3 Choices for When I Feel Afraid

by Lynn Cowell June 12, 2020
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 (NIV)
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From the street, you would never know my small childhood home held a secret space — an attic-like bedroom, which I shared for years with my big sisters. Then when my sisters grew up and moved out, the upper-most portion of our house became all mine.

My friends envied me, constantly wishing they had a bedroom as unique as mine. Yet, even though my room had the “awesome” factor, I knew something they didn’t:

As soon as the sun went down, the super cool became super scary.

From my bed, I couldn’t hear or see people if they came up the enclosed staircase. Each night, I would try to sleep in the dark, but within seconds, I would convince myself someone was there. It didn’t matter that I was way past the age when you shouldn’t be afraid of the dark; I was terrified.

Since my age was already in the double digits, I was embarrassed and ashamed of my anxiety, so I kept my fear a secret. I suffered alone, sitting for hours in my bed, shivering in the shadowy room until exhaustion overtook me.

Looking back, I could have told my parents. They would have had sympathy for me and helped me overcome my fear.

Now, not only do I want to overcome my own fears, but I also want to be a cheerleader for others to do the same. I’ve looked to the Psalms — penned by David — in God’s Word for help in this struggle. Here are three choices that help me when I’m wrestling with fear:

1. Share when you’re scared.

Often, we don’t share our fears because it is sometimes shamed to do so — seen only for the weak or immature. Yet David, the strong one who took down a giant single-handedly, begins today’s key verse in Psalm 56:3 by admitting he is scared: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

When we share our fears with a trustworthy person, it normalizes our fears and says they are not something to be ashamed of. Sharing with God, as well as a friend, can open the door for healing and overcoming.

2. See the source of bravery.

Over and over, David found himself in situations that were downright terrifying! He couldn’t change his situation, and he couldn’t change the way he felt, but he could direct where he looked: “… I put my trust in you” he wrote (Psalm 56:3b). David expected that if he looked to God, God would help him. This trust gave David confidence to take the next step forward.

When I turn to God with my fears, I believe He will help me. And when we’re a safe place for others, we can lovingly point them to God, who sets us free of our fears.

3. Soak your thoughts in God’s strength.

David goes on to say in Psalm 56:4a, “In God, whose word I praise — in God I trust and am not afraid” (NIV). David reveals the source he turns to when he is afraid. He turns to God’s Word for the strength and courage to overcome.

I have verses in various beautiful forms scattered throughout my home: in my office, in my kitchen, wherever my eyes can take in the “word I praise.” I set it around to remind me of the One who is the source of my courage and strength.

Our fears, as well as the fears of those we love and care for, are legitimate and should not be minimized or belittled. Yet, these fears can turn into the very building blocks God can use to make us brave when we share them with someone safe, see the source of our bravery and soak our thoughts in God’s strength.

Lord, every day holds situations with the potential to push me and my loved ones to fear. While I can’t always avoid feeling afraid, I can look to You when I am fearful and help others trust in You. Help me find the courage I need to not be afraid of the invisible and visible things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Psalm 62:6, “Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (NIV)


She Speaks 2020 is now She Speaks Online: A Communicators Conference! For over 20 years, we’ve trained thousands of writers, speakers and ministry leaders and now we are opening up the conference to people around the globe! We’ve curated the ultimate online conference experience just for you, including all the same things you know and love about She Speaks, plus new and exciting elements to take it to the next level. Join Lysa TerKeurst, Jennie Allen and other industry leaders online July 31-August 1! 



Whether in our lives or in the lives of our children, fear can be a very real factor. In her book, Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You, Lynn Cowell shares 100 mini-devotions to help girls ages 8-12 become brave. Buy a copy for the young girl in your life!


Stop by Lynn’s site today, where she’s sharing a print from her house for you to download and frame in your home. Get your free resource here for when you feel afraid.


When you recall of one of your childhood fears, do you see lingering effects of that fear today? Who is a “safe place” for you to share your fears with so they can share God’s Truth and pray for you?

We would love to be that safe place and pray for you. Share your prayer needs in the comments.

© 2020 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

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