Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
September 27, 2020
Fear is the enemy of success; whatever form of success one is seeking. Whether it’s success in moving forward with a goal, a dream, a plan, a relationship, or fear of a new beginning; whether it’s fear of the unknown, fear of loneliness, fear of others, fear of success, fear of failure, or even a fear of self. Fear can keep you from being successful in that which you truly desire and affects your overall quality of life.
As a child, I only feared God and my mother. But that all changed the day that I saw my older sister almost drown. While walking home from the store, the next-door neighbor, knowing that my 11-year-old sister could not swim, deliberately pushed her into a swimming pool and at the deep end.
I was only 5 years old, but I knew enough to know that my sister was drowning and I couldn’t save her. I knew that unless someone saved her she was going to die. And it looked like she was losing her fight against the water.
Just as it seemed that my sister could disappear under the water forever, a man seemed to appear out of nowhere and saw that she was drowning. He jumped in the swimming pool with his suit on and saved my sister.
I was so happy that my big sister was saved. I was crying and laughing at the same time. But witnessing her almost drown set in motion an extreme fear of swimming pools and large bodies of water that would last for the next almost 30 years of my life. The fear was so paralyzing and it negatively impacted my quality of life.
Whenever my family and I would go to a public swimming pool, I couldn’t go within at least 50 feet of it without hyperventilating and getting major palpitations. As a result, I missed out on some fun family experiences. But the most troubling thing was that I wouldn’t be able to save myself, my kids, or anyone else from drowning. So, I made sure to put my kids in swim lessons.
I tried private swim lessons as well, but they were never successful because, since I was an adult, the swim instructors didn’t and wouldn’t take my fear of drowning in 3 feet of water seriously. They didn’t understand that a person can drown in any amount of water if the water fills their lungs and impairs their breathing. That was my greatest fear about swimming pools.
I continued to live in fear of large bodies of water and experience greater distress related to that fear. So one day, I expressed my distress, and my frustration with the swim instructors to my daughter, who was just 17 at the time. To my surprise she went to the library and checked me out some books on teaching yourself how to swim. Wow, what wisdom, what compassion, what love.
While reading the first page of one of the books, I could feel myself getting calmer because it seemed the authors got it! They understood how an adult could be in such great fear of swimming pools. I began to have hope that I could really conquer my phobia and learn how to swim!
I prayed and asked God to help me, to show me what to do, to become my Swim Teacher. I had to conquer this crippling and gripping fear. It began to be about more than just the swimming pools, so much more.
My first task was to find a baby pool with only 1 foot of water. So I went to the local pubic indoor swimming pool. I was to just stand in the water for a prescribed amount of time. I was asked many times, “ Where’s your baby?” And I would reply, “I’m here to teach myself how to swim”. I got some stares and funny looks, which didn’t bother me at all.
My next task was to just sit in the baby pool, which I did with no problem. And then I had to graduate to the 3 feet pool. My classmates were now toddlers. But hey, I was moving up in my classes, and I gave myself a big pat on the back!
For one lesson, I was instructed to bring objects with me, such as coins and other things that would sink to the bottom of the pool. Standing near the edge of the pool I had to hold my breath and retrieve the items from the bottom of the pool and linger there just having fun. I then learned how to coordinate my breathing and my arms and legs to swim under water.
Next my task was to get away from the edge and walk towards the middle of the pool. I eventually had to play the same game in the middle of the pool. I then had to swim back to the edge of the pool. I was so proud of myself!
My next task was to graduate to doing the same thing in 4 feet and then 5 feet of water. But this time I had to hold my breath and jump in. I thought, I got this, I can do this in the mighty name of Jesus. And I did. I would then swim back up to the top. Look at God!
It was interesting that some of the books did not teach me how to float first. But I got it, the first step was not to teach me the art of swimming, but to deal with my fear of large bodies of water. And having me go to the bottom first was just the right prescription.
While at the bottom of the pool, I gained strength and even more confidence. There was nothing like looking up from the bottom and realizing just how far I had come. It made the swim back to the top that much sweeter. And once at the top, there was nothing like looking down and seeing just what God had done for me.
But overcoming my fear of swimming pools was about so much more than the water. The lessons that I learned throughout my whole 30-year experience of dealing with the fear of swimming pools and overcoming it, transferred to other areas of my life, especially when faced with a mounting challenge. Most importantly the Holy Spirit used that experience to give me a deeper spiritual insight.
From the very beginning God showed me that when you’re drowning, He will step in, just in the nick of time and save you. God will also take you outside of your comfort zone to deliver you from your fears. And that means taking you from the edge to the center of His will, because it is in the center of His will that He prepares you for the next step of taking you to the bottom, where you really gain your strength and victory over conquering your fears.
God will take you to the root of your fears, the base level. And after He does what he needs to do at the bottom, then God will take you to the top to bask in your success. In my weakness, then am I made strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I learned that I truly don’t have to be afraid of anything, because God is always with me. Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. And God wants you to know today that He is bigger than your fears. There is absolutely nothing that you can’t do and no fear that cannot be overcome with God on your side. God is the best Teacher, Doctor, Therapist, Counselor, and Coach and He will victoriously bring you through every one of your fears, no matter how big, small, or strange. God says in Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?
But be prepared for God to lead you differently than what you or others might expect. God is an extraordinary God, and He does things in an extraordinary way. God is a nontraditional God and only He knows what it will take for you to overcome your fear(s). Your job is to just call on Him and trust Him to see you through to victory and God will, every single time. Psalms 56:3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.
Dear Father God,
Thank You Lord for being the God of Victory over fear. Lord, what an awesome, mighty God You are- there is nothing too hard for You O, God. I know that in helping me to overcome my fears, You are nontraditional in Your ways. You are an extraordinary God and You do things in an extraordinary way because Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are not my thoughts. I thank You for taking me outside of my comfort zone in dealing with my fears and taking me to center of Your will. I praise and thank You Lord God for taking me to the bottom of my pool of fears where I really gain strength and victory in overcoming them. There is none like You O God. Please help me today, and everyday with fears that have yet to be overcome, even those that may not be apparent, so that I can reach my pinnacle of success in and for You Lord Jesus. As I move forward throughout this week, when I am afraid, I will trust in Thee, my God.
In Jesus name I pray,
Copyright © 2020 Healing Restoration Ministries