Posts Tagged ‘fear of driving’

As most of you know, on Monday I took the dreaded driver’s test. I had a little trouble going to sleep the night before going through all the possible scenarios, trying to remember the course, and mentally taking note of all the things I needed to do to pass.

The day of I made sure to pray with both my mom and dad, read some of Grace Fox’s book Moving From Fear to Freedom (which helped), re-read Isaiah 43 and Psalm 91 to remember God’s truth (which also really helped), and took some homeopathic chamomile which helps with nerves. After all that, I felt mostly prepared.

We drove down there, and went through the route one more time. Then we parked and waited. I tapped my finger on the steering wheel, and popped a piece of gum in my mouth to keep from biting my lip.

Soon the driving instructor arrived, and I sucked in a breath-sending up one last hasty prayer asking for help. She got in the car, and almost immediately set me at ease. Almost.

Having heard several horror stories from my friends about driving instructors who were stern and silent, I was expecting the same with this lady. However, she surprised me by being both friendly and talkative. Before we ever left she was asking me about what I was going to do for Halloween, what I was doing now for school, etc. This definitely helped set me at ease, but I showed my nervousness when she told me to pull out from the parking lot. I struggled to switch gears for a few seconds, wondering why nothing was happening.

Then I remembered. I hadn’t started my car yet.

Sheepishly, I turned the key and looked at her askance. “I forgot I turned off my car.”

Oh, nice save Lizzie. “I forgot I turned off my car”? Brilliant.

At this moment, I think the instructor realized I was pretty nervous (yeah, ya think?), and reassured me by saying, “A lot of people get nervous because it’s a test. But I’m probably the most laid back instructor you’ll ever have.”

If you were inside my head at this moment when she said that, you would have heard the hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. If anyone ever needed a laid back instructor, I did.

After I actually started the car, the drive went incredibly smooth. The instructor took the exact same route my sister had helped me practice on, so I knew every move before she gave them. By the way, I have to take just a moment and congratulate myself on my acting skills: I don’t think the instructor knew for a moment that I already knew the route. I’m tellin’ you-an Oscar is in order for that one!

It was about a fifteen minute drive (it was supposed to be ten, but I was being insanely cautious and going a little below the speed limit), and then we were back. I put it in park and anxiously awaited her verdict.

She looked down at her paper and wrote something as she spoke. “You did a really good job…”

Yes, yes?

“You looked over your shoulder when you changed lanes, stopped at the appropriate places…”


“You did make a couple of wide right turns, and when we went through the Thru Street you should have looked down it to see if anyone was coming…”

Gulp. Yeees?

“But everyone does that. You’re allowed twenty points before you fail, and you only got four. I think you’re ready. You passed.”


Oh, the happy jig that started in my heart with just those two little words! I had prayed to get no points whatsoever, but I could deal with four out of twenty. Besides, the goal was to pass. And I’d passed!

She signed the document for me to take to the DMV, and we both stepped out of the car so my dad could pay her for the test. As the three of us stood there, we all caught sight of the same thing at the same moment. After a few seconds of silence the driving instructor said, “Well, good thing I don’t give points for parking, huh, dad?”

I had parked my car sideways across two parking spots.

Really, Lizzie? Really?

It was embarrassing at the time, but I think it’s hilarious now. That’s me, all right! Starting with a good impression, and ending on a positive note!

My dad, sister, and I went to the DMV as soon as my test was over, so I now officially have my license! I couldn’t stop grinning all day yesterday. I had that song from My Fair Lady on replay in my head with some amendments: “I did it, I did it, I did it, I said that I would do it, and indeed I did! I thought that I would rue it-I doubted I’d do it- but now I must admit it that succeed I did.”

I also went driving for my first time alone yesterday. Some friends invited me to go have coffee last minute, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have gone driving alone for a little while yet. There’s still some things I feel I need to learn (like parking), and had my friends not called I probably would have waited. But once they called, I agreed hesitantly to meet them. After all, I was on a roll. I’d already taken on one challenge that day. Why not take up another? I couldn’t very well tell them no the day I’d gotten my license. What would be the point of that? Besides, it seemed like a God-thing. It was like He was giving me another opportunity to reach my full potential.

The drive went very well, and I even parked successfully at Starbucks!

It was just an amazing, surreal feeling. I got my license. I drove by myself to meet friends for coffee, and I didn’t have to rely on my parents to get there when I wanted to leave. I just did it!

There’s still a few skills I need to refine (like parking), and there’s still a bit of nerves remaining, but I’ve gained a lot of confidence. I passed the driver’s test which means I am at least capable. The lady said she thought I was ready. I drove by myself and didn’t do anything dumb. Most of all, I know now more than ever that I am not alone. The Great I Am goes with me.

