Afraid, unafraid, fear, fearless, living boldly, boldness, God’s love, brokenness, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry, nonprofit

Becoming Fearless: Brokenness Leads to Living Fearlessly

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless.



My earliest memory of fear occurred when I was a child of six. On a warm summer evening, my family went to the home of some good friends of my parents for dinner. All my brother and I cared about was that they had kids close to our age – two boys. (It seems none of my parent’s friends had girls, but that’s another story!)

While the adults chatted after the meal, we children happily played outside on the swing-set laughing, yelling, and probably arguing. Suddenly, I felt something stinging my face; the pain was immediate and intense. Jumping off the swing, I ran screaming to my mother, who soothed me and quickly assessed I had at least two bee stings on my face. Her friend made a paste of baking soda and water to apply to the stings while I rested on mom’s lap.

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #fear #fearless #LivingBoldly #boldness #unafraid #brave #brokenness

Becoming Fearful

Within several moments I was ready to return playing with our friends, but no words came out when I opened my mouth to speak. I tried once again but to no avail. Panicked, I got mom’s attention and she realized my body was swelling. Things moved quickly from there.

Fear spread throughout the group as they were preparing to take me to the hospital. Fortunately for me, mom had recently read an article regarding deadly allergic reactions some people had to bees and that a new desensitization process was being offered by the medical community. That article saved my life.

Needless to say, despite several years of shots to alleviate my reaction to bees, I spent decades being deeply afraid of them. I’m blessed to say I’ve raised perennial flower beds for 15 years now.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1, NKJV

Rejection

In high school, I wanted to be popular…translated – liked/loved. As a result, I became a cheerleader, joined clubs, became editor of the newspaper, etc. Guess what? There were still people who didn’t like me. Shocker, I know.

For reasons unknown, I can recall one particularly vicious phone call I received from a popular girl about something I didn’t do, but she thought I did. Even though I professed Jesus, I was looking for acceptance at the wrong addresses.

Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, nor be afraid of their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; But My righteousness will be forever, And My salvation from generation to generation.

Isaiah 51:7-8, NKJV

Paralyzed

When I was a young mother with a baby, my husband worked a swing shift. I didn’t like staying alone on the nights he had to work, but I spent most evenings at my parents’ until it was time to take my son home and put him to bed. But then one night while we all were out, our home was burglarized. My husband and I felt violated.

After that, fear blossomed like a sunflower in my chest. I heard every noise, real or imagined, in the house or the basement. It’s embarrassing to remember the times I would call our neighbor over to check the house because I thought I had heard something. (He and his wife were very gracious!) This fear lasted so long it was making me physically ill – I was trying to stay awake all night, begging God to keep us safe. I was thinking of escape plans should someone break-in. It was difficult.

Delivered

During this time, I was working with first graders in Sunday School. One week we made a prayer wheel out of paper plates. For every need on one side of the wheel, there were Bible verses on the other side that applied to the need. “Coincidentally,” my husband worked nights that week, which I dreaded with a vengeance.

In desperation, one night I pulled that children’s prayer wheel out and turned it to fear, looking up each verse. I told God I was so weary of living this way, and I knew that He didn’t want me to anymore. (He does say, “Fear not” 365 times in His Word!) From that night forward, the paralyzing fear left me. Has it attempted to return? Sure, but God has delivered me from the stronghold of fear each time.

I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the Lord your Maker, Who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth; You have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor? […] But I am the Lord your God, Who divided the sea whose waves roared – the Lord of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand…

Isaiah 51:12-16a, NKJV

Becoming Fearless

I believe we all battle with fear in one form or another. Otherwise, why did God mention it so often? Sometimes I wonder if our fear isn’t used by God to help bring about needed brokenness…because only out of brokenness comes fearlessness. And isn’t that what we really want – to become fearless? Even Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for this in him in Ephesians 6:16-20.

Louie Giglio said in a sermon at 2012 Passion, “Minimize your fears by maximizing your one fear and realizing this: I’m already chained to Jesus Christ. The only thing I’m afraid of is living an insignificant life.”

Amen!

Sometimes fear is used by God to help bring about needed brokenness…because out of brokenness comes fearlessness. And isn't that what we really want – to become fearless? Click To Tweet

Fear and rejection can leave us feeling paralyzed. But it is our brokenness that will ultimately lead to becoming fearless. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #afraid #fear #fearless #LivingBoldly #boldness #unafraid #brave #brokenness

unsplash-logoJason Blackeye
boldness, bold, fear, confidence, God’s plan, Oh Lord Help Us, Christian, women, mentor, ministry

Champion: How to Walk Through This World With Boldness

We are instructed to not live in fear, but the struggle is all too real. Only with our Champion can we walk through life with boldness.



I recently saw a posting on Facebook that said, “Fear not can be found 365 times in the Bible.” As a natural doubting Thomas, I went in search of this for myself. According to the Bible App, there are only 71 instances of “fear not” in the New English Translation. However, I found the words “don’t be afraid” 342 times. Of course, this is completely unscientific research and open to mistakes.

We are instructed to not live in fear, but the struggle is all too real. Only with our Champion can we walk through life with boldness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #boldness #courage #fear

Fear Not

I’m pretty sure our Father is telling us something important here. He doesn’t want us walking around this world with fear in our hearts. And yet I had to add that last sentence because I am afraid I may have miscounted and someone will think poorly of me for it.

So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:6, NET

I fight this feeling of fear on a daily basis. Being a mother has only made it worse. I am afraid that others are talking behind my back or that they don’t like my kids. I am afraid my kids will get hurt, or that my husband will be in an accident. Then I am afraid when I hear noises at night. I don’t like the dark. When I get sick I’m afraid it’s worse than it is.

