Rick and our grandson Simeon at the playground!

As a child, I noticed that my mom was afraid of so many things. I decided early on that I did not want to be afraid.

People have often said that the most common command in scripture is, “Do not be afraid.” Look at this one in

Deuteronomy 31:8 “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

We can find strength in God to face each challenge in our life.

When I went to college, I was just getting serious about wanting to share about Jesus. I had been frustrated that I was not able to do it more in high school because I was so shy. So I became determined to overcome my fears in order to share about Jesus. I read a book called “Out of the Saltshaker and into the World.” It emphasized that we can’t impact people if we are afraid to talk to strangers.

I soon got a job at a doctor’s office since I had experience in taking classes in medical office procedures and medical terminology. But I needed to deliver reports to the hospital everyday and whenever I entered a hospital, I would tremble. So, I decided to push through this fear until I was able to deliver the reports without trembling.

At the same time, I began to visit my neighbors in the apartment building we were living in. Everyday after class, I would go and try to spend time with a neighbor and pray for them. Eventually, we made many friends there and even helped them to love one another by having baby showers and parties for different neighbors as needs came up. This became a pattern in my life and I’ve had the joy of leading many neighbors to Jesus by making friends with strangers.

I had a similar fear of schools and also trembled when entering a school. When my kids were both in elementary school, I realized I wanted to overcome this fear. Even at parent-teacher conferences, I would cry and tremble. So as soon as I could, I got a job in the school in order to overcome this fear.

God told me that he was like my backpack going with me wherever I went and that I could actually change the atmosphere in the room because of the Holy Spirit being with me. First I was a lunch room monitor with 600 kids in the room. The previous lunch room monitor was mean in order to control the kids. But I relied on the Holy Spirit to bring peace into the room and it worked! What a lesson I learned and I ended up volunteering and eventually substituting as a teacher for the next 15 years in a public school. I also continued to meet neighbors and lead them to Jesus no matter how distant they seemed to be at first.

I really want to encourage you to name your fears and seek to overcome them by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those are power words, Deuteronomy 31:8 “He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Let’s go for it so that we can approach people in order to show them God’s love in practical ways these days.

Let’s offer to pray for the sick, help needy people and show kindness to our neighbors in Jesus’ name.

What can we do this week in order to push through one of our fears? Remember, God is with you – just like a backpack! His presence can change the atmosphere in the room even with 600 school kids!

Simeon conquering his fears on the playground!

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