By Laura Walls in You're New. What Next?
I never thought I was a fearful person. My family, for example, would probably describe me as fairly daring. But, in this ministry, I've had to dig deep for a level of boldness that stretches me. I'm writing this for those of us who feel a little overwhelmed and/or terrified at times. For those who, like me, may feel a little stretched beyond their comfort level.
I am not a natural public speaker. In my mind, I can speak freely in front of a group but, in the actual moment, I feel frozen in fear. Can you relate? We aren't alone in this fear. Moses, for example, had a fear of speaking:
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” - Exodus 4:10-12
Know that the Lord can and will use you in spite of your fear. He will give you the words to say. He will speak through you and help you prepare. He will be with you.
Maybe it isn't a fear of speaking but a fear of imposing. Often we are so afraid of making someone else uncomfortable that we don't want to share with them about sponsorship. We don't want to ask them if they would like to sponsor a child because we worry about putting them "on the spot."
I share this fear, too. Maybe it has something to do with my reserved Scandinavian and British roots! But, I memorize verses like these as reminders of what God desires from me:
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. - Isaiah 1:17
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. - James 1:27
Knowing the Lord's heart for the "least of these" helps me to be bolder than I feel. When I remember why I wanted to be a child ambassador, (so I can serve Him by loving what He loves) I can take a deep breath and ask in spite of my more natural timidity.
Sometimes, I just plain have a fear of hearing "no." I'm afraid it could be awkward for them and, well, awkward for me. In that case, I go to my memory bank of sponsorship stories. When I remember the children who have been helped through sponsorship and the children in desperate need of help, then my own fear of the awkwardness of a "no" suddenly seems so unimportant. To create your own bank of sponsorship stories, read your World Vision magazines, watch World Vision videos like "Because I Sponsor" and "Touch the Invisible" and volunteer at Artist Associate events (like concerts and Women of Faith). You will hear amazing stories of changed lives.
Finally, I try to remember what Mother Teresa said, “I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.” For me, it's not about the numbers, it's about being faithful.
I don't know your individual fears but the Lord does and He has given you all you need to overcome them.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. - Isaiah 41:10
Be bold, my friends. The Lord will give you the courage and strength you need!
Greater Together is a collaborative blog written by volunteer child ambassadors for World Vision.