Book Club

As I mentioned in my first post, I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on fear. So is Jess.

Since I’ve written the book I have been shocked at how many people around me have mentioned things that hadn’t come up before regarding their personal fears. Several said that they worried they would be seen as less than holy if they admitted them, and others just felt like theirs were silly. One woman wrote me a lengthy email about a very specific fear she was dealing with and she thought it was perfectly absurd. The incredible thing was as she processed in the email, she started to remember an incident from her childhood home where she had felt threatened by a similar situation, and really started piecing together memories from there on out. I think she had held it in so long and felt like others might not perceive it the same way she did so she hesitated to share. As a result of making herself vulnerable in community, she started to process it in a new way, and a way I hope the Lord will use to shape her and bring her courage.

I don’t think I ever would have done a book like this in book club form if it wasn’t in a place where I knew that those who entered in with their own fears would be accepted, cherished, and prayed over. That’s what Bloom (in)courage is about.

Last week, we hosted a giveaway and invited you to share a fear.

The comments were overwhelming and incredible (click here to read them).

This week, we want to go a step further.

Will you take some time to blog about a fear that you have? This may be a chance for you to further expound on what you shared in the giveaway comments, or something new. It can be something so small that it seems insignificant, or something you aren’t even able to articulate. You can share in as much detail or lack of detail that you feel comfortable with, but know that we are reading your words and asking the Lord to bless you in this specific area in the coming weeks. If you have a few minutes, go ahead and click around and visit with your fellow (in)courage bloom friends, encouraging them as we go.

Know that we don’t take this opportunity lightly, and we are convinced that God is going to do powerful things through His word as we go. I am praying that the weight of your fears will lessen over the course of this study, and that you will not feel alone in them anymore. One of Satan’s greatest schemes is to convince us that we are the only ones who feel this way…and I for one am through with letting him try to convince me. Ladies, you aren’t alone in this.

Settle in for the journey and know we love and appreciate you.

So…today’s question is simple. Take some time and let us in on your world by answering-

What are you afraid of?

Please be sure to link directly to your post, not just to your blog in general.

Angie, Jess and the Bloom (in)courage team

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  • Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista

    Angie, I love how you guide us to life-giving encouragement to be real with God — and with each other — about our struggles with fear. You do it with beauty and vulnerability, opening your heart and your story to us, through the path from fear to faith, one page at a time.

  • Juli May

    You asked so – I am afraid of failure. Big failure. Would love to go back to school and attempt a Nutritionist type degree, but struggled academically in school. Hate to waste the time and money. It involves so much chemisty stuff… I have stepped way outside of my comfort zone in other areas of my life over the past several years and God has been faithful. Would love to truly believe that I could accomplish something like this. Praying he will open the doors if that is truly the direction He is calling me to.

    • Serena Smith

      Hi my name is Serena Smith and I wanted to encourage you to go for it. I quit in the 8th grade and married my husband. I am 38 years old. I earned my GED after 3 tries. I wanted to go back to school but didn’t have any education to fall back on. After my daughter dropped out 3 mths. before graduation and my son started losing interest in school. I knew it was time to do something. I made a deal with my son. I told him if I sent him to the best school I could find and went back to school myself. Knowing that I would have to work extra hard, if he would do the best he could. I told him we would do this together. He agreed and I was terrified. I knew nothing especially about Math. I am currently in my last semester. I have made all A and Bs thus far. My son loves his new school and is exceeding my expectations. My daughter earned her GED and is thinking about college also. So my advise is do it afraid. All things are possible with the Lord:)

  • Annette

    Fear of being alone. Don’t do well in relationships whether they be men or women. Still somewhat shy and have a hard talking to others. All my relationships are superficial and no one in my life that I feel cares about me. I am truly afraid that if I just stopped going to church or stopped going to work no one would really notice…..

    • Steph “Shine”

      Oh Annette. I pray for your heart. I felt that about our church, and realized that it wasn’t the churches it was the traditional “church” model. We located a house church and believe me if we are missing they notice, and text and call and email during the week not just church on Sunday’s. I had no idea what a real church family felt like. It’s not for everyone and yes some can find that in traditional churches, God led us to a different path. Praying for your heart!

