Editor's note: This article originally appeared on LauraPetherbridge.com. Used with Permission.
It happened again. I recently had to have another root canal. Just typing the words makes me a bit nauseous. If you are like me there is one area in life that is your “Achilles heel.” It’s an area of weakness where fear can take hold. For me, it’s the dentist’s chair.
There are many causes for fear to become a stronghold. I’ve experienced a great deal of pain during dental treatment, and if I let the memories linger they paralyze me with anxiety.
Fear became embedded in my life after my parents divorced and we move to a new home. While growing up the sense of dread lingered, and I constantly anticipated something bad happening or looked over my shoulder for, “The other shoe to drop.”
Fortunately, God revealed to me that a life filled with panic and anxiety was destructive. He taught me how to attack the fear monster. Although I don’t claim to be completely cured, I have learned how to take frightening thoughts captive and replace them with the truth of God’s ever present help.
A few months ago fear reared its ugly head again, and almost prevented me from experiencing something wonderful.
While speaking in South Africa I had the opportunity to pet a live cheetah. I had dreamed of the possibility, but I never imagined it would actually happen. When I got close enough to touch the animal, I became afraid and stepped back. My mind was swirling with anxious thoughts. I wondered, “What if this is the moment when my furry friend remembers that he is a wild animal, and that I am lunch!!” I walked away, fear winning the victory.
I stomped around and verbally beat myself up for two days. Fear defeated me again. This time causing me to miss a once-in-a lifetime experience. Grrrrrr!!
However, our God is the God of second chances.
A few nights later I was speaking to 700 people and shared the cheetah story. After the event a veterinarian came forward and offered me the opportunity to pet another cheetah. I instantly said—YES!
Although I was a little scared when we first entered the room, I was thrilled to have a private showing. This big kitty was absolutely beautiful with perfect markings, eye liner and huge, heavy paws. Anticipating his fur to be soft like you’d find on the coat rack at Neiman Marcus, I was surprised at how coarse it was. Regardless, he was gorgeous. And I wasn’t afraid!
In my ministry I meet many people who struggle to overcome fear. God is patient with us. If you ask Him for help, surrender the circumstances, and search His Word for truth, you can eventually have victory. I’m living proof!!
Copyright © 2012 Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved.
Laura Petherbridge is an international author and speaker who serves couples and single adults with topics on relationships, divorce prevention, singleness, and divorce recovery. She is the author of When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, and a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series. Her newest book is The Smart Stepmom, is coauthored with Ron Deal. Her website is www.Laurapetherbridge.com.
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Publication date: August 23, 2012