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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: Facing Fear
By Seema Bagai


“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” (Jeremiah 17:7 NIV)

“What’s holding you back?” the pastor asked the congregation. I squirmed in my seat and clenched the pen and bulletin in my hand. The sermon was titled “Overcoming Procrastination”. On the screen, there was a list of things everyone should complete. Accepting Jesus was first and baptism was second. I was saved, but not yet baptized. This was a nudge from God in gigantic letters.

Not now, God. I can't. Maybe someday.

The following Sunday, I opened the bulletin and found the sermon was “How Fear Can Strengthen Your Faith”. I sat riveted as the pastor told a story of his son taking swimming lessons and being afraid to jump into the water. If God had gently nudged me the week before, then this was a firm prod.

As a child, I, too, once stood at the edge of a pool during a swimming lesson and refused to jump. My well-meaning mom unexpectedly pushed me into the pool. Since then, I’ve been terrified of being in water. Now God was telling me to face a twenty-two-year-old fear and be baptized.

God, You know I’m terrified of water. If this were my choice, I would avoid being baptized. However, I want to trust You and be obedient to Your will.

I shared my situation with my friends and pastor. We agreed to pray for God to remove my phobia so I could be baptized. I also meditated on Bible verses where God instructs us to not be afraid.

Weeks later, I picked up a baptism packet at church. It was a small step towards making a decision. I was still uncertain about whether I could comfortably face this fear. My hands trembled as I slid the informational tape into the car’s cassette player. As I drove, I listened intently as the pastor explained the baptism process.

God, how do You expect me to do this? How am I supposed to get into a swimming pool and be dunked underwater?

Shaking my head, I changed lanes and saw a blue van ahead of me. In that instant, God answered my questions. The fear and doubt in my heart dissolved, leaving peace in its place. The license plate on that van said "BYTRUST".

Author’s note. One month later, trusting completely in God, I stepped into a swimming pool and was baptized.

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This article has been read 1544 times
Member Comments
Member Date
paula pinto05/04/07
AMEN!! I was so glad to read that you were able to face your fear and how God spoke to you in the midst of the anxiety you must have been feeling. I have also battled a phobia and learned what it is to trust God in the midst of it. It's not always easy but we always turn out OK because he is with us. A good Psalm you should read out loud as you confront your fears is Psalm 91. Congrats!!!! God Bless You
Jan Ackerson 05/06/07
I love this story! Thanks for sharing it with us.
Sara Harricharan 05/10/07
This should have more comments! It was simple, easy to read and a wonderful glimpse of facing your fears by trusting in Him. Congrats on your placing! You truly deserve it!
Rita Garcia05/17/07
Your writing gift, from Him, shines bright. I am so happy you are using this gift for His glory!
Joanne Sher 06/26/07
Wow!What a testimony, and so beautifully presented. Wonderful.
Jacquelyn Horne06/26/07
Wonderful devotional. It's always interesting to see how God is moving in other peoples lives.
Sharlyn Guthrie06/26/07
God even speaks through license plate messages! I love it.
Mo 07/02/07
I hadn't seen this one before. Excellent!
Janice Fitzpatrick08/16/07
Isn't God timely. Your main character needed that little gentle yet bold reminder of trusting the Lord, even thruogh a license plate.:0) I could relate to this as I had almost drowned when I was small and to this day I am not totally comfortable in deep water but with God's help I have overcome alot and now do love practicing swimming but just not over my head much...yet...By trust, right?Well done hon. Thank you for your critique and encouraging words in my piece," Winged Creatures and A Castle."Lord bless your day.