  • Heather

    I’m terribly afraid that I won’t have friends. My husband and I just moved 8 hours away from family to take a job as Counselor-Parents… basically live-in parents to up to 10 teenage boys who are in foster care or probation. It is a lonely job, despite being surrounded by people all day. We receive relief time off, but aren’t sure where or how to look for a church or community. I know that we need to be connected. And I’m afraid we won’t find true friends who can relate to a young couple (23) raising teenagers.

    • Kristin Smith

      Wow Heather – what courage you have and such a gift you will be giving these kids. Praying for you and your husband that you will find real community right where you are!

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  • Heather P

    I operate a home-based business with Christian principles and the fears that I shared last week tend to play a factor in my business. My fear of failure and fear of success tend to focus on what others will think of me, especially my husband. Part of me want to do better than I am doing just to spite my husband. Another part says not to do it that way, rather do it God’s way. I fear losing my husband and tend to focus on taking care of my family instead of working my business. Having a daughter with Down Syndrome is part of our struggle. Any prayers you offer would be greatly appreciated!

    • Moe’

      I am praying for you and your marriage and your family. . . and your business!

  • Lori

    I hate to admit to any fears because to fear is to go against God’s word, but the biggest fear I have right now is that I won’t find a job to support myself as a single mother. I know in my head that this fear is irrational because God has always provided for me, even before I began my personal relationship with him, so I have no reason to doubt Him now. I have been out of work since February and I am days away from missing my second rent payment so it is very hard for me to not be afraid but I am really, really trying.

    • Kristin Smith

      Lori – praying for you that God will provide in what seems like an impossible situation. We know that through Him ALL things are possible…my prayer is that He reveal that to you in a BIG way today!!

    • Christa

      Hey Lori! I volunteer and help people in my church, friends, and family members find jobs. I really enjoy and love doing this. I cannot work (due to health reasons) so this really helps me as well! :) Please let me know if there’s any way that I can help you. If you tell me where you would like me to search and what type of job you’re looking for, I can send a bunch of job links your way to apply for. Look forward to hearing from you soon and will definitely be praying for you!! Take care!

  • Monique

    God has given me great victory over fear. Although I’m still a work in progress and have so much to learn, I’m thankful that I’m no longer where I was, and it’s all because of Jesus. Here’s the link to my blog post about fear.


    I wrote this a few months ago but didn’t post the link to twitter or facebook because of… you guessed it… FEAR! I guess I was afraid of what people would think of me when they realized I was a total scardy cat. I was unsettled about the idea of how others might view me if they realized that fear was a big, ugly monster in my closet (especially since I’m in ministry… shouldn’t Christian leaders have it all together???). That’s why I didn’t share the link with anyone. So, here I am, posting a link to my fight with fear, for the first time. I pray that it blesses someone.

    (P.S. Angie, you probably don’t remember, but I met you at the Cool Springs Borders in their coffee shop one day. You were writing on your lap top and told me and another woman there that you were a writer. You gave me your blog address and I was so blessed. Through that I found the link to (in)courage… I was inspired and that’s how I started blogging! It’s been such a blessing to tap into writing and I guess in a round about, divine appointment kind of way… you were part of that. So thank you! P.S.S. Since then I realized that the Cooksey’s are our mutual friends! Small world. Awesome community!)


  • Tiffany

    Is it too late to join the book club? I missed the original post some how. please let me know if I can still join!

  • Becca

    At this point in my life, I feel afraid of everything. I suffer from an anxiety disorder, and it makes each day a struggle. I wake up every morning wondering what today will bring. I pray for a peaceful heart and spirit.

    • Monique

      Sweet Becca, I suffered from the same thing. My heart is with you today. I’m praying for you.

      • Becca

        Thank you, Monique. Your words and prayers mean so much!

