I was sent up to teach the kindergartners their church school lesson one week. I’d practiced and practiced and written down every single little word that I was going to say. But when I got up there, I felt the eyes of an entire classroom riveted on my back as I set out my felts. My introverted little heart was alternately frozen with fear and beating out of my chest with anxiety. My shaky hands I could deal with, but when I opened my mouth to speak I realized that I had lost my voice. My mouth was forming words, but not even a squeak would come out. It felt like the worst moment of my life.
In that moment of panic, I briefly considered bolting for the door in shame and heading for the nearest closet. I considered hiding for the rest of my life so that no one would remember me as the girl who lost her voice at church. I knew I had issues with fear. But I also knew that running never solved anything at all. I wanted to run, but I knew I right then that I had to stay. I had to fight this. I gulped a few times and forced a whisper out of my throat. If I couldn’t talk, I could still whisper.
My face was burning bright red with embarrassment and humiliation. My hands shook so badly I could hardly put the felts on the board. I think maybe my knees even shook. But I stood my ground. I prayed desperately a little girl’s cry for courage and decided that I would finish that lesson even if I had to whisper the entire thing. That’s exactly what happened. When the lesson was over, and the somewhat baffled children and probably amused parents had filed away, I sank into a heap behind the felt board. It was over. That day, I won one of my first battles against my biggest issue: fear.
I may have won a battle that day, but the war against fear is one I still fight today. I wish I could say that I always choose to fight like I did that day in the little classroom of my childhood home church. I wish that I always remembered that hiding or running don’t fix anything. I wish that with adulthood, I could say that I’d won the war. I may not loose my voice when I teach the little ones, and maybe I am better at looking brave and strong when I’m shaking inside. But the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, and sometimes fears that I don’t really even understand have punctuated my life. Sometimes I’ve won, sometimes I’ve lost. But today, I’m more aware of those issues, and of my natural tendency to want to hide.
When a copy of She’s Got Issues showed up on my doorstep last spring, I wasn’t sure that I’d like it. It wasn’t because I didn’t think I could relate to the issues talked about in the book, but because I wasn’t sure I wanted to read another book that was filled with flowery words and never really pointed out the remedy: our Savior.
But I read it anyway. I’m glad I did. Nicole’s approach to the issues of our hearts that we tend to excuse and laugh away touched my heart. She got to the root of the matter, and pointed back to Jesus as the only one who can take these plastic faces we put on to hide our brokenness, and teach us to be the real women He always intended us to be. I knew then it’d be a book I’d read again.
And I am reading it again. This time, I’m reading it with a sweet friend. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is that sometimes being vulnerable and open with someone you can trust is the best way to fight the kind of internal fears that I do. She’s Got Issues is designed for something just like this.
Tell me, what’s your greatest “issue” and what has helped you the most in fighting it?
- Read my original review over on my blog
- Read Natasha’s review on her blog
- Read Nicole’s post on Kindred Grace
I’m excited to be able to share a copy of She’s Got Issues with one of you! I think if more of us ladies read this book, and learned to face our hidden issues, if more of us talked and prayed together about these battles, we’d be so much stronger. Also, with special thanks to Nicole Unice, you can enter to win the Group Experience DVD set that goes with the book!
To enter the giveaways, please fill out the rafflecopter forms below.