My friend locked her gaze on me. “What are you afraid of, Sarah?”
Those words threw me for a loop. For years I’d written novels. For years I’d received rejection letters. I’d just told my friend about my tortuous road to publication when she slammed me with that question.
Afraid? I wasn’t afraid.
Oh yes, I was. I was afraid of another rejection. I was afraid I’d get published and disappoint my publisher and readers. I was afraid I’d misheard God’s voice and was on the wrong road altogether.
The world is a scary place. Current events, illness, and family crises cause enough fears, but on top of that, God asks us to do scary things. Spread the gospel to the farthest corners of the world. Teach Sunday school. Care for the widows and orphans and homeless and immigrants.
Fear is a natural emotion, but if we don’t counter it with God’s truth, it can cripple us and keep us from the life the Lord intends for us. We need to step out, despite our fears. God can use our quivering fingers and quavering voices, but He can’t use our frozen feet.
After my conversation with my friend, I acted. Although my hands still trembled, I prayerfully submitted my novel to yet another publisher. That publisher gave me my first three-book contract.
When you feel fear’s clammy tentacles writhe inside, analyze your fears. Then take those concerns to God and trust His promises.
Now, go out there and live the life God intended for you.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Sarah Sundin is a bestselling author of World War II novels, including The Sea Before Us and The Sky Above Us. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California. www.sarahsundin.com.