        • Erika

          I have been suffering with stress and anxiety for years. I fear it will always be a struggle. I`ve had panic attacks, heart going 90 to nothing out of nowhere, or feeling no heart beat at all having a hard time breathing, ect..

          This last week was a minute by minute battle that I had to pray and believe constantly to feel normal. I don`t know exactly what is causing it, but it feels like an attack from the enemy, but he will NOT win! I am believing for the Lord to heal me of it ALL for good. I will pray for both of you to receive the peace and healing that you need in your lives, and I ask you do the same for me please. After all, we are sisters in Christ. God bless you both! :)

  • Beth

    I am afraid that my life will be over before it’s been fully lived. I am afraid that I will have nothing to show for all the years I have lived. I am afraid that my husband will loose his job again.
    I am afraid of what others will say about my parenting. I am afraid that my kids will make bad choices.

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  • Irene

    My fears are so numerous. I cannot remember not being afraid of something. I am afraid of rejection, not knowing what to do, being unloved, the depression that has been with me for so long, of never being able to crawl out of this isolation, loneliness, afraid, indecisive, immobile. I pray and hope for change and at the end feel so disappointed to still be back in my shell.

    • Becca

      I am praying for you right now. I can relate to your struggle, but you must keep your face raised to God.
      God, please bring a calmness to Irene, and quiet her fears. May she be pulled out of depression by your loving hand.

  • Kris

    I cannot wait to read this book. I have been battling fear for longer than I realized…. I am encouraged by this….

  • Phronsie

    Working on getting my fear written as a blog so I can link up. Apparently I have more to say than I thought, LOL!

  • ~Lynn

    I missed the first book club session, but would like to join if it’s not too late.

    • Steph “Shine”

      We havn’t started reading yet…October. So join up!

  • Savannah

    I’m actually just beginning another book study on fear with the ladies group in my church otherwise I’d be diving into this one, but I hope you don’t mind that I shared my post on fear in the linkies. I’m looking forward, however, to reading any posts about this book study, because it does sound like an excellent book. :)

  • joy

    Some of my biggest fears include not being good enough, being single for the rest of my life and how @50 this might be a reality, God saying to me on judement day, depart from me I never knew you. I haven’t read your book yet but I am waiting to get it in the mail.

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  • Kariss Lynch

    I am terrified of failing. But I also acknowledge that it is often in our fear and brokenness that the Lord shows Himself strong and in control. I have come a long way in the past couple of years, but I am still a work in progress. Thank you for your post. Today was my first day to link up!

    • Steph “Shine”

      aren’t we always a work in progress. I’m so thankful to know others feel this too.

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  • hillary

    I just got my book today. Is there somewhere that has a timeline or something of what we should be reading or anything? I’m not really sure how all of this works. Thanks!!

    • Steph “Shine”

      It’s not starting till October. so your not missing anything. (though I”ve read first two chapters, shhh) They will post videos on here and each week we will read section and watch video and discuss. I think there is a timeline somewhere. I’ll try to link it.

  • Traci Hoffman

    I can’t blog about my fear at this point. It would be way too much to say it in front of “everyone” so I’ll just whisper it here.

    My son Zachary died when he was five. That was 11 years ago on Oct 12. This is the first time I’ve ever breathed these words out loud… I’m frightend of losing my family. Ever since then it’s been a crippling fear that something horrible will happen to my husband or my children. That God will take them from me because I don’t deserve them.

    I’m hoping maybe I’ll work through this here though.

    • Steph “Shine”

      Oh Traci, my heart is breaking for you. Prayed for you. I’m so glad you were able to speak the words here. Praying healing and guidance of the Holy Spirit to your hurting heart.

