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Moving beyond fear to faith

June 17, 2007

What is your greatest fear? Can you name it? Would you tell it to others?

For the last 2-1/2 years my greatest fear has been to be in a place where I had to come face to face with a group of people from my old church, including those who hurt me the deepest. You see I went through a devastating situation of abuse, accusations, and defamation of my character. I was left completely shattered by the situation to the level that it took me months to get to a level where I could function daily without being in crisis.

Today, I faced my fear head on. This was an especially difficult decision because I recently lost another relationship with someone because I shared the story of what happened at my prior church with him. He was someone I trusted deeply, who was dear to my heart, and his hugs were one of the only places I had felt safe in 2-1/2 years. Despite that recent loss I choose to willingly walk into a graduation party for members of my old youth group. I saw old youth group members, their families, church members, and an old friend that two years ago I had walked away from because they choose to stay under the spiritual authority of those who abused me. I had walked into the situation also believing I might see my old partner in ministry who was the person who leveraged the accusations against me.

It was a difficult situation, and the decision to face my fear was one of the most difficult I have ever faced. However, I was able to go into it with confidence because I firmly believe it was what God wanted. It is part of the healing he has me going through. God’s word tells us to not fear, and I am living to take him at his word. The Bible also tells us to love others deeply, and without reservation, something I am trying to do, despite what I might feel is a cost. Finally, if we love God we are to act with confidence in what he has done, is doing, and will do in our lives. I have made a decision that I will no longer hide what God is doing in my life. I want to be a witness that lives in the light and brings glory to God.

Are you willing to face your fear? Do you have confidence that God will go before you?  What will it take for you to believe? If God is on your side, who possibly could stand against you and win? Sticks and stones can hurt our bones, words can hurt our heart, soul, and mind, but I am claimed by God so all I am is under his care and protection and I trust him with every second of my day and every relationship that crosses my path. I hope you will too.

Thank you Lord for going before me today and for giving me all I needed to face my fears and to be the best witness I could for you. Teach us how to face our fears and to trust you for everything we need.

Scripture references:
Isaiah 41:10 1 Peter 3:13-17John 3:20-21Mark 12:30

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2007 9:37 pm

    Reading stories like this still breaks my heart.

    Paul
    http://www.safechurch.com

  2. Nicole permalink
    June 18, 2007 2:55 pm

    You are an example of God’s love. I know you struggle with this, but you took such a huge step. Through God’s love and courage you were able to heal a little more. And I think that is just why God wanted you there, for you to heal.

  3. June 18, 2007 7:08 pm

    Paul, I hope you are referring to what happened in the past, not the actions I took yesterday toward further healing. My heart also breaks as I hear of others who have been hurt by Christians, but I do not regret what I went through. It has changed my life in tremendous ways. I am so much happier, healthier, and richer in my understanding of God because of my experience. I have grown more in my walk with God in the last 2-1/2 years than I had in the previous 12 in my old church. I know who I am in God’s eyes. I know what I believe. I own my faith and live a very changed life. My greatest desires are to pour out my life in service and love for others. That testimony was one I could easily share yesterday as people almost didn’t recognize me because I have changed so much not just in physical appearance, but in my countenance. Several people told me I looked younger, happier, and more beautiful than they had ever seen me. I assure you, that wasn’t me, that was God! He amazes me every day.

  4. June 18, 2007 7:09 pm

    Nicole, I agree. I think that is exactly what God wanted and I am excited to see what he is going to do with me as he brings even more healing and hope.

  5. June 21, 2007 5:40 am

    Sherie,

    Oh no, I was not referring to your actions …

    Here’s a link to a Spiritual Abuse story by another blogger, Rebecca I read yesterday. It is these types of stories to which I was referring.

    Paul

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