying and Bible reading looking examples of people who were at one time unsure of themselves as well. This helped me to see that I’m human and my feelings are a result of imperfection, but they are real and can be debilitating. I read about Jacob, the Apostle Peter, Elijah, David, Hannah, Rehab just to name a few. My fear still continued for six months. Once I really began to meditate and apply what I was learning, I began acting in harmony with my prayers and my Faith began to grow; it became like a giant who could, with God’s help squash the monster that was in my head and heart. (1 Samuel 17:32,37) Shortly thereafter, I began to immediately crush the negative self-talk that would try to reside in my head. I would replace it with the wonderful words and reassurances found in the scriptures. (Isaiah 41:10) These words had so much more strength and power than my imperfect words. They were stated by the Supreme Being who had demonstrated on several occasions his ability to help and with His help I could become tantamount to any assignment I received from Him.
I am a firm believer that every trial we successfully navigate through prepares us for the next one. Each trial is an opportunity to build our faith and strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father. You see, my initial audience that I began speaking in front of on a weekly basis was quite small in comparison to the privilege I had about three years after I began public speaking. I received the privilege to share my experience in detail in front of over 5,000 people. It’s amazing how the hissing noise was no longer there, because I now had a story to tell that would highlight God’s strength in my life. I stood before my family, friends and fellow worshipers with a heart full of faith and joy as I recanted my journey. The voice that now took up residence in my head was very different. It whispered, “For all things I have the strength by virtue of him who imparts power to me.” (Philippians 4:13) This doesn’t mean I wasn’t nervous, for indeed I was and can remember the butterflies fluttering in my stomach, I looked out and saw my husband and remembered his reassuring words, “it’s okay to have butterflies in your stomach just pray that they all fly in formation.” with his approving smile, the support of my friends and family and most importantly my Heavenly Father, I could feel the healing effects of my strengthened FAITH being the antidote for the venomous fear that previously held me captive. Ahhhhhh…what a beautiful moment that was…I’m just happy to say my mom was there to experience it with me.
For your Journal: Ok ladies…what venom is growing in your garden sewing the weeds of fear? How will you strengthen your antidote of FAITH to help you overcome the debilitating effects of FEAR?