Fear and anxiety held me hostage for most of my life.
Too often, I trembled on the sidelines while other people had fun.
Last summer, I went on vacation with my husband and son. I sat in a coffee shop, and they went zip lining. Heights and I are not fond of each other.
I like water far less than heights. Lakes and oceans are a no-go; jaws freaked me right out when I was a kid, and those images may NEVER leave.
Do you know what my son was doing this weekend? Surfing! That’s right; he went surfing for the first time. I was bouncing out of my skin with mama-pride, while visions of shark attacks danced in my head.
In a brief text exchange with Anthony, I wrote, “I love that you went surfing! You used to be afraid of the ocean when you were little. Do you remember that?”
He responded, “Mom, I’m still afraid of the ocean .”
If you were in my kitchen, you would have seen me sitting in silence, staring at those words. My son schooling me on how to face fears?
How often have I talked myself out of wearing a bathing suit, riding a bike, hiking a trail, speaking up, submitting a project, auditioning for a show, making a new friend, saying I love you, living my faith, or saying no to a request?
Oh, friend. Can you relate?
Fear can’t be allowed to win anymore. God says He didn’t give me a spirit of fear and timidity, which means He hasn’t given one to you either.
Change is hard, so how do we even start?
Today, I’m starting a new challenge for myself. I’d love some friends to join me. It’s called “Winning Wednesday.”
For one month, each Wednesday, I’ll post something I’ve done to conquer a fear. It doesn’t have to be extreme — talking to someone new or an activity I’ve been too afraid to try — it does, however, have to be something that I haven’t done in years or ever.
What do you say, you want to do this together?
I’m nervous and excited, but I know we can do this.
It’s Winning Wednesday! This week has been wonderfully eye-opening. Many of you commented on my social media accounts, or DM’d to say they too have dealt with anxiety and fear surrounding different circumstances. To those of you who shared your stories, left an encouraging word, or committed to join me, THANK YOU! It’s fantastic to know we’re not alone in this.
I completed my first challenge on Monday. I had a massive fear of wild animals in nature; really, the fear was coming across them. I haven’t willingly gone into the woods for years. When I was a kid, my parents would take me on hikes. Or, my gigantic family would go camping together (shout out to the Worrall Family). They dubbed me “Camp Hilton” because my air mattress was on stilts and I had a port-a-potty in my tent. Why would I ever go out for a three A.M. potty walk? Who knows what’s lurking on those trails!
My challenge this week was to go on a mini hike down the trail behind my house. As I say in the video, this sounds like a weak challenge, but there have been cougar sightings back there from time to time, and we get bears and bobcats where I live as well. I’ve lived in my home for two years, and I haven’t hiked back there because of my fears.
I’m thankful that God cares about the little things, even embarrassing fears. I’ve found that He always provides, and this challenge was no exception. Check out the video to see how I almost chickened out, but God’s provision was just what I needed.
For those of you who joined the challenge, how did your Winning Wednesday go? I’d love to hear about it! Either comment below or post on your social account and tag me in it so that I can encourage you there.
One down, three to go! We got this!!!
Hi friends, two weeks ago, I wrote a post about how my son inspired me because he surfed in the ocean despite his fear of the water. His words, “I’m still afraid of the water,” triggered this entire Winning Wednesday challenge.
Last week, my challenge was to face my fear of potentially meeting up with a cougar or bear in the woods. This week, I had two goals because they both had to do with water.
The first one — Kayaks. For me, they are scary things, especially the blow-up ones. My family owns two of them, and I’ve never sat my butt in either of them. I’ve never actually been in any kayak. They are so low that I feel like I’m right in the water. Add to that, the fear that they might flip over at any moment. Plus, I’m all by myself in a dinky little kayak with no one to take the paddle if something should run amuck. Now I have two songs playing simultaneously in my head. “All by myself,” and “Jesus take the wheel,” only the words Jesus take the paddle are playing on repeat.
Full disclosure — I was on a massive floaty once when I went camping with fifty family members. My cousins wouldn’t take no for an answer. Say no to peer pressure kids. So, I stayed in a small roped-off area of the lake, thinking of all the creatures lurking below. The moment I thought no one was looking, I was back on land.
My second goal was to wear a bathing suit in public. Over the last two years, I’ve gained weight due to some health challenges, so I’ve avoided wearing a bathing suit in front of people at all costs. It was time to end all the negative self-talk, so I could start living.
The level of bone quaking fear I felt last week was nearly paralyzing. This week’s challenge was no exception.
Friends, one thing the challenges have shown me is that I’m not overcoming these fears with my strength but God’s.
Check out the video of me facing these fears! Winning Wednesday – 2 down, 2 to go!
This week’s Winning Wednesday challenge went differently than planned. Initially, I intended to be alone for two nights while my husband and son were away. It would’ve been the first time in 25 years I’d be sleeping with no one else in the house. However, one of my kid’s friends ended up staying over. This welcome change left me with a minor dilemma — no Winning Wednesday challenge?
Tuesday morning, I woke with still no idea of a challenge.
While on my way to an appointment, a thought popped in my head, ‘Have you prayed about this?’ So, I did. “Jesus, I don’t have a Wednesday challenge. Most of the things left require pre-planning and money. What do you think I should do?”
Moments after my appointment, I got a text from my daughter. “Matt wants to know if you wanna go rafting down the river with us?”
Ahhh! Did she mean that day?
I think God has a sense of humour. Doing something that challenges me without thinking it through first is so far out of my comfort zone. Yes, I did a kayak challenge in a lake last week, but God knows rivers are scarier to me than lakes! Why? Well, I’ll tell you why. Sharks! Bull Sharks specifically. These sharks can move between saltwater and freshwater. I know the likelihood of a Bull shark swimming in my part of the world is far fetched, but I’m a writer, which means I’ve got a stellar imagination.
I texted my daughter back, “Is that today? And do you have life jackets?”
Perfectly reasonable questions, right? Sure, the section we’d be floating down was relatively calm and only waist deep. Friends, I’m not the strongest swimmer and, shark attacks happen in waist-deep water, ALL THE TIME! Well, not ALL the time, but this is how my imagination works.
Her response was, “yes and yes.”
Which meant I had no excuse and had to take the challenge. God provided, and I accepted. Otherwise, I’d of been tossing the opportunity right back in His face.
In the end, I’m thankful for answered prayers, there were no sharks, and I got to create treasured memories with my kids.
Did you overcome any fears this week? I’d love to hear about it!
Winning Wednesday 4 of 4 Dear friends, today’s winning Wednesday was the one I’ve been struggling with the most. The one that I hesitated to share with you.
The other challenges seemed easy compared to this one. Today’s challenge is more than a challenge; it’s life-changing.
I usually press the send button on these challenges first thing in the morning. Still, today, I needed to grab some fresh air and process what I was about to put out into the world.
Sure, only a few people may see this video, and I know many of those people, but that doesn’t make sharing it any less scary.
I’m not going to say much in this post because I feel like the video speaks for itself.
Sidenote: this video deals with content that may be triggering for some people.
While these four Winning Wednesday challenges are complete, I’m not even close to being done facing fears. I may even still post a few from time to time.
I hope you have been encouraged by these four videos. I’m incredibly grateful for each of you that have come along this journey with me.