Recently, God has really been working on my heart with my fear of reaching out to others. It can be a scary thing to reach out to someone. It can stretch us out of our comfort zone and leave us wondering if we really can make a difference. But as my friend Jennifer found out, it can also be very rewarding.
Today I’m welcoming back Jennifer Slattery to share about a time when she was afraid, and how God worked through that experience. In this post, she’ll also be sharing more about her “Reach Out to Live Out” campaign-a project I am extremely excited about, and one I hope you’ll join with me in supporting.
Read on to find out more, and let’s welcome Jennifer!
Die to Self is Figurative-Right, Lord?
by Jennifer Slattery
I sat sandwiched between my husband and chattering daughter, forcing a smile while my insides catapulted. We were headed to El Salvador, traveling by plane, and I was ready to hurl. Passengers sauntered on, smiling as if they had no idea how many planes crashed in the past ten years. Okay, so neither did I, but I’d seen a news clip or two. Besides, percentages aside, it only took once to kill you.
They say flying gets easier the more you do it. Not true. The way I figure it, the more you fly, the higher the probability you’ll crash. It’s a statistics thing. And yes, all these thoughts raced through my head the entire flight. They reached a crescendo when darkness fell, a storm hit, and jagged lightning zipped through the night sky. At one point, the plane actually dropped. Trying to assure me, my husband said that was only because we were going through the mountains. I didn’t find his explanation helpful. Before we reached baggage claim, I told my husband I never wanted to fly again.
Sitting on the plane a week later, after spending time with sweet orphan girls, I started to think about how I might return. How could so much change in such a short time? God allowed twenty-eight giggling girls to grab hold of my heart.
It’s funny how things changed once I turned my eyes off myself and started to let God love others through me. My fears diminished and my excitement grew.
Serving has a way of doing that—of forcing one out of self-imposed misery and inviting one to be part of something bigger than one’s sel. More than that, it allows one to rise above the here and now to catch a glimpse of eternity. I’ve seen this happen again and again. When people begin to join God’s love-circle, sadness turns to joy, hopelessness turns to purpose, and isolation gives way to community. There’s no greater adventure this side of heaven, and in my opinion, there’s no better way to fully experience the love of Christ.
Jesus said He came that we may have life, and have it to the full, only first we have to surrender. But oh, what a glorious gift we get in return!
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it” Luke 9:24 (NIV).
For me, my moment of fear, once placed in God’s hands, resulted in a beautiful blessing that drastically changed the way I view the world. It enabled me to experienced God’s love on a deeper level and stirred within a passion for orphans.
What about you? I’d love to hear about a time when God pushed you to reach out, even though it was hard. Who knows, your story may encourage others to do the same! I’ve launched a “Reach Out to Live Out” campaign to encourage others to join the great adventure. My prayer is when people read about some of the big or small ways other believers are reaching out, they’ll be encouraged to do the same. Want to join me? Send your “Reach Out” story, photo, or video to jenniferaslattery(at)gmail(dot)com, and I’ll post it on my blog. You might even win something! Visit http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com/reach-out-donors/ to find out more.
Jennifer Slattery lives in the Midwest with her husband and daughter. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the ACFW Journal, Internet Café Devotions, and Jewels of Encouragement. You can connect with her online at her devotional blog at