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.
35 thoughts on “Taking the Plunge Against Fear”
Fear can paralyze us or cause us to retreat and we can miss opportunities. I loved the scripture you shared here to accompany us in times of fear or uncertainties.
Fear does paralyze us. That is what happened to me in that water. That scripture did help me. While I know God is always with me that one mentioned the sea and I held on to it! Thanks for sharing, Marilyn.
It’s so important to push ourselves outside our comfort zone every so often! Great message!
Right, Nancy. When we stand on God’s truth, He gives us comfort and assurance of His presence. I appreciate Barbara’s example.
This experience did push me out of my comfort zone! Thanks for sharing, Nancy.
I agree, Marilyn and appreciate your comment. After God gave Barbara the verse, she applied it to her life situations. Faith in action.
Among the many things I adore about Mrs. Barbara Latta, here “fearlessness” and dogged determination are two standouts among them. I so enjoyed learning about her firsthand experience with letting fear overtake you and then relying in God to overcome it. #FaithGreaterThanFear Loved it ladies! Great timing!
I agree, J.D. Barbara shares God’s truths and helps us apply them. I also enjoyed reading how God helped her overcome fear with faith.
Thanks, J.D. but I certainly don’t see myself as fearless. Only with God am I able to take another step when I face something like this water journey. Thanks for sharing!
When fear, worry, and/or stress arise, I am thankful to be able to go to the Father. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. “(Philippians 4:6
Melissa, Philippians 4:6-7 are verses I rely on quite often. These are some of my favorites for facing anxiety and worry. Thanks for sharing.!
What a familiar but powerful verse, Melissa. You and Barbara remind us to go to the Father in potentially fear-inducing circumstances. Thank you for sharing.
Barbara, what a great comparison. I’m water phobic as well, so I was tracking (and sweating with) you all the way. Thank you for the reminder that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus!
Lori, it has been a long time since I faced the waves, but if I did I would have to follow the same principles . Just writing the article brought me back again to the way I felt. Thank God for His protection and guiding hand or I wouldn’t have made it through. Thanks for sharing!
Like you, Lori, I’m not a fan of deep water. I suppose that’s why I held my breath while I read Barbara’s story. Amen to your last sentence. I’m glad you added that truth.
I used to keep a John Wayne quote on my refrigerator (my daughter has it now) that said, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” That’s what you did, Barbara. You were terrified, but you jumped in the water–that’s courage. Thank you, Barbara and Jeannie for sharing this inspiring story.
Katherine, thank you for the John Wayne quote which is a good one to remember. God gives us courage when we look to Him, and Barbara’s story is a good example. I was encouraged to learn more of the verses He gives us to apply as Barbara did.
Katherine, I love John Wayne and that sounds like what he would say. I know I wasn’t as brave as he was, but I am thankful the Lord pushed me onward. Thanks for sharing!
I love this! I was right there with you. Kudos to you for tackling this fear and overcoming it. Our focus determines how we live our lives. Putting it on the right One changes everything. As I work to live more in the present and rid myself of anxiety, I’m learning to ask myself, “What is?” rather than “What if?”
That’s a great way to approach anxiety, Candyce. “What is”instead of “what if”. Thanks for sharing that. If we all did that, we could eliminate so much worry.
I agree, Candyce, on kudos to Barbara for diving and for writing this wonderful post for my site. Thank you for adding your questioning practice to ask “What is?” rather than “What if?” Those “What if?” questions can distract us and fill us with negative emotions quickly. I hope, as you do, Candyce, to “live more in the present and rid myself of anxiety.” Barbara gave us a beautiful example of how Scripture equips us, didn’t she?
Such a powerful story! The thought of faith over fear is very relevant today.
“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me.” What a wonderful verse to remind us that God is always with us, even in the midst of our fear.
Dawn, I appreciate your comments and the verse you shared with us to remind us of God’s presence in the face of fear. Yes, “faith over fear” is possible with God.
Barbara, I love how you remind us to find our faith beyond our fear (and through a very relatable story for me since I’m not a huge water fan myself). One of my hold-to verses is Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” He’s always there — we just need to remember it and ask.
Leigh, I love that verse in Psalms also. It is one to hold on to and remind us that we are never alone no matter what we face. Thanks for sharing!
Leigh, I appreciate you reminding us that God’s presence is constant. What power there is in the verse you shared. Thanks so much.
I appreciated your honesty about your fears and how God helped you overcome them! That’s encouraging for everyone.
Kathy, going through that experience has helped me with other fears I face. I still hold on to the scriptures God gives me knowing that He holds my hand because fear is always a battle for us. Thanks for sharing!
I agree, Kathy. Barbara’s honesty helped us see the power of God’s Word.
Barbara, I remember that feeling when I went snow skiing and looked down on a steep sloop I had to traverse to get back to the lodge. Ps. 91 rang in my heart. Great post!
Debbie, I faced the snowy mountain also. I got on the expert hill by mistake and was terrified as I creeped down it like a sloth. (That’s another story, lol!) Thanks for stopping by to share.
Debbie, you probably held your breath as I did while reading Barbara’s post. I think I’ll pass on snow skiing and diving, but I hope to remember Barbara’s example of clinging to God’s Word when afraid. Thanks for reading.
You’re braver than I am Barbara!! No sky diving and no scuba diving for me. Congratulations on completing the course. That is so amazing. And thanks for giving us some great spiritual application. When it comes right down to it, Henry S.Haskins said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Dawn, I appreciate you sharing the Haskins quote. Barbara’s post and the quote encourage us to remember who our heavenly Father is.
Dawn, you will not see me sky diving! I think the water is as far as I will go on adventures. Thanks for stopping by and sharing that great quote.