Friday, October 29, 2010

What Are You Most Afraid Of??

Hi Friends! Happy Weekend to you!!

I'm curious...so what is it you are most afraid of??

For me, I join the millions of people in the world with a fear of public speaking.


When I was little, I wet my pants at school often because I was too afraid to raise my hand in class. (I'm not kidding, you can even ask my mom). The thought of everyone looking at me was just too much for this shy, insecure, red haired little girl.

After I came to know Jesus, I sensed the Lord wanted me to share my testimony for His Kingdom purposes.

I was terrified.

However, after years of living in rebellion, I was more terrified of not obeying Him than people looking at me. I would go with fear and trembling whenever a church would ask me to share (but trust me, I never went out seeking opportunities).

In 1999 I was hired to work as a ministry leader at a Grand Rapids area mega-church. Only the Lord would provide opportunities for this shy girl to share ministry updates in front of 10,000 people on Sunday's. (Did you notice I said TEN THOUSAND people!)

Only God.

In 2003, I heard for the first time about Carol Kent's Speak Up with Confidence Seminar. I knew I should go (if I was going to speak in front of people, I should at least have the tools to do so more effectively). However, the thought of going to this seminar TERRIFIED me.

I chickened out.

And so it continued, every year Carol Kent's Speak Up would come to town, and every year I would stay home due to my fears and insecurities.

Finally in 2007, I knew I must face my fears and attend Speak Up.

I went, sat in the back row, gave my little speeches while being evaluated by others (without throwing up or anything horrible), and came home. Whew ~ mission accomplished. (And, truth be told, received glowing remarks. Thank you God!)

In 2008, I knew I needed to go back...and this time for the Advanced Seminar. (I was asked to speak at my first church retreat ~ teaching 4 one hour sessions ~ and needed to learn everything I could from Carol and her gifted team!)

Imagine my surprise when I learned that Carol Kent herself would be evaluating my last mini Bible teaching. I was shaking in my high heels ~ literally!! I tried to put on my lipstick and had to use two hands, I was trembling so badly. I begged the Lord to infuse me with His strength and His peace, or this was going to be a disaster!

And you know what....He did!!

The Lord empowered me and I spoke with clarity, boldness, and a holy passion!

When I was finished sharing my 5 minute Bible presentation, Carol said, "Who are you?"

I said, "Ummmm....I'm a mom...."

Carol replied, "I mean, what do you do??"

I shared, "Well, I, um, speak at different churches sharing my story....

Just then my dear friend Donna Fagerstrom interrupted and shared, "Carol, she's not telling you everything. She was the ministry leader of a local church and is just amazing...."

(Bless you, Donna, you are always such an encourager!)

Then Carol shared, "Cindy, I think we're supposed to stop right now and lay hands on you. I sense God has a very special plan He desires to fulfill through you. Let's gather around you and pray."

Of course, I wept like a baby as an amazing group of Godly women surrounded me and prayed over me. What an unbelievable blessing! I still tear up when I think about that day years later.

Would you know that since that time the Lord has been opening amazing doors for me to share of His goodness? God has infused me with such confidence in Him, passion, and desire to share Truth all over the place. Not one time have I sought out opportunities (some things haven't changed) ~ and yet He has blown me away with His purposes and plans. Only God!!

And last year, once again, I went back to Speak Up. This time I sat in the front row. :)

I also had the chance to share lunch with Carol Kent....


And meet amazing women like April from Barefoot Offerings


And Becky Turner
, Jennie Dimkoff, Sharla Fritz, and so many other wonderful women!!


God's Word is clear...the Lord has not given us a spirit of timidity or fear, but of POWER, LOVE, and SELF-DISCIPLINE (2 Timothy 1:7).

So I'll end where I began...what are you most afraid of??

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

What has the Lord been preparing for you to do? Are there opportunities or avenues that you sense God is calling you to step out into, but you are allowing fear to get in the way?

Please take it from this former "chicken" ~ trust Him! Look to Him and as Beth Moore says, "Do it afraid!"

Thanks for listening to my journey from fear to faith today! I'd love to hear what God has taught you in this area. Share with us please!

Have a wonderful, joy-filled weekend, my dear bloggy friend! I treasure you!!

Warmly,

P.S And be sure to check back tomorrow....I'll be reviewing Carol Kent's latest book "Between A Rock and A Grace Place". I recently received FOUR copies to giveaway. Woo Hoo! I can't wait to share her latest writings with you!!

6 comments:

Gigi said...

Bridges and flying. I used to fly...a lot. I haven't flown since October 1979 when a bad experience grounded me permanently. Not sure about the bridges thing...but that has become a full on panic attack thing. Weird.

LisaShaw said...

Hi Cindy,

This is a very timely post. I don't share the same fear as I actually love public speaking and do it in the ease of the Holy Spirit HOWEVER, my biggest fear is that of failure and rejection.

I pray through it often so that I can still do what GOD says to do for His glory.

Beautiful photos!

Interesting, my husband and I were at Books-A-Million Today and I saw and purchased Carol Kent's book. I was not familiar with her but her book title grabbed me: Between a rock and a grace place and when I read the inside cover of their story with their son I was moved to buy it today.

I look forward to reading it.

Blessings and hugs.

Let'sMakeADifference said...

I LOVE to hear stories of God's ability and willingness to change peoples lives!! A great post! Thanks for leaving me such encouraging words on my blog! You are such an encourager!

Baby Pickel said...

What a truly beautiful testimony!!! Thank you for sharing this blessing with us!

Lots of love, Camille

Jen @ BigBinder said...

Cindy, you did an awesome job of putting into words what was in my head :) When I know I am acting on behalf of God, I am so confident it's ridiculous. Even if I make a boo boo, I don't beat myself up for it like I usually do. The best part though, is knowing that it's not about ME, it's about GOD - you know what I mean? It's like my mind and heart are 100% in the right place at the right time. Preach it, sister!

Lisa said...

How awesome that God paved this path for you, provided opportunities and placed you right where you needed to be, despite your fears!

My fears...not having something relevant to say...in writing or speaking-- not connecting with an audience...

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