Overcoming Intimidation

"Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you.
I've called your name. You're mine.
When you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you're between a rock and a hard place,
it won't be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior." (Isaiah 43:1b - 3a, MSG)

Previously, I mentioned shutting down last semester because I was overwhelmed, and I was, but there is more to the story. I’m not sure who, but I have the feeling someone needs to see this and so once again, I’m bearing my imperfect self for the world to see…

It was a warm afternoon in late August 1984 when I kissed my parents and watched the car roll away. I turned and walked into what would be my home for the next 3 months; a dorm room at a najor university. I was excited about what lay ahead of me, but I was also scared. If I was honest, I did not really know what I was doing there. I had no major, no goals. Basically, I was there because college was the thing you did after high school… Long story short, freshman year was an academic disaster. My new-found freedom proved to be more than I could handle, and, come May, I found myself headed for home.

I spent the next year at a local community college building up my GPA so I could be admitted the state university the following year. I did just that and Phase 2 of my college career began. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, nor did I have any concrete goals in mind. I changed majors 4 times, finally settling on psychology, and that only because the clourses came easiest to me. Besides, people were telling me all their problems all the time anyway, so I figured I may as well make a living at it.

I was behind the students around me because of my shaky beginnings, so I was in school until the summer of 1990. After a year of mindless experiments and endless calculation of data, not to mention handling those nasty pigeons, I choked. A sense of intimidation just consumed me. I doubted that I could finish; that I could graduate. I don’t know if all the years of trying not to stand out academically were finally catching up with me or what, but in the end I just could not close the deal. So at the end of summer semester, I watched my peers complete their requirements and graduate. Defeated and discouraged I entered the working world vowing to come back and finish some day…

I tried to go back a few times in the years that followed, but timing, finances, or whatever, were always off. Finally the opportunity came up in May of 2009 to go back and get this done. I did my homework, found out how many credits I had left to complete an English degree (what I should have been doing all along) and I got busy. First semester I hit the ball out of the park, but these last two were a challenge. This last one in particular started to feel like I had before. I battled intimidation like I had not done since summer of 1990. I questioned myself and my abilities. I considered dropping it once and for all. What was I really doing it for anyway? I kept hearing all the negative tapes from the past playing in my mind. I truly thought I wasn’t going to make it - again, BUT GOD!

Just when I thought the negativity would overtake me and I would end up like I had before - with nothing - God showed up. He reassured me that I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. He reminded me that I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me. He affirmed the fact that I am His and that He’s got me engraved in the palm of His hand. I could feel strength and confidence returning to me and I knew I was going to be alright.

There are many things in life that have the potential to stop us in our tracks and paralyze us; and understandably so. Fear is a normal human emotion, however, left unchecked it can keep us from our destiny. Whoever this is for, I encourage you not to let intimidation and fear get you, or keep you, off track. Don’t get stuck there. What you are facing may be new and unknown, it may be something that you’ve been up against before, but it is not impossible. Like Joyce Meyer said, “sometimes you have to do it afraid.” There is such freedom in knowing you don’t have to be fearless in order to act; the thing is to ACT. So go ahead - step out there, leap, run, walk, or crawl if you have to, but get moving. Most importantly, don’t lose sight of the fact that you are not in this alone. God Himself is with you and has empowered you to reach your goals. Whatever you do, don’t let the lies of the enemy keep God’s purposes for you from coming to pass.

Beloved, You can do it! You Can Do It! YOU CAN DO IT!!! Now on your mark… get set… GO!