Facing What You Fear

Facing What You Fear

In high school, I was required to take either speech or debate to graduate. No prospect could have frightened me more. I was terrified of getting up in front of people. I had lost an eye to a form of cancer called retinoblastoma when I was five years old. Overnight, life as I’d known it changed. I went from being confident and outgoing to being sullen and withdrawn. I felt that people no longer saw me. I watched as they tried to determine which eye they should look at when they spoke to me. At school, compliments changed to name-calling. I was dubbed “One Eye” and “Cyclops.” I put up a tough front in an attempt to act as though their words didn’t hurt. I’d ignore the comments and just maintain my composure until I made it home; then I’d cry inconsolably in my room. Why couldn’t I be like everyone else?

Now I was going to have to get up in front of my classmates and give a speech. Debate was not an option. There was no way I could even imagine winning an argument in front of others. I endured the first few weeks of class; then it was time for the speeches. I prepared, but it didn’t matter. When the day came I couldn’t speak. The teacher gave me an opportunity to walk out of the classroom and start again, but I couldn’t. I looked at my classmates, and nothing would come out. I excused myself and ran down to the guidance counselor’s office. I explained how it was impossible for me to successfully complete a speech class. How could I get a C, let alone an A or a B? I was handicapped, after all! My counselor was surprisingly sympathetic. He asked a few questions, including, “Are you planning to do anything with your life that requires public speaking?” Absolutely not! I assured him I had no intention of speaking in front of more than two people for the rest of my life.

“I’ll tell you what, just pick another unit of languages arts, and we will waive the requirement for speech.” I couldn’t believe my ears. Right then and there, I signed up for a course on Kurt Vonnegut.

Since the counselor was so understanding, I brought another class to his attention that was a major problem for me—typing. It was nearly impossible for me to go above twenty-five words per minute. He listened patiently as I made the case.

“I suppose we can waive typing as well. You can always pay someone to type your papers in college.” I was elated! I left feeling as if a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I gathered my stuff from the speech classroom and presented the note to my new teacher, alerting him I would be joining the class. Typing turned into study hall. Life was good.

But God in heaven must have been laughing. I can just imagine Him turning to the angels and saying, “Poor Lisa. Let’s give her a break. I understand she’s too frightened to get up in front of twelve classmates. We’ll just wait and really scare her and make it hundreds, then thousands, and throw TV in the mix just to push her totally over the edge. She doesn’t want to type; it’s too hard for her. Okay, she might as well rest now, because she’ll be typing for the rest of her life.”

The two classes I got out of in high school are what I do on a regular basis today. You see, counselors, teachers, and various organizations may all agree with you that you are handicapped, but God never will. He loves giving you the opportunity to face what you fear, because when you face what you fear you become fearless.

Comments

  1. 2 years ago
    Shirley says

    This is a note for Lisa Bevere author of today’s story. I have a grand daughter who had the same kind of eye loss when she was 3 or 4 months old. I did not live near her so I could not help my daughter with caring for her family while she took her daughter to Philadelphia for her care, After losing her eye, it was found there were 3 spots of cancer in the second eye, but thank God they were able to take care of that and no more problems arose. A few years later she would watch as the artist painted the new eye to match her own. She would tell people, “God made this eye and Dr.______ made this eye”

  2. 2 years ago
    Penny says

    Thanks for sharing this story. I needed to read the words here as I am facing a long term fear that I need to conquer and through Christ I can do just that.

  3. Wow, I sure can identify with fear. I have been unemployed for 3 months and I am having to learn new things and start over. I feel like my life is constantly changing and it is very scary. I am constantly reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7 and recite it to myself, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. When I feel fear entering my heart I recite that scripture and God always calms my fear because God is always faithful. Thank you for sharing your story. I can imagine how difficult it was for you. God Bless