  • Melissa

    I’m not really ready to blog about my fears, but am willing to comment here. My husband had an affair last year (to the best of my knowledge an emotional one not a physical one. That one event was like opening Pandora’s box, I don’t remember ever feeling as insecure of myself as I do now. We are working through our issues and both are committed tommaking it work. But I am still afraid, afraid he’s going to change his mind, afraid he’ll do it again, afraid of the overwhelming hurt that still sneaks up on me. Afraid of ‘her’ causing a scene in public when I run into her (I know who she is and she knows who I am, we live in a small town and I’ve run into her before. I get the feeling that she hates me and after talking to some people who knew about the affair apparently she said about my husband, “he’s going to make all my dreams come true”, I guess she thought he’d just leave his kids without a backward glance). I’m afraid of making a decision about what I really want to do with my life. I’ve been working in a job for almost 11 years and I hate it, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything worthwhile (besides putting food on the table and a roof over my family’s heads. I want to do something that brings me personal satisfaction on a regular basis, but I don’t have any idea what that job is and I’m afraid of taking a leap out there into the unknown. I am afraid of people more specifically making friends and being judged and hurt by them. Ann Voscamp’s post from yesterday or the day before is an accurate description, the walls I built to protect me now hold me prisoner. I’m afraid something terrible will happen to my children. I’m afraid to step outside my comfort zone in general. Wow, when I write it all out it looks like a lot! I am truly hoping that reading the book and participating in the Bloom book club and being encouraged by the people here will help me overcome many of these fears. I have read through each of the comments here and prayed over everyone and their fears.

  • Kathy C. @ In Quiet Places

    I just want to say, Praise God, He does deliver us from our fears, sometimes it is a lengthy journey, sometimes, it is a more sudden and instant victory. This book sounds like a great resource God will use mightily, I pray that each fear spoken of here, and the unspoken ones, will be given over to God and that each lady here finds herself victoriously conquering this battle of fear!

    • Steph “Shine”

      Read the first few chapters, couldn’t wait. It is a blessing!

  • Melissa

    I am afraid of men mainly….afraid of being hurt by them physically….I struggle with a lot of anxiety so sometimes just leaving the house is hard…..lots of fears, sometimes too many to name!

    • Elena

      Thank you for your honesty, Melissa. God bless you. Saying a prayer for you now.

    • Steph “Shine”

      Prayed for you melissa.

  • Steph “Shine”

    Off topic… can anyone tell me if there a way to get the bloom blog posts into my email or google reader? I can’t seem to remember to keep up unless it’s in those two spots. If not possibly something like that can be done?? THANKS!

  • Steph “Shine”

    I’ll blog and link eventually.

    I have many little fears but I think they all narrow down to this one BIG fear of not being the woman God wants me to be. Not living according to His will for my life. And in minutes I wrote my blog here…linking now!

    • Steph “Shine”

      Done! Wow I’ve never put all my fears and thoughts together in one. I’ve never looked deep enough to see what really is behind it all. I know it now. I pray the spirit will guide me through it as we travel this journey of fear together friends.

  • Lisa

    I have been so blessed lately I fear when it will end. Like I’m walking on pins and needles waiting for something bad to happen.

  • Desiree

    I’m not ready to write about my fears in detail for “everyone” to read right now. I used to be much more free with how I felt about things, but I’ve learned to be more sensitive about what (and how much) I share. ;) Or, maybe we’ll just add “fear of being found out” to my list of fears. This being said, I am loving the book thus far; thanks for sharing it with the world, Angie.

  • http://google Paula

    One of my fears is doing something like what I am doing right now…writing about fears. But I am sure putting it out there is part of the victory!!!
    Looking forward to reading the book.