My God showed up for me on Monday in a mighty way, as He always does. I beat this fear through the strength and peace that Christ alone can give. The only reason I felt confident enough to drive alone was because I knew I wasn’t going alone. The Lord would be with me watching over me, as well as guiding and directing me.

I know it was because of your prayers I was so calm. Normally, my nerves would have gotten the best of me. While the nerves didn’t go completely away, I was calm when it mattered. I didn’t get sick to my stomach, and I passed.

Thank you to every single one of you for going on this journey with me, for praying for me, and for leaving your sweet, encouraging comments. I couldn’t have done it without any of you.

When I first started blogging about this fear, I was very afraid of being judged and rejected. I thought people wouldn’t understand, and I was very worried of what others would think of me. But what I found was something entirely different.

I found people who were what real friends ought to be: encouraging, supportive, and there to cheer me onward, not to drag me down. I had one friend who sent me a key chain to encourage me. Another who sent me a visor clip decorated with a mustard seed and cross. For, “Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.” (Matthew 17:20.) People were praying for me, and lifting me up when I was down. You’re more than just my readers now: you’re my friends. I cannot thank you enough for how you showed the body of Christ to me, even if just over the internet. Thank you so, so much. I hope one day to pass along the same love you gave to me.

At the beginning of this year, I prayed and asked God to help me have a year free of fear. I asked Him to help me conquer my fear of driving, and I wanted to be free of it in 2011. Honestly, a lot of times I doubted it would happen, as you all well know. You’ve been on this journey with me. You know I had my ups and downs. But God is so gracious and faithful. He keeps His promises, and He answered my prayer. He gave me the peace that surpasses all understanding. He rescued me when I felt as if I were drowning. Who can I thank but God that my little sister knew the route and could remember it so I could practice? Without it, I think I would have been ten times more tense and less able to do a good job. Who was it that brought me such great friends through you, my readers?

Through this experience, I learned this truth again: that even when I have given up on myself, God has not given up on me.

Going by the title of this post, you may think it’s only been thirteen days that I’ve worked to overcome this fear. In reality, it’s been more like four years I’ve struggled with it. To be free of it now-to have my license and to be driving-is a surreal feeling! But here’s what I want you to know: the same can be true for you. You are not alone in your fear, whatever it is. If you’ve been afraid of sharing it, afraid of people not understanding or rejecting you because of it, know there is freedom in the light and in the truth. You have God and me on your side. You are never alone. You may have been struggling with the fear of trying to overcome your drug addiction, of facing your eating disorder, or your fear of others thinking you’re a bad mom or dad because you struggle with your temper. Maybe you’ve struggled with it for years. You may think it’s too late-that there’s no hope and that it’s impossible.

But if I can do it, you can, too. I thought the same with my fear of driving. It was very hard for me to see the end. But I’m here to tell you that through God’s power: I made it! What was once impossible was made possible through His grace in my weakness. Don’t give up. You may have still have a bit of a struggle before you, but you can overcome. No matter how many years your fear has been tormenting you: you can overcome through Him who gives you the strength, and I’m witness to that. Forever and always, I’ll testify to His unfailing love. After all, I’ve seen it in action.


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Well, readers, it’s finally happening! Tomorrow I go in to take the dreaded driver’s test. How did this happen, you ask? I have no idea. I’m just as surprised as you are.

On Saturday I asked my dad to schedule the test in about two weeks’ time. Next thing I know, I’m scheduled for Monday morning at 10:00. My dad says he’s hard of hearing, but sometimes I think it’s more like selective hearing. Not only is it scheduled for tomorrow, but the man didn’t even have the decency to make it in the afternoon. It’s first. Thing. Tomorrow.

My emotions right now are all over the place. I’m scared, nervous, excited, worried, many things! In some ways, I feel ready. In other ways, not so much. I’m most worried about panicking tomorrow and doing something stupid I wouldn’t normally because that terrifying driving instructor will be sitting there judging me, just waiting for me to make a wrong move. But I can’t think about that! I’m doing my best to remain positive.

It’s exciting (albeit nerve-wracking) to finally have the end in sight. Just think-tomorrow, I could have my license! If I get my license tomorrow, the biggest hurdle has been jumped. I will be so relieved. I’m ready to get this done and over with, so I don’t have to worry about it any longer.

Luckily for me, my little sister also recently took her driver’s test with the same driving instructor (yes, my little sister did get her license before me), so she knew both the route and the things I’d be tested on. So this evening her, my dad, and I went through the exact same route my sister went on to get her license (praise the Lord for her brilliant memory!) I went through it about four times, so I’m feeling a lot more confident and ready than I did before. I’m just praying the driving instructor doesn’t change up the course for some reason.

Ten minutes! I just have to survive ten minutes of driving.

