A Lesson in Fear

The following excerpt is adapted from Angie Smith‘s new book What Women Fear.
Several years ago I got to experience something that forever changed my view of fear.
We were out of town with my side of the family and were taking a shopping trip before dinner. We walked past a giant jumpy ride that looked like torture to me, but the kids thought it might be fun so we got in line. I knew they would never in a million years actually do it. They were terrified of anything that even remotely looked dangerous, and this getup involved being harnessed into a safety seat and then flung as high as the trampoline and bungee cords would let you jump. And it was high.
As a little boy flew up into the air, I waited for them to tell me they had changed their minds. But they didn’t. They just watched and continued through the line. As we made it to the final approach I looked at Todd as if to say, “What is happening here?” I mean, I wanted to support them doing something new, but this was crazy. I didn’t want to freak them out because I try not to pull them into my fears, so I just encouraged them as they went. We paid our money and I asked who would go first. Abby volunteered meekly, looking back at me to see if I was OK with it.
“Yay, Abby!” It is going to be SO much fun!” I rocked the fake confidence voice. I really didn’t think she was going to let them strap her in. She did. And then she jumped as hard as she could while smiling at us the whole time. You could have knocked me over with a feather.
Next up was Ellie, who is probably my most fearful child. She takes after me so much, always wanting to gather information and feel like she knows what’s coming next. She looked at me, and I could see she was starting to panic, so I did my best to reassure her.
I was pretty sure we were about to get a refund and I started to motion to the man to send her back. Just before he did, she did something I couldn’t believe. Ellie opened her eyes, stepped back, and waited for him to buckle her up.
On her first bounce she opened her eyes really wide and held her body stiffly as she came back down, but by the third bounce she had loosened her grip and looked like she might be enjoying herself.
At one point Ellie jumped as hard as her legs would let her and she soared up into the sky like she didn’t have a care in the world. As she reached the peak of the jump, she threw her head back, with her eyes closed and an ecstatic smile spread from one side of her face to the other. I snapped the camera at that precise moment, enjoying the experience she almost missed because of fear.
I felt the Lord telling me to look closely at her face. Trust Me, daughter. I have beautiful things in store for you …
That photograph is a constant reminder to me when I am faced with an obstacle that feels impossible, a fear that seems bigger than life.
I don’t want to miss it, Lord …
Want to know more about this book? Click here!


  1. Karlene Root says

    Would like help with becoming a better women’s leader and Bible study teacher. Any ideas to promote better skills in these areas.
    Thank you for all you do.

  2. Mary Margaret Collingsworth says

    Hi, Karlene! Women Reaching Women (housed within this blog) is for women’s ministry leaders. If you’ll click on the “LEADERSHIP” tab above, you’ll see a drop down menu of categories! We blog for Women Reaching Women three times a week (Monday, Wednesday & Friday). Also, follow Chris Adams – our women’s ministry trainer – on Twitter at @chrisadams4. She often tweets about ministry helps. If you’re looking for any specific resources or have any specific questions, please feel free to email me at mary {dot} margaret {dot} collingsworth {at} lifeway {dot} com.

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