  • Christa

    Well I have 3 fears pretty much. The main big one is a fear of dying alone. I was born with a rare lung disease and have been sick all of my life. The older I get, naturally, the worse it gets. I’m not afraid of dying as I know that I’ll be with Jesus – I actually look forward to not suffering anymore and for celebrating instead! I just don’t want to be alone when I die. The 2nd & 3rd pretty much go together. I’m afraid of failure AND success. In my analytical mind, I feel that it must be perfect whether it’s trying to start a new business or doing something for myself, my family, or someone else. I’m afraid that if I started it and I thought it was perfect but someone found something wrong with it, then I would have failed them. If I succeed and then make a mistake, then I’ve failed as well. You get the idea. That’s pretty much all I’m afraid of. I think the main reason I don’t have alot of most fears that most have posted is due to my lung disease. I think when you’ve suffered for a long period of time, well it’s hard to really explain unless you’ve lived it, but you don’t really worry about losing kids, husband (yes, my husband even cheated on me as another woman posted), etc. Suffering really puts things into perspective and causes you to lean on HIM all of the time. I don’t worry about things like that b/c there’s a much bigger picture at work as this is all temporary. I’ve given it all to the Lord and even though it’s very difficult to do, you just have to get on your knees and cry out to HIM b/c he will sustain you. All I ever think about is Heaven every moment of every day. I can’t wait to begin our work during the Millenium and all of the wonderful things that we’re going to be doing for the Lord. Our true gifts and talents will be revealed and we’re going to have so much fun!!!

  • Gail

    I am afraid of no earthly person loving me. I lost my 30 year old daughter 4 years ago and since then I’ve realized she was the last one who truly showed physical love to me. My husband’s mother died when he was born and was raised by an aunt and uncle who never showed him how to love. But we built a home next door to my parents, who were very physical showing their love….lots of hugs and kisses. Since they have died, and my daughter is gone, there’s no one. I know my husband loves me dearly, he just can’t show it. Our son has such anger issues against his dad and now me because I’ve tried to commit suicide 3 times, but I want to be with people who love me and Heaven seems so glorious. I’ve had counseling and I will go again and I know suicide is letting Satan get to me; I need to be stronger….just haven’t found out how yet. Maybe this online thing will help.

    • Pat

      Gail: Am praying for you and your hubby. Can’t imagine how you feel. My mom did commit suicide and another family member struggles with depression so have seen how it works. Please keep in touch with your counselor or someone when you feel depressed, promise me you will let others know how you are feeling. Reading Psalms helps me when I’m down, David struggled with depression too. Try to find a small group to be in. I found hugs and love in those kind of groups, either through a church or Christian counsellors. And my little Sunday school kids I teach give lots of hugs and affirmation. It helps. God surround you with His protection and Everlasting arms.

  • robyn

    I’m afraid of suddenly becoming a widow. I’m afraid of losing my daughter. I’m afraid of getting some horrible disease and dying and leaving my husband and daughter behind. Most of my fears involve my family being somehow tragically torn apart. I got married a little later in life than all of my friends, and wanted so badly for so long to be a wife and mom. So, now that I have a husband and a baby daughter, I’m afraid they will be taken from me or I will be taken from them. It’s such a struggle for me to truly enjoy time with my family without this dark cloud of fear hovering over me.

  • Sarah Sue

    I’ve always been afraid of being abandoned or rejected. One of my greatest fears after marrying the man I loved was that he would leave me, Although he had promised that he would never hurt me like his first wife had done when she left him, he did leave after 26 years of marriage & got the divorce that he wanted. If it hadn’t been for God & His mighty promises, plus having the responsibility of being custodial single mom to our youngest child, I probably wouldn’t have made it. So, my ‘worst fear’ came into reality…it’s been a very long, hard road to walk, but God has never left me and often, He carried me. He’s made me stronger & grown my character into what He has desired for me…my faith is greater & I minister to other hurting women who are
    suffering from great losses in their lives. ” God give us courage to be what you want us to be & to do what you have called us to do. “


    Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well.
    (Luke 14:26 TEV)

  • Abbi

    I’m quite an anxious person in many aspects, but i believe my main fear at the moment is not having control/knowing what the future may bring.

  • Lyn

    As a mother and a wife, my fear is the attitude of my husband and son towards their faith to the Lord. Every Sunday my son join me in church worship how ever he does not join the church activities like the young peoples group or Sunday school. my husband on the other hand don’t join us instead he stays at home and wait for us to be home as soon as the service will be finished. It is my earnest desire and constant prayer to the Lord that in is time my husband will join me and my son in worship. I know that the Lord will answer my prayer I put everything in His mighty hand. Thank you so much for this chance that I was able to express my fear and no longer kept it to myself. God Bless and more power

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