Overcoming Fear with Authentic Faith

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Last month, I confessed how the last decade of my life has been marked by fear and yet thanks to an adventuresome opportunity at family camp, I recognized how living in fear was stealing joy from my life . . . and from my children. {Read that post here.} That “big swing” moment marked off a life once lived in fear, and I’m in awe at how God has invited me to walk in brave faith ever since.

Are your goals for your life safe and comfortable? In many ways the security we crave and try to manifest can become an idol in our lives without us even realizing it. What are we to do if the world and our calling in it makes us afraid, and takes us out of our comfort zone? Overcoming fear is about growing in faith and the thrill of seeing God at work!

While there isn’t a formula for how to overcome fear, I’ve discovered that there is a mindset shift that needs to happen.

For me, that change in my thinking came about through asking a key question every time a new opportunity or decision was in front of me:

Am I resisting risk in the face of fear or pursuing wisdom as I walk in faith?

This one question does battle against the slew of “what if questions” that formerly trapped me in fear. Questions like . . .

What if I fail? 

What if I get hurt? 

What if I get rejected? 

What if I make a fool of myself? 

What if I’m wrong?

What if they get hurt?

What if they think I’m wrong?

What if they get made at me?

Do these questions sound familiar to you? Are these “what ifs” keeping you from taking risks and enjoying life and providing your children with opportunities to learn and grow and see God’s faithfulness?

I’ve come to discover that being safe and comfortable are not the ultimate goals God has for our lives. In many ways, this security we crave, and try to manifest for ourselves and our family, can all too easily become an idol. Oh yes, it’s easy to say “no” to God when comfort is king. It’s reasonable to put off “that opportunity” when stability is worshipped. 

Mind you, I speak as one who has avoided risk at all costs because of all the fears filling my heart and mind. But in the last year, God has pushed and pulled and prodded at me to put on my big girl panties and grow in my faith. It’s been about getting out of the boat and walking on water, and I don’t like to get wet. But you know what has happened? I’ve discovered the absolute thrill of seeing God at work in away I would have missed if I stayed afraid. 

Overcoming fear isn’t about overcoming fear . . . it’s about growing in your faith.

That’s what this past year has been about for me  . . . choosing to follow God in great faith instead of abiding in great fear. It started last August when I signed a book contract, even though I'm that gal who refused to pursue traditional publishing because I’m terrified of criticism. As though that wasn’t a big enough step, I said yes to taking over a conference, even though it scares the daylights out of me being responsible for a budget that big. And just when I thought that was enough faith walking for one year, God led my husband and I to get out of a boat we’ve happily been in for the last 18 years . . . and we'll be relocating this summer and launching into a brand new life this summer. 

As Charlotte Phelan says in The Help, “Courage, sometimes, skips a generation.” It almost skipped mine, but I am so grateful to the Lord for His working in this late bloomer. I want to be a woman of godly courage and fullness of faith, and by His grace, I think that is happening. If He can do this in me, my friend, He can do it in you.

There’s no need for fear to keep you from living the life God intended.

Your brave steps of faith may not look like mine nor anyone else's. But may you seek Him for that next step, that nudge, that opportunity He’s asking you to trust Him with today.

How can I pray for the step of faith God is asking you to take? Let me know in a comment below.

Abiding in Him,

Lisa

moretobe.com & elisapulliam.com

{If you're looking for resources to encourage you to step out in faith, consider the free Live Brave download, written for tween and teen girls, but full of truth that will meet you right where you are.}

Elisa Pulliam

Elisa Pulliam is passionate about women experiencing a life transformed by God for the sake of impacting the next generation – a mission fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She’s the author of "Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change," which is a book designed to help women embrace a fresh encounter with God, and "Impact Together: Biblical Mentoring Simplified." She is also founder of moretobe.com and tremendously enjoys working as a life coach and coach trainer. She considers her greatest roles as wife to Stephen and mom to four amazing children. Connect with Elisa at elisapulliam.com.