  4. 2 years ago
    Debi Grenseman says

    As an “introvert,” I was/am very fearful of public speaking. As a child, I had buck teeth, then braces, acne, and low self-esteem. Errors in high school speeches made it worse. I love to sing but wouldn’t try out for chorus in high school as it would had to have been a solo.I was a member of the Future Teachers of America club with my friends, yet I had no intention of actually standing in front of a class room to teach. In college, I got by with just one brief speech (in African HIstory) as my grades in my first English/Lit class gave me the privilege to skip the level with speech focus. I was able to graduate without that “required” class. I avoided anything to do with public speaking. Yet, I have been put in one position after another by the Lord where I have no choice to but to speak to groups. The Lord and I had it out one day just prior to an upcoming meeting where I was the main speaker. I was terrified. But, I knew there was no way He was going to let me out of it. So, I asked if He would give me joy in it. Wonders of wonders! The joy of the Lord IS my strength! And the ladies afterwards told me that is what they saw. So, that is what I ask for, what I HAVE to ask for–everytime. He is faithful. And it is a real joy to see Him work His strength in my weakness. He is my “forza di vita”–my strength of life. Truthfully, power and mercy belong to Him.

  5. 2 years ago
    Donna Rice says

    Thank you for your story. I was shot in my left eye with a bb gun when I was three years old. I have had seven operations on my eye. I am now legally blind in my left eye. For years I was teased. My self confidence was nil. I married and had six children. I never thought anyone could ever love me. But God was my savior through all the those horrible years. I am now 70 years old. I am speaking at church services and I no longer second guess what people are thinking about me, whether or not I am looking at them or not. I am Gods child and He loves me.

  6. 2 years ago
    Kim says

    Beloved Sister,
    Thank you for sharing your heart and the overcoming power of Jesus! I have chills and tears in my eyes. I can look back over my life and say the same thing…His ways are glorious and His thought for us… His precious creation, are beyond our imagination! Bless you sweet sister!

  7. I am 50-something and have been and am crippled socially for many reasons. At least I see myself that way so strongly that I do not have any close friends. My husband and I have lived very isolated and lonely lives. At my age I feel ugly, different and undesirable. I never out grew this- sad huh. Anyway I need people but have been too fearful to reach out, step out, take the risk, but oh I want to. Alot of rejection in my past,and abused trust. Dear God help me to overcome this fear thru you,I really need to be befriended, and to befriend!!!!! In the name of Jesus, please help me.

    • 2 years ago
      Shirley says

      I will add your name to my prayer list for a while. I’ll pray you find some friends close to where you live
      To God you are beautiful. He sees you thru the eyes of Jesus His beloved Son. Remember how Jesus tool the long way thru Samaria to meet one woman. She was ashamed of her life style anf avoided other women, but Jesus made a point of making a special trip to meet her and let her know God cared about her. God loves YOU very much. I’m going to try to copy your note so I can remember your heart’s cry for help. .

  8. 2 years ago
    emily maloisane says

    Thank you for sharing your story with us you know God is doing great things, we are the Esther,s and the Deborah,s of this generation and the next generation will continue to take charge. god bless you.

  9. 2 years ago
    marie says

    I can relate. All of my life I have been told that I am worthless and not going place.I still struggles with these issues What I do know is that I am going places and I will successed I the fight is not over until the fat lady sing amazing grace.

  10. Had to post something because I too have only one seeing eye. I grew up different than others because my bad eye is all white and definitely noticeable. Through school I was bullied but as I aged and became saved, I realized God made me this way for a purpose. When someone asks about it,(if they are brave enough to ask and not stare only) I tell them God gave it to me this way and then I can give a witness or testimony of how good God is. I still have one eye that requires glasses but I love to read and He knew that. !!! Thanks for your testimony of fearless, cause my fear of getting up in front of people has led me to be a women’s ministry leader,I have a heart for women,thanks Women of Faith.

  11. 2 years ago
    Sherry says

    My son is going to be released from the hospital today. He has had a life changing surgery and your note could not be more timely. My son is 18 and as his mother, I appreciate your prayers as he learns the new normal.