Now, I try to keep these feelings on a short leash and rarely ever share them with anyone (they sound crazy). But this fear also keeps me from doing God’s work. It keeps me from going up to a stranger who looks like they need help. Or from inviting an acquaintance to come with our family to church on Sunday. Fear is the weapon of the enemy.

The Struggle is Real

Earlier this week I was really struggling hard. I was overwhelmed by fear. When this happens I find strength in music. Because God speaks to me and calms my spirit with melody. In my hour of need, He put the right song on, “The Voice of Truth,” sang by Casting Crowns. I L-O-V-E this song.

Thinking about Peter stepping out of the boat and David facing Goliath gave me such encouragement. “I will listen and believe the Voice of truth.”

I can to all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13, KJV

Our Champion is By Our Side

Our Father is right here with us. He is our champion and we have no reason to be afraid. Fear isn’t a God-inspired emotion, it is from the enemy who puts a yoke on us to follow a path that isn’t ordained. For this reason, the weight is heavy and often impossible to throw off in our own strength. We need help, daily.

Another thing that helped me this week was having a stranger come up to tell me that I was doing a great job being a mom. My son and I were in Target walking through the isles and he was telling me an outrageously silly story. Afterward, I told him he was super creative and an out of the box problem thinker. The lady shopping beside of us said, “Great job mom. We need those kids to be creative thinkers and have fun doing it.”

Those words were a warm blanket to my heart. So, the next time I worry that his silly stories make him sound too juvenile or a little crazy, I’ll take that moment out and remember. God is always by our side. Sometimes, He speaks through other people.

Stepping Out of Fear

Earlier, I was considering which of my prayers I would put at the end of this devotional. They have been disjointed, sporadic, and definitely unfocused during this week of uncertainty and fear. In other words, none of them were any good to share. However, in my earlier research, I came across one that I think I will write down and speak out loud next time fear starts to lean into my life.

Whoever speaks, let it be with God’s words. Whoever serves, do so with the strength that God supplies, so that in everything God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:11, NET

love, me

The Lord is the Champion of our doubts and fears. He has overcome, let all we do be done to bring Him glory! Click To Tweet

We are instructed to not live in fear, but the struggle is all too real. Only with our Champion can we walk through life with boldness. Women of Faith | Spiritual Growth | Scripture Study | Christian Mentoring | Daily Devotional #devotional #scripture #boldness #courage #fear

unsplash-logoTaylor Leopold

Fearless: The Freedom to Take Risks

Taking risks is scary, but in order to live a bold life, taking risks is often necessary. Thankfully we have the freedom to take risks, and this is why…



Last week we celebrated my daughters 2nd birthday!

 

Y’all, let me tell you about my little girl. She is absolutely the brightest part of my day. I am crazy about my boys, but I am gushy with her! The moment I go to get her up in the morning, she is beaming with joy. When she comes down the steps, she greets everyone with “g’mornin’!” Wherever we go she says “hello” to anyone and everyone we pass, and waves her farewells when we leave. She spreads joy like it’s jam.

 

 

She also will have a meltdown when I take the spoon that she was handing me. She knows she needs help, but desperately wants to do it on her own. She has begun to refuse to hold my hand on the sidewalk, and goes noodle limp when I make her hold my hand in the parking lot. She’s the only child of mine who has been in trouble for hitting another kid in childcare at the YMCA. At 8 months old, army crawling around the house, she would smile at me while she did something she knew she shouldn’t. She still does this, and it drives me bonkers. She will yell at her brothers if they are touching something that she has determined should be hers. Heck, she yells at me if I have my hands on the shopping cart where she doesn’t want them.

 

 

She is also fearless. She is the one who will try to climb out on the roof. She is the reason I’m feeling nervous that there is a second floor balcony over our foyer. She is why I cannot relax at the pool. She knows how to get out of the puddle jumper, and she will jump right into the pool. Lord help me. I even dunked her underwater in hopes that it would discourage her from going in alone. Did it work? Nope, she thought it was fun! When we were at the beach, she dove face first into the waves. Only because she didn’t care for the salt water, did she not try that again.

 

 

As much as her boldness, and strong-will tires me out, I love it. I want to live with that kind of fearlessness, just without so many melt-downs.


The freedom to take risks…

In my attempts to “warn” my daughter about the water, I think I actually emboldened her. By dipping her under the water, and bringing her up, she knows that she can trust me. By me letting her dive face first into the ocean surf, and then scooping her up, she knows that she can try new things (even if she doesn’t want to do it again). I could have kept her away from the water, but I wanted her to experience it within my grasp. I was ready to “rescue” her, and anticipating the dive. I want her to live fully, and be willing to take risks.

This is how we can live boldly in life. Trusting that the Lord will pick us up when we fall. He doesn’t keep us from falling. Then we would never learn how to swim. We are free to take risks because we can trust that when we fall, we will be met with compassion, and a deeper intimacy in knowing who the Lord is, and who we are.

Right now my favorite song to run to is “You Can’t Stop Me” by Andy Mineo. Yes, I run to rap. Yes, I rap out loud with my hands in the air. And yes, I’m a scrawny little white girl. Anyways… there is a line where he says, “My God is good, He is not safe.” This is how I want to live. Not safely, but boldly. I’ve experienced a deeper life with the Lord by taking risks. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but I am not willing to trade it for safety.

I want to dive face first into the ocean.

The Lord does not keep us from falling. But He will pick us up when we do. Click To Tweet


Your turn…

When was a time in your life you took a risk? What happened? How did it change your relationship with the Lord? Tell me in the comments, or on Facebook, or on Instagram. I can’t wait to hear about it!

 

 

 

Anastasia Taioglou