Believing that God had healed her, I had hope that he could heal me, too—and he did. It took time, prayer, and much effort on my part, but I am so grateful to be set free of that terrifying time in my life. By sharing my struggles with women in my moms’ group at the time and learning to surrender myself to God in the midst of anxiety attacks, I learned that with God’s help, I could be a conqueror.
For many years, I continued to work hard at intentionally monitoring my anxiety level and keeping it down. But honestly, I don’t feel the need to do that anymore. My default mode (finally) is to surrender my circumstances to God, which fills me with peace. It truly feels like a miracle to be able to surrender things to the Lord so quickly these days.
Many Leaders Have Experienced Fear
I’ve always found comfort in knowing the mighty apostle Paul also struggled with insecurity and fear at times: “I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:3–5).
There are other people, too, like John Ortberg, one of my favorite authors, who used to faint every time he preached. And then there’s Craig Groeschel, who recently shared how he used to throw up in a bucket backstage right before speaking. It’s hard to believe that any of these wonderful, confident people of God could ever have felt so insecure. They overcame their fear and insecurity with great courage because God was with them.
Step Out of Fear
Through the years, I’ve talked to hundreds of women who have shared their fears about pursuing a ministry that they feel God has called them to do. I can’t help but recognize my old self in many of them. Their arguments for not stepping into their calling may be different than the ones I had, but they’re often coming from the same place that my excuses came from: fear!
Is it any wonder the Bible uses the words “fear not” at least 365 times—one time for each day of the year? Fear is the enemy and destroyer of our faith. Fear changes our focus from God to ourselves; it makes us look inward instead of upward. An overabundance of fear can cause us to become self-absorbed instead of Christ-absorbed.
Even though fear can destroy our faith, we must remember a more important truth: faith has the power to expel fear (1 John 4:18). When we learn to be led by the Spirit living inside us, our fear vanishes.