  12. 2 years ago
    Sheri says

    This just brought back so many memories. At 4 years old I had surgery attempting to correct a “lazy eye”. I had amblyopia…but unfortunately back then, the technology did not exist as it does today. It was a long road through school with people making fun of me. I was so self-conscious and the worst class I could ever imagine was speech, and of course, I had to do it. I was just paralyzed with fear. Who would have thought I would be doing public speaking later in life? Now I can wear contacts and it corrects this which I’m so thankful for, but I find myself sharing this with more and more people as I get older. God never makes mistakes and he probably knew I would be able to help someone down the road by experiencing this in my own life. It made me more sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, having gone through the ridicule. Though my “lazy eye” is corrected with contacts, I am legally blind in that eye…but I am so thankful to have one good eye that can see the goodness and wonder of life that God has given me.

  13. 2 years ago
    shay says

    thank you for sharing! first time reading a blog….look forward to more…

  14. 2 years ago
    karen says

    I enjoyed the end of your story – I always said I was not going to work in an office – so what did I do for over 30 years (and continue to do part time) – work in an office.

    God does have a sense of humor – and changes our weaknesses and dislikes into strengths for him.

  15. I too had an experience in 4th grade that instilled fear of standing in front of people that held me captive for most of my life, crippling me. It wasn’t until I became involved with the Healing Hearts Ministry that my Heavenly Father gently brought me along to where I shared my testimony in front of a room full of people in 2-11. I actually enjoyed it! Now, THAT is our GOD!

  16. Lisa I so liked your story about your fears, how so much more precious life can be when God gives us the strength to face our fears. Thank You.

  17. 2 years ago
    Pearl says

    Yes My Sister,
    Our God is amazing. He uses our weakness in a trmendous way for His glory. God bless you.

  18. 2 years ago
    Sylvia Duclo says

    I read the blog this morning and saw the humor Lisa spoke of. Don’t we all have times when God just surprises us with what we really can accomplish thru Him? This morning I was up very early and was given the gift of a beautiful sunrise, Praise God.

  19. Stepping out in faith can be hard no matter the age. As a Christian School Counselor, I felt it was my job to make the students aware of their strengths when they came to me regarding fears. I couldnt discuss God with them but I allowed God to direct my words.

    Today God has taken me out of servicing only one school and is allowing me to work with schools throughout the U.S. on bullying. Fear…yes, I experience it daily but I know Gods got it ALL under control. My fear comes from me not controlling my day to day activities. http://Www.upliftingothers.com

  20. 2 years ago
    Elizabeth says

    Thank you for being fearless and sharing your story. You inspire me to be fearless.

  21. Yes, Lord, I too have faced some of the things I have feared in the past and you have given me courage to do so. But please help me once again to move on, move out and let you be the guiding force. Help us all to do this. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  22. 2 years ago
    Rochelle says

    I recently saw Lisa at WOF in Denver. I work with families that have infants and toddlers with special needs. What a blessing to hear your story and how GOD has been your rock to overcome your fears and “handicaps” I have always told parents that your child can be anything that you support them to be. Thank you for sharing your story.

  23. What a beautiful reminder of how important it is to face our fears. When we do they become less threatening and usually grow us to our better selves. Thank you, Lord!

  24. 2 years ago
    Patricia Wright says

    LOL! Yep, God has the greatest sense of humor. We plan and He laughs. He takes what we see as the worst of us and makes it His best work! Love you Lisa. You have blessed me in the past and, should it be God’s will, I will see you at WOF again and be blessed. Thank you for your obedience. It reminds me I have work to do. :)

  25. 2 years ago
    Jessicia says

    This story is spectacular! And could not have come at a better time for me. My daughter has some limitations and I often wonder what God has in store for her when she reaches her adult life. I needed to read this story today to remind me to fully trust God. And to remember his plan is much bigger than mine for our little miracle.

  26. 2 years ago
    Dorothy says

    Lisa:

    Thank you for sharing this story. It proves that God has a plan for our lives. He will equip and empower us to do what He has called us to do. Man’s opinion doesn’t matter when God’s opinion is greater. Faith is greater than fear. Be Blessed!

  27. Thank you for the needed reminder.
    saythat–again.com