Today I’m honored to share a guest post written by Barbara Latta, a writer friend. You may hold your breath during part of her story, but you’ll also be encouraged to trust God as she was. Barbara’s bio and information about her writing are underneath the post. Here’s Barbara:
I stood on the edge of the swimming pool garbed from head to toe in neoprene and encased in an inflated vest hooked to a heavy tank of air. Sparkling H2O lay before me ready to swallow my reluctant body if I would only jump in.
After my husband and our sons took a scuba diving course, they thought it would be a wonderful idea if Mom joined in the fun. There was just one problem. I was terrified of this type of baptism.
The water was my enemy. Instead of the recreation other people looked forward to, I saw an abyss that wanted to drown me.
The instructor yelled at me for holding up the class which persuaded me to hop in. I watched the surface fade into a distant memory as my body sank to the bottom. My heart pounded like a jackhammer. Instead of the slow, deep breaths a diver is supposed to take, mine were rapid and shallow.
After a few minutes at the bottom and some terrifying events caused by my anxiety, we surfaced. I couldn’t climb the ladder fast enough to get out. My nose burned from the chlorine I had sniffed into it. I took all my equipment off, threw it on the ground, and said, “I am leaving, and I won’t be back.”
My husband drove me home. I was embarrassed but couldn’t control the tears that ran down my face. I felt like a coward, yet I was too terrified to go back.
But I was so tired of being scared. I had lived with this apprehension all my life, and I was ready to get rid of it.
I asked the Holy Spirit for guidance, and He led me to this verse:
“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me.”Psalm 139:9-10 NKJV
I decided to return to the class. I memorized that scripture and kept it in my mind every time I got into the pool. At the end of the training, the smile in my picture on the certification card reflected the relief I felt.
The problems I encountered while submerged were because panic paralyzed me and kept me from thinking clearly and performing the tasks I had been taught. My focus was on what the water could do to me instead of the resources I had.
I was equipped with air. I was surrounded by people who could help me if I got into trouble. Most importantly, God was with me. If my thoughts had been on enjoying the adventure and learning a new skill, trepidation would not have won.
When we concentrate on our fears, we can’t go forward and follow our Father’s directives. If all we look at are the possibilities of failure, pain, or suffering, we are under the control of those negative thoughts.
When we concentrate on our fears, we can’t go forward and follow our Father’s directives. If all we look at are the possibilities of failure, pain, or suffering, we are under control of those negative thoughts. Click To Tweet
Once we take that first step and do whatever we are afraid of, we conquer dread with faith in God. He knew what we would face in this life and left us instructions all through His Word not to cower with timidity. We have His Spirit for comfort and peace, and we know we will never be alone. His power is within us.
When I did change my thinking to the scripture the Lord gave me, I calmed down and finished the course.
Later, on a trip to the Caribbean the ocean loomed before me. Waves lapped against the diving platform I stood on. Panic threatened. After I stared at the sloshing adversary for a few minutes, I knew terror would only grow the longer I waited. I splashed into the sea and calmed myself with the fact that if I had done this before I could do it again.
Feelings of distress can return, but they can also be overcome each time.
I will never be Jacques Cousteau, but I reached my goal of becoming a certified diver. And the best accomplishment was because I didn’t let faintheartedness stop me.
With the Almighty’s help, we can all take the plunge against fear.
Please share in the comments: What scriptures help you when terror threatens your peace?
Learn more about Barbara
Barbara Latta is the author of God’s Maps, Stories of Inspiration and Direction for Motorcycle Riders and has contributed to several anthologies and written for online devotion and article sites. Her latest contribution is to The Power to Make a Difference published by Lighthouse Bible Studies.
Barbara loves to travel, garden, snap photos and ride with her husband on his motorcycle. She is pursuing a certificate in biblical studies through Charis Bible College.
Her desire is to share the truths she has learned through the Word of God to help those in bondage to negative emotions become free and have an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. Her blog can be found at www.barbaralatta.blogspot.com. You can also connect with Barbara on Twitter @barbaralatta, Instagram @blatta2 and follow her on Facebook.