Did you know that courage isn’t being fearless? Courage is choosing to face the very thing that cripples you with fear..
For years I lived in fear.. Fear of letting people in; fear of facing who I really was; fear of dealing with my past sexual abuse; and fear of other people’s opinions. All of these things used to rock me to the core and crippled me with anxiety. The moment I began to face them and allowed God to walk me through each memory, He brought about a deep healing. Now He uses my tale of victory to bring about healing in the lives of people from all walks of life..
What scares you?
Now, I’m not talking about something crazy like, I don’t know, baby squirrels?
What really scares you?
Why does it scare you?
How badly do you want to be free from those fears?
Did you know that the area in which you are attacked with the most fear i.e. public speaking is typically the area in which your purpose is wrapped up in? I mean look at Moses.. He was afraid to speak due to what some scholars believe was a speech impediment. Yet, he turned around and led the Israelite people out of Egypt! (You can read more about this in Exodus 4). You can even look at the life of Gideon, a man who lived in a time of deep oppression of the Israelite people. A man who was hiding wheat in a winepress, when an angel of the Lord came to him and awakened the calling that was stitched in his very DNA!! Through stepping out in courage (after asking God for a couple signs), Gideon led the Israelite people into freedom from the Midianites.. (See Judges 6-8 A MUST READ!!)
Prior to me getting saved, I had an encounter with God in the cinema (possibly shared this before in one of my older posts). As I sat there, for the life of me I couldn’t seem to focus. The many years of suppressing the abuse took a toll on me mentally. I literally could not remember much of anything.. I was afraid of everything; I could not even comprehend most things! It was wild.. Nothing really made sense to me.. I masked my struggle in every way I could. It was so bad, I literally ended up re-learning the basics of English (on my own) and re-trained my mind to think straight (will shed more light on this in another post about how the abuse impacted my life).
I sat in the cold dark cinema pretending I understood what was going on. In my heart I silently cried out to God.. asking him why was I not able to focus on anything.. Why was I not normal, like everyone else.. In that moment it was as if the memories unraveled and God allowed the memories of abuse to flow… I clenched my teeth and cried silently. Desperately longing for the movie to finish, as if this revelation was not worth leaving for.. As soon as it was finished I bitterly wept and revealed my soul to the person that I was at the cinema with. For the second time in my life, I slowly opened the vault that kept the darkest of my secrets….
I think of that moment and wonder, who would have thought that I would have been this free? I know I didn’t, shoot, I don’t think anyone else did either… Who would have thought that a woman so plague with the fear of facing her past would have stood and preached in a congregation of women in an Arab country?
After speaking, I sat in the pews and listened to the preacher talk. He asked, in Arabic, for the women who have experienced abuse to stand and raise their hands to begin the forgiveness & healing process.. Eyes to the ground, feeling as if I was crazy, cause during my message I made so many mistakes.. It was extremely awkward for me.. I literally wanted to run out of the church but I didn’t want to seem crazy dramatic.. Though I was filled with discouragement.. I slowly began to lift my eyes and search throughout the room to see if anyone responded. In that moment, God allowed me to witness the beauty of freedom. I wept as I watched mostly every woman in the women’s meeting stand. I couldn’t help but wonder, what if I never overcame the fear of sharing my story and the fear of speaking? What if I didn’t forgive the person who abused me? What if I continued to live in fear of other people’s opinions? I would have never seen the fruit of what God had done in my heart manifest in such a beautiful way.. I probably would have never even started this blog..
Ask God to show you what your fears are and begin to write them down. Whether you purchase a journal/ use notes in your phone it doesn’t matter, just write them down. Like I said, baby squirrels do not count..
Make some time later in the day, and be alone so that you can pray. Ask the Lord why you fear these things and write that down as well. As you begin to write down what you believe God is saying, ask God to begin the healing process. Ask Him to show you what He is really like… Then rest in Him; read the Bible and ask Him to teach you His ways and change your heart.. Know that this process is NOT going to be easy, for discomfort is necessary for growth… But trust that God WILL show up, for He is faithful..
2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV)
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
For some of you this healing process might look like going to counselling and for some it might be fasting, spending sleepless nights seeking healing through prayer and the word of God. Pursue after the Father’s heart and let Him reveal to you what that process needs to look like.
I know a few of you guys had some questions for me. If you do, please please please reach out. I would love to answer any questions you have and would love to pray for you if you like! firstname.lastname@example.org