Once we went through it a few times, I felt much more comfortable and calm. If the driving instructor sticks to that route, and as long as I don’t panic, I should be okay. For some reason I had trouble parking today, so hopefully that won’t become an issue.

Tomorrow we’re getting there a little early so I can run through it one more time, and then it’s showtime!

When it comes right down to it, I know I can do this. I think I’m ready. I feel like now is a good time to take the test. Winter is coming, and I definitely don’t want to take the test in the winter. I said I’d get my license before the end of this year, and I will have it by the end of this year! Oh, how wonderful it will feel to have that burden lifted! For this worry to disappear!

But there’s a couple of things I need to make sure and do: 1) I need to focus on God, and not my fear.

Ooo, that one is such a biggie. With all my fears, that’s been the biggest issue: I see and feel the fear, but I never enter in the God-factor. And the God-factor is a big one. Readers, if I get my license tomorrow, I will know better than anyone that getting it was not because of anything I did. Instead, it will be God’s grace, peace, and strength alone. Because all I am in this area of my life is weak and inadequate. I’ve already spent all my resources and strength on this. I need His strength to show up for me tomorrow, or I’m a goner.

Left to myself, I know exactly how I’d react: I’d shiver and tremble (literally. It’s happened to me many times), get sick to my stomach (again, literally), spend the whole day fretting and most likely have a moment of panic. But I am not going to be alone. And I know my God is faithful, that He is on my side, and that He has a peace that surpasses all understanding. Trust me, I will be relying on that peace tomorrow!

Another thing I need to do is 2) Believe His promises.

I have eyes, but I don’t always see. I have ears, but I don’t always hear. I hear and see God’s promises to me in the Bible, but I need to claim them for my own and believe them. One of them I’m claiming for tomorrow is Philippians 4:13: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Even pass a driver’s test. And, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26.) For a long time, getting my license and overcoming my fear of driving has looked impossible. But tomorrow I will see it become possible! Another great one is, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6.) And finally, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10.)

Finally, I need to 3) Remain positive.

I’ve had such a negative attitude towards driving, and only recently have I realized how much of one and how much it was holding me back. Never once did I imagine myself getting it right; instead, I expected the worst. Hardly ever did I look at what I’d done right-instead, I looked at all I’d done wrong. Never once did I look at driving with excitement-instead, I dreaded the prospect. Tomorrow I’m going to remember all the benefits I will gain from driving, and look forward, not behind! God can and will bring about a miracle, and what joy for me to be able to share how God’s strength showed up in my weakness! His light in my darkness, and His hope in my despair. Yes, God can work a mighty miracle, and I’ll be asking Him too.

Will you join with me in that prayer? Please, please, please pray:

1) First and foremost, that I pass the test! There’s no way I’m doing this again, haha.

2) That God will give me confidence in my abilties, His abilites, the peace that surpasses all understanding, and a calm of mind and heart.

3) That if the instructor changes up the course, I will be able to adapt quickly and know what to do.

4) That I will have a positive attitude and have fun!

Thank you so much for your support-I know I will feel those prayers, and know that when you pray, you will be fighting a spiritual war on my behalf! Thanks so much.

Well, that’s all for now! I hope to return again as soon as I can tomorrow with some good news!

I praise you in advance, Lord, for all you have done and will do.

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,


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 Goodness, how long has it been since I last updated on how my fear of driving has been going? Too long, I know that much.

Luckily, the “Day 11” in my title does not refer to how many times I’ve been driving, but rather only to the times I’ve documented driving. I’ve been able to keep a pretty steady pace up the last couple of weeks, and have driven at least once every week except for the last two weeks. Some weeks have been better, some not as great. Some weeks I’ve only gone once, others twice, a few three, and a few none at all.

I’m a little frustrated with myself that I haven’t been driving as much as I should. Most weeks I get the two days in, but I haven’t quite accomplished my new goal of driving three days a week. I’m kind of living the philosophy, “Something is better than nothing.”

I’m still just as determined to get my license before the end of this year. I don’t what I’d do if I get to end of this year and find I’m still not ready. I’m terrified of that being a possibility. It just can’t happen! I’ve had enough of this fear.

I am so very tired of being a burden to my family and friends because they have to get me from place to place. I’m tired of feeling ashamed and embarrassed. I’m tired of not being able to get to certain places because I can’t drive. Of missing out on opportunities, and not being as able to hang out with my friends. I’m tired of being afraid. Heck, I’m even tired about writing about being afraid! But most of all, I am tired of this being my reality. I’m ready for a new reality!

I feel like I come across as such a loser when I write these posts. Like a victim and someone to be pitied. But I also feel like that’s not who I am. Sure, I may have a more timid and shy personality, but I also feel as if I have a lot of strength. Sometimes I feel as if people don’t see that in me.

