A shy or an insecure person encounters a lot of difficulties and limitations in his life. In fact, there are a lot of things we dream about and wish to do for God, but if we are bound in our personality we will be hindered to do what God wants to do through us. The enemy is a liar. The bible says that the thief has come merely to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), and one of the main channels he uses for his purposes to come to pass is fear. Fear is a lot more than just being afraid of the dark, afraid of death, afraid of walking alone outside in the night. We can have fear of people, and what people will think about us. Fear is a small enemy that can enter a person’s heart without he or she even noticing, and its important to discover it before it becomes a stronghold in our lives.
How I was bound by fear and insecurity
Let me for the first time be very open with you and give you a little bit of myself. I had a lot of struggles with fear of people during my childhood and early teenage period. I was teased in school for different reasons and that made me afraid of anyone who appeared to be too bold, and I thought somehow they would hurt me or make fun of me behind my back. I knew deep in my heart that God had called me to speak, but I never dared to speak anything out loud if there were more than two or three people present in the same room. When I joined a prayer-group and the leader asked me to read a bible verse I would feel so nervous reading it even though I knew they were all my friends. I would speak so quietly so that almost no one could hear what I was saying. While having oral presentations in school my legs would shake and my body would become warm due to the insecurity and fear I had of people. Even while no one said anything bad I would make up my own stories in my mind of what they were thinking, which were probably not even true.
Why was I having that tremendous fear of people? Even today I don’t know the full answer to that question, but I know for sure that there was a lie from the enemy that somehow had taken hold of my mind and built a nest there. It was a bondage and a handicap in my life that hindered everything God wanted to do through me.
I am sure many of you are facing something similar, but usually we feel ashamed and we don’t like to talk about it. But there is a way to get out of it. Someone told me “Hannah, this is just how God has created you, your personality is more shy and laid-back”. I said no! To be shy is a bondage which is causing so much of harm for people. A child of God is called to be bold. God asks us to come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebr 4:16) and I dont think God wants any of His children to suffer the pain of living in constant shyness and fear of people. You are called to be free, and enjoy every bit of your life.
How I broke free
Today I am a totally different person. God has worked in my life in different ways and given me opportunities to step into deeper levels of freedom. I cannot give you a “five-steps-to-overcome-fear” in this article, but I can encourage you as a friend from my own experience to do what I did in order to break free. The first and most important thing we have to do in order to live in freedom is to pursue God and spend time in His presence. It was when I started to get to know Jesus more that I found that my security was in Him and not in people. It doesn’t matter what people think or say about you, because Jesus think and says only good about you, and it is His words that matters. At the same time I started to read the Word of God. When you know the truth, the truth will set you free. (John 8:32) The Word was one main factor that helped me to know Gods will for my life, and I saw that what I feared was a complete lie from the enemy. The Word is the truth, and when you know the truth you will automatically react on anything and everything that diverts from the truth.
Another thing I did was that I started to reach out to others. This is a main point that I want to stress. Why was I shy? Well, basically because I was worried about what people thought about ME. Why was I worried about that? Because I was self-centered, and I wanted so badly that people should recognize me. It wasn’t until God convinced me to refuse being self-centered and problem-focused that I actually understood that life isn’t about me, but it’s about others. I can mean something significant to another person of I stop worrying about myself. When you understand that you are meaningful and that God needs you, your insecurity will also decrease. So I started to pray for others, visit others, help others with both practical issues and spiritual advises. I totally broke out of my comfort-zone by force, and it was truly painful in the beginning, but it helped, and I saw the fruit of it. Slowly by slowly it brought me to the place of freedom where I am today. I’m not perfect, but I can definitely say that I’m on my way.
As we focus on helping others, our own burdens will become small, and as we strengthen others we will be strengthened. (Prov 11:25 NIV). But the final and most important thing is just to surrender to God and give your whole situation to Him. So make a decision today to cast all your burdens upon the Lord, and as the Word promises: “He will sustain you” (Ps 55:22)
I hope this testimony has blessed you in some way. Please share your thoughts about this subject.