Guest Post by Pamela Henkelman
Have you ever said to yourself, “I can’t do it!” It’s too hard! I’m not smart enough. It’ll never work!” I said this to myself for decades until I realized these lies were keeping me from the good works God had prepared for me. I needed to change my thinking, so I could grow.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
Changing my thinking required owning the underlying fears that were preventing me from doing God’s work. The biggest fear holding me back was fear of technology. If I wanted advance, I’d have to grow through this fear. But my fear of technology was old and well worn and I avoided overcoming it at all costs.
During college days I sat in my dorm room at my old electric typewriter too afraid to adventure to the computer lab. My girlfriend, Krist, was the brave one as she headed to the computer room to write her papers. Her projects were pristine when they were printed out…no white marks showing her mistakes. The word processor magically erased the imperfections.
“Impossible, I thought, there’s no way I can learn how to use a word processor.” The big boxy monitors were lined up in a row as eager learners figured out this new technology. I’d never have the courage to step into the computer age. I’d hold on to my electric typewriter all the way through college, white speckled paper and all.
My limiting beliefs about technology carried through my twenties and thirties. Eventually we ended up with a computer in our basement, and the kids showed me how to use it. Even then, I mostly avoided it! After all those years, I was still intimidated.
In my forties, I worked with my husband, the pastor, at the church, as an office assistant where I had to use a computer. I loved being a part of staff meetings, creating culture, and vision. I was organized and capable, but mostly I sat in front of a computer frustrated feeling like a complete idiot. I was embarrassed. My fears keep me from learning new things. It’s amazing how I carried those limiting beliefs for decades. Would I ever grow in this area?
Three years ago, God called me to write, and it was time to face my fears with God’s help. My sweet friend, Kristal got my website up and running and taught me some simple tools to navigate. She could only help me for so long, and eventually I’d have to learn it if I was going to accomplish my writing goals. It was stressful. I can’t tell you how many times my lack of skill had me in tears. But I kept trying when I wanted to quit.
I pushed through, prayed, and stopped believing the lies that I couldn’t learn new things. I made mistakes and I tried. I screamed at my computer and threw some fits, but I kept going. I googled a lot and had helpful friends. I simply kept showing up and as my writing required new tools, I’d teach myself how to do it. Honestly, I’m shocked at how our gracious God helped me grow.
Today I can navigate Squarespace, Canva, Calendly, Paypal, Google Docs, Flodesk, YouTube, Pinterest, and social media. When I have a large technical project, I hire someone. It’s not because I’m fearful, it’s because I’m wise. I understand my limitations and know when I need help.
If we’re going to grow we need to be willing to face our fears. We need to recognize the limiting beliefs we’ve held and tear them down with God’s help. Behind those fears are incredible opportunities. I don’t want to be limited anymore as I walk into the good things God has prepared for me to do.
What fear are you ready to face so you can grow? What fears are keeping you from doing the good work God has planned for you to do?
Pamela Henkelman, Writer-Speaker-Coach
More about Pamela: She is an enthusiastic encourager with a passion to speak, write, and coach. She believes all of life flows from our intimacy with God. She helps weary Christian women build a deep bond with God and understand His love. You can learn more about Pamela by hopping over to her website, https://www.pamelahenkelman.com and sign up for her newsletter. She also has a Library of Free Resources for her email friends, including her 5-Day devotional: Five Encouragements to Increase Your Intimacy With God.
Are you struggling with fear? Pick up your copy of Chickening IN-from FEAR to Courageous FAITH and let the 8 Pillars of Transformation and the Word of God lead you to great courage and trust in God.