I walk into a room of 500 dining women waiting for someone to take the stage and my fear isn’t speaking in front of these women.

It’s eating with them.

I don’t know where I’m going to sit. My hands are sweaty, my heart is pounding like the rain on the window.

And my fear is a brewing storm.

Red gumboots in rain

Yet, I keep dancing with it.

Being fearless is temporary. At some point, something in our life triggers fear. What if my husband has a wreck driving home in this storm? What if those test results come back positive? What if I can’t pay that bill? The what ifs open the door to fear.

Dancing with fear is seeing the world as it is and then wisely stepping out into the unknown anyway.

It’s slowing sitting down among strangers, instead of running from that vast dining room to the safety of storm outside.

I love safety and comfort.

Which is why it’s sort of crazy that God has called me to a dangerous life of wild obedience.

But saying yes to God doesn’t make me brave because I’m still afraid; it makes me obedient.

And do you know what wins over fear in obedience? Peace.

Peace that doesn’t make sense. Overwhelming, soul-nourishing peace that passes understanding.

When Jesus says, “Do not be afraid,” it isn’t to suggest that we do something crazy or stupid. It’s an acknowledgment that it’s in our nature to be afraid. It’s a reminder that we aren’t alone. Fear can be a tool to propel us into courageous living.

But I can’t find that calling in the Bible — to live a safe and comfortable life.

There is only one thing more powerful than fear; it’s love.

From birthing babies to marrying my best friend (not in that order), I have been scared to death of both. But love conquered fear. Risking it all on an outrageous God-sized dream was driven by love for God and love for others. Audacious love for others is where we walk in freedom from being afraid.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience
in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Do you know what really happens when we look fear in the face? 

We live a courageous life. Not because we are brave, but because God is gloried in our weakness.

Do what scares you today.

Written by Kristen Welch, author of Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly Safe Faith is No Longer Enough.

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  1. 1

    Kristen,
    I guess it’s no coincidence that I read your post THIS morning. I’m fearful to type these words…to be transparent, but I could use prayers. This morning my son goes before a judge for a violation of his probation on a dui. What if the judge woke up on the wrong side of bed or is having a bad day? He could choose to send my son, my baby, to jail. He could be lenient and merciful. What if? This is where fear creeps in. I never in a million years thought I/we would be in this situation. I raised my children on God’s precepts with love and affirmation…and here we are. My son was God’s child…is God’s child before he was mine. I have to trust in His great love for my son. I am trying to allow love to cast out fear, but when you are in the crucible of life, it can be difficult. Prayers for peace, grace and mercy would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • 2

      Bev, it’s all going to be okay. God is in total control. It helps me to remember that nothing surprises Him or catches Him off guard. He always knows what is coming and is prepared for it.

    • 3

      Praying for you this morning, Bev.

      • 4

        Stopping right now to pray for you and for your son.

        • 5
          Joanne Peterson says:

          Praying for you and your son Bev. Jesus will use everything to bring your son back to Himself and help your son to realize his life is not his own. This will also help your son understand his life is not working. No matter the outcome, Jesus will bring good from this experience for your son and also for you.

          Hugs,

          Joanne

    • 6

      I join these other women, lifting you up, Bev. Praying Jesus is near and you are strong, even when you’re afraid.

    • 7
      Beth WIlliams says:

      Prayers for peace and comfort for you BEV. Prayers also for your son. Jesus is with you both and knows all that is happening.

      I sing the song by Point of Grace “God is in Control”. Chorus :
      God is in control
      We believe that His children will not be forsaken
      God is in control
      We will choose to remember and never be shaken
      There is no power above or beside Him, we know
      Oh, God is in control, oh God is in control

      Blessings as you enter this trying time!

  2. 8

    I am driven by fear. I’m afraid of driving my car. Afraid of me or my husband dying in an accident. Afraid of getting a phone call that one of my parents is dead. I wish I could live a life without worrying about disasters happening. I’m so scared of death, but I’m also scared of life. I’m scared of people and social situations and being judged and being disliked. I want to be fearless and free.

  3. 9
    Kristen says:

    Bev, lifting you in prayer for peace, grace, and mercy today

  4. 10

    Well. This is kinda crazy and not really all at the same time. I literally just recovered from a small panic attack over fears of feeling like I’m overreacting to certain situations and when confiding in people, I’m afraid of being a bother to them for doing so. Plus adding into fears of always being single, I literally broke down, sobbed, and curled up in a ball clutching a pillow for dear life for a few minutes giving into the fear. And I suddenly switched tactics and just prayed really hard for a while and begged God to help me not feel fear today and to help me feel peace today. I grabbed my laptop and after looking over my twitter feed, this was the next page I clicked on.

