I really wasn’t expecting it to be so difficult. Such a deeply emotional and draining experience. I was going to be telling stories that I’ve been telling for 20 years, sharing some of my favorite Scriptures and much loved inspirational quotes. And after all, writing a book is not a new and daunting experience for me. I’ve written quite a few already. But this time last year, as I sat down to write What Women Should Know About Facing Fear, I found myself staring at the keyboard or the screen day after day with tears streaming down my face.
I made myself go back and remember — really remember — what my life used to be like. How it really felt… how I really felt… all those years I was bound by fear. I sifted through my memories and paused to relive moment after moment.
Honestly I had forgotten a lot of it. It all seemed so far in the past. Disconnected from me, as if it had happened to someone else. Now reconnecting with the terror, the torment, the guilt and shame — it was all so much more painful than I had anticipated.
Yet freeing at the same time.
Because it gave me a chance to reflect on how far I’ve come. How far He has brought me. And what my life is like today. Yes, at different times, in different ways, on different levels I still battle fear. I have to find a way to cope with stress, worry, and anxiety — like every other woman I know. But I don’t live in fear. Not anymore.
That’s the key right there: I battle fear, but I don’t live in fear. I can honestly say it’s no longer a dominant theme, a major issue in my life today. I’ve learned a lot over the years. I’m still learning every day…
My friend Jill asked me how the writing was coming and I told her I had a constant refrain in my head, the words of a gospel song written by Bill Gaither and sung by Doug Oldham. It tells the story of an alcoholic who’s been saved. He and his family revisit their old neighborhood and then their old house… a place full of painful memories. His daughter has a flashback and runs and hides behind the door. He tells her, “Honey, you don’t have to be afraid. You’ve got a new Daddy now. Thanks to Calvary, we don’t live here anymore.”
He continues, “Thanks to Calvary, I’m not the man I used to be. Thanks to Calvary, things are different than before. Thanks to Calvary, we don’t live here anymore!”
It makes me weep even now. Because that’s how I feel, when I look back at those years I lived in fear:
Thanks to Calvary, I’m not the woman I used to be. Thanks to Calvary, I don’t live there anymore!
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His name together. I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:1-4 NLT)
Thank You, thank You, Precious Jesus.
Three weeks from tomorrow, the new book will be in stores. I’m praying fervently that God will use it for His glory. That many women will experience for themselves what I have found — that there is hope. There is peace. There is freedom. You don’t have to be held captive by your fears.
In the weeks to come, I’m going to be sharing little bits and pieces from the book, along with a lot of things I didn’t have room for in the chapters I wrote — kind of like DVD extras :) If you battle worry or fear — or know someone who does — I hope you’ll join me. You’ll find that this is the place for encouragement and inspiration, along with practical tips and suggestions to help you face your fears and overcome them!
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I want to close with this verse for the day:
“Those who look to Him are radiant. Their faces are never covered in shame.” (Psalm 34:5)
Do you have any questions about facing fear — from your own battles or those of a friend or family member? Let me know and I’ll try to address them in future blog posts. You can share your questions below or email me through the Contact page.