October 24, 2014
If I Weren't Afraid by Tandy Balson
Several years ago I had a picture over my desk that said, “What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?” It’s a question I have often contemplated. Fear has been my companion for a very long time. I’m learning to fight through it but it’s still a struggle.
Volunteering to write this blog is part of my fight. I’m fairly new to writing and the thought of writing to theme terrifies me. For that very reason I chose to do this.
When I told my husband about my plans to contribute to the blog site and how I was feeling, he didn’t give me traditional words of encouragement. Instead he said, “Fear is the opportunity to be courageous.”
Looking back to when I felt God calling me to write, I remember my fear and feelings of inadequacy. God directed me to write down the lessons He’d been teaching me. Words had never flown as freely as they did the day I obeyed. I realized then that the words did not come from me, but through me.
When He asked me to share these lessons with others the fear flared up. How could I share something so close to my heart? I prayed for courage to overcome this fear.
God was patient as I shared with only a few people. Encouragement from them gave me the courage to share with others. One told me if I truly believed these words were given to me by God, I should have no fear in sharing them. What a revelation for me. I wasn’t sharing my words, I was sharing His.
Tears streamed down my cheeks and fear paralyzed me the day a friend suggested I write a regular blog and share what God was teaching me. She then encouraged me by saying, “What if God wants to bless you through this?” Her words went straight to my heart. After praying about it, God gave me the courage to proceed.
My fears and inadequacies surface on a regular basis. When I need courage and confidence I repeat a verse from Philippians 4:13. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.
Rejection was something that took me by surprise. If I was letting God’s words flow through me, then why didn’t everyone think they were as wonderful as I did? It made me question whether I had really listened to God. Maybe I had misinterpreted his message to me and was doing the wrong thing.
My first major experience with rejection was at a writer’s conference. On day one the comments about my writing were not positive. Discouraged, I felt I had no right to be there. Who did I think I was, calling myself a writer? I prayed that night asking God to let me be open to the feedback of more experienced writers. If I was on the wrong track, could he please let me know?
The appointment I had with an editor the next morning gave me the positive reinforcement I needed. She even gave me a contact to send my work to.
The lesson for me was that everyone doesn’t have to agree with my style of writing. I need to be true to the calling that God has placed on my heart.
Rejection still stings and fears still arise. When I face those fears I can move forward. With God’s help I will be courageous as I share the words He has given me.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 NIV