    I needed this. Thank you so much for it. The overwhelming sense of peace I felt after reading cannot be described.

  5. 11

    My fear is that I am not enough physically for my husband. I have struggled with this most of my life and I know it’s just feelings and I should see with my eyes and not my feelings, but some days I just don’t feel good enough, pretty enough! Thank you and God bless you!

  6. 12

    I like to pretend that I’m confident, but I’m realizing I tend to cling to the control of my comfort zone in order to avoid fear and fake confidence… I am a reading specialist in an elementary school, and I choose to eat alone everyday in my office because eating with others in the teacher’s lounge makes me uncomfortable. In other areas, I over-analyze and over-plan – all in order to avoid the fear in risk…

  7. 13

    Beautiful! I love the saying, “Punch Fear in the Face”. It really has no hold over us unless we allow it.

    Really hoping to get my hands on a copy of your book this summer. So looking forward to reading it. :)
    Have a beautiful day!

  8. 14
    Leslie McCarthy says:

    Indeed, walking into a prison this past weekend to see my son, hearing the door clang shut behind you is unnerving. My emotions were all over the place, and I fear how he will look. But for love…

  9. 15
    Rachel Rains says:

    LOVE this post! Beautifully said…

  10. 16
    Jeanine says:

    Walking into work which isn’t always a safe or fun place to be. Not knowing what the future holds after 2 divorces and no children. Wondering if I’ll ever find love that lasts.

  11. 17

    I’m a single lady working for my family. Being a breadwinner I constantly live in fear. And just last month my father got sick so badly he was in the Intensive Care Unit for days then in and out of the hospital. I have already used up my resouces and now already in a deep pit of debts. My brother who is physically oppressed with juvenile rhemathoid arthritis is taking care of my father. Though dad is in the house now still the medications are on going and we have to bring him to the hospital for dialysis twice a week. I just put my trust in the Lord. I live by God’s promises of miracles, healing, provisions and His constant presence in my life. I live in fear for whatever might happen with my family. Please pray for my family. For strength, healing and provisions. God bless us all.

  12. 18

    I like safety and comfort, too. :) But I love what you wrote here:

    “Do you know what really happens when we look fear in the face?
    We live a courageous life. Not because we are brave, but because God is gloried in our weakness.”

    Some of my worst fears weren’t even on my radar until they happened. Like, when our first child was born with Down Syndrome. If I had thought about it, it would’ve been a great fear of mine…but since we didn’t know beforehand, and then we had him…and he is wonderful and sweet and the absolute best gift ever…even 28 years later. And the fear of having a child diagnosed with cancer, never really thought about that. But then it happened with our youngest child. After surgery, treatment, chemo…he survived and is thriving all these years later. And losing a loved one. When my Mom died at age 59, it kind of shook us all up…because we hadn’t entertained that possibility. These are all things I never really thought to fear before they happened…but now that I KNOW, I have to intentionally choose to “take every thought captive,” when I feel the butterflies of all the “what ifs” creeping into my heart.

    Thank you for this encouragement today! :)

  13. 19

    I fear my husband’s reaction to various things and situations. My husband needs a job. My husband puts a lot of pressure to get a full time teaching job for the pay, but especially for the benefits. I have been through a lot of stress taking online classes and substitute teaching almost full time. Also, my mom passed away on April 19th. Thank you so much for your post.

    • 20
      Beth WIlliams says:

      Ann,

      Prayers for peace on your mother’s passing. May God give you His comfort and peace while you are grieving.

      Prayers for a good teaching job for you. God is the God of miracles and I know He will put you in the right place when He’s ready!

      Blessings and peace!

  14. 21

    Thank you for the reminder. Years ago I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and put on medications. Then I found Christ. I still struggle with my fears but because I have faith I don’t need the meds and can pray myself back from the brink so to speak.

  15. 22
    ZynWoof says:

    Yes… I, too, “stumbled” upon this post today as well… I really needed to “hear this now, thank you…” I’ve lived nearly all of my 56 years in fear! Each new fear first paralyzed me, then my knee-jerk reactions to escape the feelings propelled me into all sorts of bad decisions and debilitating stress throughout my life; to the place I find myself today–nearly 200 pounds overweight, but fearful I won’t be able manage my food choices properly, my chronic back pain, and make it to the gym each day… I am fearful each day of the financial peril we are living with after the “real estate-bubble-burst” in 2008 cost my husband and me our high-paying jobs & nearly everything else, we ended up losing two homes, three vehicles, and are stuck living in an RV over the last six years… I am fearful I am running out of time; I am almost the same age as my dad when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor & died… I worry about being homeless and widowed… Every few months another of our beloved, aging pets passes away (never had kids, they were mine) and I live in anticipatory fear of losing the next one… And on and on.

