This speaks to me this morning about facing down my own fears. Using my son's experience I think that these are the factors in facing down fear:
- Faith: The first step is to trust God as you choose to return to the battle. I remember my grief counselor saying that you need to step into your pain. The fear of pain is so real and it is so hard to take that first step of faith in overcoming that fear.
- Endurance: The second part is to (excuse the verbiage) stay the course. Courage is often something that must arise in us every day. I hate this! I would rather face down fear once and then move on. It is just not the way it works. To overcome we often have to face down our fears every day.
- Strength: There is a praise song that begins by saying "strength will come as we wait upon the Lord". With each day we can grow a bit stronger.. as we face down our fear it ceases to define us and control us. We grow stronger in grace and weaker in fear.
- Victory: I really don't like this word but there does seem to be a time when we experience fear less and less until we realize that we aren't afraid. Sometimes this is an event but often it is a process.. sometimes we can face fear down in a day and sometimes it take much longer.
I stuttered as a child and it lasted into my early twenties. I was deathly afraid of public speaking. Oral book reports in high school mortified me.. I did everything I could to keep from speaking in front of a group. Then when I was 26 Christ came into my life. A year later.. in September 1977 in a crowd of about 700 people at a Charismatic church I spoke out an extemporaneous word of prophecy from the congregation. Over the next few months I did this on several occasions. Then one day I realized something.. I no longer stuttered! Since that time I went to Bible College and now speak publicly on a regular basis. Through the exercise of a spiritual gift God amazingly healed my stuttering as I faced down my fear of public speaking.
Not sure how to end this. I confess that I am still facing down fears that deal with Ann's health and our future.. to that end I solicit your prayers. Having said that I offer an invitation to you. Email me or post a comment here.. make it the first step in facing down your fear.. and you will have my support and the support of others who read this.. and may God grant each of the courage we need.