I was spending the night in the beautiful home of brand new friends who were part of the church I was speaking and singing at in Connecticut one sunny, cool and beautiful week in the fall. This lovely couple had done well in life and their surroundings echoed that fact, but even more, God had blessed them and they both carried a sweet, serene spirit.
Serenity ended when Ruth came to town!
At about 2am, a few hours after our introduction, I was awakened to Judy in my room telling me it was ok. Apparently I had been dreaming, nightmare-ing to be exact, screaming my head off, and still asleep. Talk about being embarrassed. Oh my! I was in ministry, but I had FEAR, and now everybody knew about it.
I used to say I wasn’t afraid of the dark, it was what might be in the dark. Either way, I still had fear. I would go into my room at night and literally check under the bed and in the closet before I would settle in bed for the night. Yes, I have been known to sleep with my Bible and a cross. (I know, I watched too many movies.)
After the Connecticut fiasco, something had to change, so I decided to take God at His Word. (What a novel idea.) I figured if He has promises about fear, then I’m going to find out what they are, believe them and trust Him to do what He says He will. I found about 10 verses in the Bible relating to fear, wrote them on a yellow legal pad and read them every night and every morning. I believed they were true and I trusted God to deal with my fear.
Within a few weeks I noticed my fear had gone. Gone, I tell you. GONE!
It’s still gone. This from the girl who has since ministered to men at Ryker’s Island Prison where I was told most of the 80+ men in the room were guilty of violent crimes, including rape and murder. I’ve shared Christ in the heart of Cabrini-Green in Chicago (also known as Gangsta City), literally stepped in between 2 grown men who were physically fighting. I realize this is a little radical, but the point is: Jesus took my fear away! And He can and will do it for you too. Here are a couple of verses that I used.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7
Perfect love casts out fear. I John 4:18