    I pray: Lord help me and all of the lovely ladies posting here today, face our fears in Your strength and find the peace that You promise transcends all human understanding. In Jesus’ beautiful name, Amen.

  16. 23

    When I was younger I felt fearless. Now at 43, I struggle with all sorts of fear. My husband says that I create things to worry about. I often feel like a freak and that no one else knows what it is ike to feel this way. With God’s help I have come a long ways in the past 3 years. But I still have bad days. Today has been a bad day. Reading these other ladies’ responses at least gives me comfort that I am no odd, that I’m not the only person who doesn’t have it all together. I pray that each and every one of you be filled with a sense of peace & know that fear will not bind you forever.

  17. 24

    Fear has led me to make many poor choices over the years, choices that didn’t necessarily hurt me, but they definitely limited me. I can see that now. Sometimes I wonder if I missed what God had planned for me because I was too scared to let go of what I could see and touch.
    I don’t want to be afraid anymore. My biggest fear has always been that I will end up alone. It started when I was very young. When my parents would fight, one of them would run out of the house threatening to never come back again. I would stand at that green screen door and the tears would just flood down my cheeks at the thought of losing one of them. They always came back, but somehow my confidence, my assurance never did. I am always scared that I am not worth staying for. But, I know that God will never leave me, and that even if all worldly relationships fail, He will not. I will never be alone. Never.

  18. 25

    I’m at a cross roads in my life right now where I can take the leap or cower in fear. I’m learning that no one will pave this road for me, it’s something I have to take responsibility for myself. It’s scary to think that, all this time, God has given me this great responsibility for my own life, and I’m just now realizing it. Thank you for this needed encouragement!

  19. 26

    I so needed this today. We just left Albuquerque last weekend to move to Arizona. My mind is racing with the what ifs. What if my 16 year old daughter doesn’t adjust to this move right before her junior year of high school? What if I don’t pass my teaching exam? What if….? Sometimes the what ifs get so loud it’s hard to hear God’s voice.

  20. 27

    The first thing that comes to my mind after reading this wonderful post is that God is love and love is bigger than my fears.

    I am facing my fears today. I am about to take an action that I believe that the outcome affects my future.

    My fear is because on some level I don’t believe that God is in charge and will take care of me. God has always taken care of me beyond my wildest dream. Why would I have so little faith right now about this step I am about to take?

    I have to ask God to remove my fear because fear is poison in my life today. What can I do today to display faith before taking this action? I can breathe. I can think of all of the things I have to be grateful for, which are numerous. Also, I can pray and praise because at the deepest level I know everything that God has in store for me will be beyond anything I could have hoped or believed.

  21. 28
    Beth WIlliams says:

    Kristen,

    I am living in fear quite often lately. Fear of losing my job. I know that I just need to let go and let God have control of everything! He will never leave us nor forsake us. Trust in God and don’t fear!

    Love the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
    You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”

    For me that is going to work to face yet another day at the clinic. I will do it trusting God completely!

  22. 29

    Love this… Going through a season of trusting and not being able to see too far ahead. This is just what I needed to hear. Thank you for being God’s voice this morning.

  23. 30
    Candi Wood says:

    I experienced a dramatic deliverance from a fear of public speaking I’d been plagued with for the past 42 years. I had been given the daunting job of delivering the speech for two end-of-year award services for our company. Not only the President and CEO would be present but over 100 other people! I finally decided to go up for prayer at the end of our church service the Sunday before the event. The woman who was going to pray for me very calmly took my hands in hers and gently asked, “Now what does the word of God say about fear?” Suddenly 2 Timothy 1:7 popped in my mind and came out my mouth as we said together – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” (I also remembered that Jesus defeated Satan in the wilderness by saying “It is written….” And then quoting scripture. ). As she and I quoted that scripture together, I literally felt this heaviness, like a depression lift off of me. I left that service confident I could do what I had to do and not only was I able to do it, but everyone ther including the CEO told me it was the best Awards Ceremony Speech they had ever heard because they could tell it came from my heart!

  24. 31

    I love this statement above
    Which is why it’s sort of crazy that God has called me to a dangerous life of wild obedience.

    I am looking in the face of something crazy God is calling me to. My son is almost 20, my daughter is 16 and we feel God might be calling me and my husband to adopt a 2-1/2 year old little girl who is the foster child of a friend of mine. There is definitely a little fear in this. Starting over in our mid 40′s? Really? But me and my husband have decided to pray diligently for God to make it clear to us what we should do. And we have decided ahead of time that if God wants us to adopt, we MUST be obedient. And if God call us NOT to adopt, we MUST be obedient. To me this is some wild obedience! So please pray for our family and clarity! Thanks!