In April 2016, I was contacted by the Haven Conference team to speak at their conference in August. If you don’t know what the Haven Conference is, it’s a big blogging conference that takes place once a year in Atlanta. I have attended a couple times but when I received the email asking me if I’d like to speak at the conference, my response was, “What!? I think they emailed the wrong person.”
Speak? Me? Why? I actually emailed her back and told her “I think you emailed the wrong person.” But she insisted, no, I was in fact who she meant to email, I had been the team’s first choice to speak on organizing.
The thought of speaking in front of a group of my blogging peers terrified me, however I felt like it was something God was asking me to do. Why was it God cared about me speaking about organizing? I had no clue. Even though I felt like God was asking me to do it, I still tried a little, not too hard, to make it not work out, but in the end I agreed to speak.
I had several months to plan my class, and actually really enjoyed that process, but a few weeks before the conference the reality of what I was about to do, hit me.
I was terrified. The spirit of fear was speaking, and I was listening.
Why had I agreed to speak in front of my peers? What if I totally bombed it and looked like an idiot? What if they didn’t like what I had to say? There were so many “what if’s” that it was beginning to make me crazy.
But through all the chaos in my mind, I heard a still small voice say, “what if you nail it?”, “what if you get there and you’re good at it?” I was so busy focusing on the fear of the situation that I’d forgotten it was the Lord that asked me to do it in the first place. I was focusing on the negative “what if’s” but God was reminding me of the positive “what if’s”.
With that in mind I felt more confident as I boarded the plane to Atlanta and as I rehearsed my class the night before.
For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.” 2 Tim 1:7 (NLV)
The morning of my class I was excited but a little nervous. I went to my classroom, the lights were still off, I laid down on the front row and I told the Lord, “You brought me here so you better show up and speak through me. I’m not giving into fear but I need you to show up and help me get through this, I cannot do it without you.”
And He did. The class was awesome, everyone loved it and I got great feedback. The next day’s class was also great, more people showed up than the first day and I got even more good feedback.
This was such a good lesson for me about not giving into fear, and trusting the Lord to show up, when He calls you to do something, even when it seems crazy.
Even though most of you probably haven’t been asked to speak at a blogging conference I know you can all relate to my story. Whether it’s taking a job you’re nervous about, going to a new school where you don’t know anyone, or even something as simple as confronting a friend because God asked you to.
All of these things, and countless others create opportunities for us to allow fear into our lives. But what if, instead of giving into fear, we choose to trust the Lord?
And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.” Ruth 3:11 (NIV)
What if God has a plan and asked you to do the thing that seems scary because He is growing your faith? What if He’s asking you to push though the “scary thing” because He’s calling you to something bigger and better but He’s testing your faith in Him to see if you’re ready for it?
It’s impossible to know what God is up to but I know I’d rather trust Him to stick to His word, than give into the spirit of fear from the enemy and the fear of man.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4:18a
If I truly believe that God loves me, and knows what’s best for me, then the best choice I could possibly make is to trust Him and not give into fear; and because of His perfect love, I have the power and authority to cast out fear!
All the time I hear people say, “What have I got to loose?” but when you’re walking with the Lord and trusting Him with your life, I think an even better question to ask is,
“What have I got to gain?”
With God the possibilities are endless because you never know where He’ll take you when you choose a life of trusting Him.
Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear.” Psalm 23:4 (tPt)
Friends, I want to tell you that choosing to trust the Lord is always worth it. Had I given into fear, and chosen not to trust the Lord, I wouldn’t have had the privilege of speaking at a conference I had only dreamed of speak at, since my first visit 3 years earlier. I wouldn’t have had the chance to talk to blogging friends and share the testimony of our adoption. I wouldn’t have been asked to speak at my church’s woman’s conference just a few months later – which was super powerful, and I probably wouldn’t be here with you today.
You never know where God is leading you, but it’s always worth it to trust He knows the best path for you to take!
Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on Him to guide you, and He will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with Him in whatever you do, and He will lead you wherever you go.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (tPt)