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Facing My Fear - Kim Penny

Facing My Fear

 

When I asked the Lord what to write about, I felt called to just share with you my current struggle – FEAR – I am sure, at whatever level, you all can relate to the subject!

Whether it is fear of failure, fear of success, fear of parenting, fear of injury or loss of a loved one, fear of being alone, fear of being yourself, fear of being obedient when God calls you into something…like my fear of sharing my voice.

I had to face my physical fear 14 years ago when I hit a tree snow tubing on a 12,000 ft mountain pass in the middle of nowhere. My husband and I were newlyweds and moved to Durango, CO just one year prior to my accident to live an adventurous life in the mountains, I was only 21 at the time. In an instant, I suffered broken bones, neurological damage, internal injuries, infections and crushed dreams…

Upon being released from the hospital, over a month after my initial accident, I was left with the following fears:

(excerpt from book Mountain View)

“Doctors told me there was no guarantee that the e-coli infection would ever completely clear my system.  They said it could lay dormant and then come back in five to ten years. What if it does?  What if the blood from my six transfusions is contaminated and I develop AIDS or hepatitis?  What if doctors can’t reverse the colostomy, and I have to live with it the rest of my life? What if my nerves never regenerate, and I lose the use of my leg? What if I am never able to have children? What if my husband leaves me because I am now a burden? What if I have brain damage or other health issues down the road because of all the medications and anesthesia I have been under? What type of health issues will I have when I am older? But wait. I had to stop myself.  I had to remind myself of who God was, who I was, and how God had led me through trials before.  My God was not God of “the worst.” He was God of healing and triumph and help.  And I was not a hopeless person.  God had made me active and strong and full of love, not doubt….”Do not worry about your life,” Jesus tells those who follow him…(Luke 12:22-28).”

In the midst of my fear and worry I knew God also spared my life and He has purpose for me to be here today. Now, fourteen years later, I am joyful to share that none, and I mean NONE, of the above fears (my greatest fears) ever manifested in my life. I have NO physical limitations, the same incredible husband, precious twin girls, and a testimony to share.

After my accident, I was left with complete hopelessness as my physical body failed me, but that drove me deep into seeking God.  I had to understand God more fully…God used my physical pain to drive my spiritual growth, which eventually lead to emotional and physical healing. In other words, God healed me physically from the inside out.

Onto my current fear. I have been afraid of speaking my whole life, literally, since I was a kid. I also hate writing and one of the significant reasons I chose business as a major in college was because it required fewer English classes and the papers I had to turn in were no more than a couple pages long! I also found a way around taking speech class as a requirement to graduate. If you told me I was going to write a book some day, I would have laughed, out loud, at you…especially if you told me I would then get up in front of groups of people and talk about it!

I have spent the last 12 years working full time in the financial and real estate industries, so basically, if you include my time in college, I have spent the past 17 years focused on numbers and contracts. I have spent my entire adult life taking complicated financial, contract and legal situations and boiling them down in laymen’s terms for clients. God always gave me guidance, but I heavily relied on my head knowledge and what “I knew to be true”. The transformation the Lord has taken me through over the past year is to speak with my heart and not my head.

I have always trusted the Lord, His direction for my life, and prayed through every decision (at least major crossroads) but I was relying heavily on my head knowledge and not my heart knowledge. God is ALWAYS gracious and has guided everything in my life and His timing has always been perfect, but when He put a call on me, 7 years ago, to write and share what He has done in my life He asked me to do the opposite of what I have always done. Over this past year He asked me to be obedient by stepping out in faith, quit my job, write a book, and speak through my heart to share the miracles He has preformed in my life.

What the Lord is finally revealing to me (which seems SO obvious now that He has removed the scales from my eyes) is that I have been doing the opposite with my knowledge of the Bible of what I do with my business knowledge. Instead of simplifying an overcomplicated problem with numbers, I have been overcomplicating a simple problem regarding my personal relationship with God. What I am finally able to see is that God is very literal in the Bible. When the Spirit speaks to me He keeps it simple. When Jesus spoke, it was in parables, it was simple.

I’ve been overcomplicating

  1. Who Jesus is
  2. What I think or am taught the Bible says
  3. How “I” think my relationship with God is supposed to work
  4. How healing works

God had to break my heart (and me emotionally) to release my fears, which tore down my head knowledge, in order to restore me, FULLY. Then the Spirit started speaking to me simply again, and then I started to understand the Old Testament and the stories, the characters…how it tied to the New Testament. Who the heros are and why.  The Lord took me back to Christianity 101 in the book of Acts and what He did to start the church and spread the gospel, through the work of the Holy Spirit.  God finally removed the scales from my eyes after I released my fear and allowed the Lord in to heal my heart. As I slowly step out of my flesh and my own head, God is allowing me to hear the Holy Sprit guide again. He is showing me that the word is living and active and the stories are ALL TRUE. Like in the book of Joshua with the Israelites in Jericho, I have been marching in obedience to finish my book and with my first step of facing my fear, releasing the book publicly, the walls came down around me. I have seen Pharaoh’s with hard hearts, but I have seen God part the waters. I have been and will continue to face giants with just a sling shot, but God is guiding my stone. We are all in a battle – it is a war – and God has already won. I had to step out of my head knowledge to see that.

The Lord isn’t going to let me use my head knowledge to teach, He wants me to teach through my heart…to share the love of Jesus.

I do have physical ailments that that flair up from time to time as a result of my accident, more specifically nerve pain, but it is a thorn in my flesh to keep me seeking God and not relying on myself, just like Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10:

“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me- to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I begged the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Personally, I am now thankful for my physical accident and I am grateful for the Fears I have faced, and overcome, in my life.

What have I learned? “DO NOT FEAR” – the enemy simply uses a smoke screen – which drives decisions and indecisions – we stand frozen – not fully effective until we step through the smoke, the fear, and see that there is no real threat on the other side…nothing to truly fear, only lies from the enemy telling us to fear. So I am standing up to the enemy and using my voice to speak boldly and spread the gospel….why? Because God asked me to be obedient and to trust Him, and He has shown himself to be worthy of that trust…the risk is worth taking!

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