How to Break Free from Paralyzing Fear || My Testimony

What was your biggest fear as a kid? Some of us were afraid of monsters under the bed; others hated scary movies. As adults, fears become much more realistic and even dangerous. What is your biggest fear today? Spiders? Heights? Small spaces? Students, you may be afraid of failing your finals. On a more serious note, you might be afraid of a loved one dying or an abusive significant other. And it’s okay to have fears. It’s natural. Deep down, we all have them. You don’t have to be strong all the time. You don’t have to have it all together. Because we’re all struggling with something. We all have weaknesses. Today, I am sharing my testimony on how God helped me overcome my biggest fear.

In this post:

  • The Back Story
  • What the Bible Says About Fear
  • My Testimony: Overcoming My Biggest Fear
  • Four Steps to Facing Your Biggest Fear

I confess...

My biggest fear lies in the doctor’s office. Living with a chronic condition, I endured 13 surgeries in the first nine years of my life. As a result, I am incredibly afraid of needles. I can’t stand the sight. I can’t sit comfortably in a doctor’s office or the dentist chair. I’ve grown tolerant of novocaine at the dentist and flu shots, but what really sends me over the edge is getting an injection on the inside of my arm. Just the sight makes my body react without my control. I just can’t handle it, and I don’t know why. I haven’t gotten my blood drawn in over 10 years.  When I had to get an IV before getting my wisdom teeth out a few years ago, I went into a full panic attack. With this fear, I carry so much guilt, embarrassment and shame. I see people donate blood all the time. They make it look easy, and I think, “I’m an adult. I should just get over this. I wish I wasn’t like this.” But I can’t just get over my fear of needles.

Fear isn’t something you can just get over because, like a snake, fear constricts you, holds you tight and doesn’t let go.

Like a snake, fear constricts you, holds you tight and doesn’t let go.

What does the bible say about fear?

Did you catch my Adam and Eve reference? Satan embodied fear as the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3 says:

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.  “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.

In this passage, Eve is cautious of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God instructed her and Adam to not eat the fruit or they would die (Gen 2:16-17). Eve is so cautious that she adds another boundary, saying they shouldn’t even touch the fruit. But then the serpent speaks against God’s word, saying she won’t die, and that takes away her caution. She’s convinced to eat the fruit. As soon as Adam and Eve eat the fruit, they feel shame from their nakedness. They are afraid in the presence of God and hide from him. They gained knowledge of good and evil. So what happened to the ignorant bliss in the Garden of Eden? What happened to Adam and Eve’s perfect lives? All this fear and shame came when the devil walked in.

In this way, fear is not from God. It is from the devil. Ephesians 6 says, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” In other words, our fight isn’t against the world. No, we’re fighting with the devil. Why is he messing with us? His goal is to take us away from God. One of the strategies is to plant fears in our heads that make us question God’s word, like the serpent in the Garden of Eden. The devil is that voice in our head that says, “Don’t do it. You can’t handle it. You’re not good enough for this. You’re going embarrass yourself. You’re going to look stupid.” We hear that voice when we’re about to give a speech in front of a crowd or play in a sports game or audition for the school play. The devil is whispering lies in our ears to cultivate crippling fear that paralyzes us in our walk with God and stops us from doing God’s will.

The devil is cultivating crippling fear that paralyzes us in our walk with God and stops us from doing God’s will.

God and I have known for a long time that my fear of needles is crippling. It keeps me from getting proper medical care. I’m an adult. I’m going to have more medical procedures in my lifetime, so I know I need to overcome this fear, but it’s something I keep in the back of my mind to deal with whenever I get to it. Oh yeah, I’ll deal with it when I get to it. That was until last week, when God said, “It’s time.”

How I overcame my biggest fear | My testimony

For the past week or so, I’ve been dealing with unusual fatigue, so I went to the student health center on campus. And I don’t like going to the doctor in the first place, so you know I was feeling bad if I actually went willingly. I explained my symptoms to a nurse. She said I needed blood work to check for underlying issues, and my heart sank. Coming into the appointment, I had a feeling the doctors might want to do blood work, but I hoped that they wouldn’t or I would be able to book a separate appointment and bring a friend next time. This is literally my worst nightmare. As the fear rushed in, my heart started squeezing, then my stomach, my throat. The snake!!  I tried to make excuses to the nurse. Don’t I have to fast first? Is there a numbing cream I can use? Is there any medication I can take? Anything!? But no, the nurse wanted to do blood work that day. She left the room, and I start praying to the Lord in desperation. God, I’m going to need your peace right now! I can’t do this alone!

The nurse comes back in with her supplies and suggests putting on music to distract me. As she examines the veins on one arm, I tap Spotify with my other hand, click my worship music playlist, and Lauren Daigle’s song “O’Lord” comes on: "O’Lord, O’Lord I know you hear my cry." 

“Oh I love Lauren Daigle,” says the nurse.

And I’m like, what, wait, you’re a Christian? I get up on the examination table. She puts the tourniquet on my arm, and now I really freak out. This is the bodily reaction I was talking about. Seeing tears in my eyes, the nurse says, “Can I pray for you? Would that make you feel better?”

“Your love has lifted me above all the lies.”

I nod, and the nurse starts praying this comforting prayer over me. I’m so in shock I can’t even close my eyes. All I can think is: Is this really happening right now? Did God just send me an angel? What are the odds I would have a Christian nurse?

“No matter what I face this I know in time. You'll take all that is wrong and make it right.”

So the procedure begins. As I take deep breaths through it, she recites Philippians 4:6-7: “'Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Before I knew it, the blood work was over. For the first time in I don’t even know when, I left the doctor’s office with a smile. I smiled for what God had done.

When faced with my biggest fear and no one else to turn to, God showed up and reminded me that he is right there with me. It made me feel like I had God on my side. I can overcome this fear. While the devil might embody himself in fear, the Lord embodies himself in his people. He uses us to express every part of his character--His loving, comforting, peaceful nature--because we’re made in His image.

When faced with my biggest fear and no one else to turn to, God showed up and reminded me that he is right there with me.

How You Can Overcome Your Biggest Fears

Do you feel paralyzed in your walk with God? Do you need to make a big decision, but are afraid of the outcome? Do you feel paralyzed by fear?

Whatever fear you have, with God on your side, you can overcome. Confidence in Christ fights away all fear. We gain that confidence from putting on the armor of God. The second part of Ephesians 6 says, “Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.”

Remember when you were a kid and you heard a loud noise at night, you called out to your parents and they came to your room and comforted you. You can do the same with God. Call out to God when you feel afraid. Pray against the devil and darkness in your life. Declare he is not welcome. Read the truth in the Word of God, so you can identify and reject the devil’s lies.

“I will stand my ground where hope can be found.”
— Lauren Daigle, O'Lord

To those of you who feel paralyzed by fear, have confidence and faith in the Lord. With God, you can take a new job and have no fear. You can move to a new country and have no fear. You can start a new relationship and have no fear. You can go into ministry and have no fear. With God, you can live in freedom from the devil and walk into God’s will with no fear. Period.

God loves you so much that He does not want to leave you the way you are. He wants you to face your fears. And He is ready to help you do that.  Following the model of my story, here’s four steps you need to take when facing your fears:

Four Steps to Facing Your Fears

  1. Ground yourself in God’s truth (find more scriptures on fear below)
  2. Face it head on.
  3. Replace your fear with confidence in the Lord.
  4. Be patient with yourself

Thank you for reading to my story. I hope my story encourages you to grab God’s hand and start facing your fears. Let’s support each other in this journey to freedom. Share your biggest fear in the comments below, and comment encouragement on others’ posts.  What first steps will you take to overcome your biggest fear?