A couple of weeks ago I would have said with 100% certainty, I can beat this fear. I will have my license by the end of the year. I was doing so well. I was driving at least once every week, and things were just coming naturally for me. Driving! Was coming naturally! My dad was talking about me getting my license soon, the first time he’s ever said anything like that. I wasn’t afraid anymore as I drove-not even in town. A little nervous, but nothing like how it used to be. I was actually kind of even enjoying driving!

But then I did something stupid again. And my confidence crashed.

I started becoming dependent on my dad once more, asking him things I already knew to do myself. Things I’d done countless times before. I was so frustrated and upset with myself. Why do I always revert back to that dependency? I’ve proven to myself that I can do things alone. That I am smart, strong, and capable. Then I do something stupid again to mess it all up, and I wonder, can I? Is it really in me?

I hate feeling so helpless. Especially when I know deep down that I’m not. How to hold onto that truth?

I’d had some new people in the car with me and though I thought I’d be fine, the pressure of what they were thinking of me overcame me. I started doing stupid things I wouldn’t normally. Then one of the people in the car said something disparaging. It wasn’t anything too awful, but I’ll admit, I can be a very sensitive soul. So then I let my emotions get the better of me, and I went right back to square one. I was right back exactly where I started. I relapsed into dependent stage, and completely tuned out of driver-world. Basically what ended up happening was that my dad had to jerk the wheel because I had zoned out mentally and didn’t realize which direction I was going.

It was miserable. It was pathetic. It was me on day one.

I’m not going to quit because of a silly incident like that-I’m no quitter. It’s just that once more, I’ve reached my breaking point. I’m doubtful I can get my license by the end of this year. After all, I’ve been going at it for months, and then just because of one comment I can do something dumb like that?

 Something so simple-something so easy and normal for other people-has been one of my biggest banes. That’s a tough pill for the pride to swallow.

Honestly, sometimes I wonder why I share this stuff. It’s actually pretty humiliating. But I keep on in the hopes that this will help someone out there. That someone struggling with something shameful of their own will find the courage to tell someone about it. To receive help. That someone will defeat their own fear, and realize they’re not alone.

The race isn’t over yet. I’m not giving up, as depressing as the text above might have sounded. I just started this blog with a vow of honesty, and that’s where I’m at. On the racetrack of life, I’m going for another round, hoping that this time I’ll find the exit instead of finding myself right back at the beginning.

One more lap.

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Here it is, the more recent update! (Being a writer, you’d think I could come up with a catchier title, huh?)

A quick couple of things to get you caught up:

  • I went highway driving.

I’ve been highway driving before, but a week or so ago I drove at 75-80 Mph for an entire hour. Impressive, I know. But it felt wonderful! It was an entirely unfamiliar road with an unfamilar speed, but I think it went really well. And I might even dare to say I think I handled myself pretty well, too. There were a few flubs like not getting over into the other lane for construction, but no lives were lost! (Haha, it’s pretty bad when my criteria for a good day of driving is, “no lives were lost.”)

  • I had another dream.

Oh, boy. Wait until you hear this one! I think it was the night after I’d written the other post about my dream, so I guess it was already on my mind anyways. This time, my dream consisted of actual driving. But before you get too excited: in this dream, I also received a ticket for parking. I’m sure you don’t need me to spell it out, but just for the sake of irony I’m going to: in my first dream, I was too scared to drive but parked successfully. In my second dream, I drove but parked illegally and got a ticket.

…Okay. Now my mind is just playing tricks on me.

It gets even better. The ticket was-and I quote-“A Lifetime Ticket.” Meaning I could never get rid of it if I wanted to, and had to pay $250,000 over the span of my life until it was paid off. I also had to write a monthly essay and send it in.

Now that, people, is a nightmare.

Really right now?! “A Lifetime Ticket”? $250,000? Monthly essays? I am so weird. I’m just weird!

Okay, so here’s the Lizzie-Freud version of what my dream means: I am terrified of being unable to drive for a “lifetime,” and of having to pay the penalty for the rest of my life. Which is accurate. I’m terrified of failing. In the back of my mind there’s always the faint whisper of doubt, saying, “Can I do this? What if I don’t? What if I end up a massive failure? What will people think of me?” That’s not the hard part to interpret in my dream.

The hard part is the essay thing. Can you say, O to the Odd? Maybe it has to do with my blog… I don’t want to write about my fear of driving for the rest of my life?

But enough with the psychoanalysis. If I delve too much farther, I might become both my own patient and the therapist combined.

Well, now that I’ve lost any readers I had! That’s all, folks! But out of curiousity: what’s some weird dreams you’ve had?




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(A quick disclaimer before I begin: I meant to post this weeks ago after some editing, and just now found it in my cyber drawers. My apologies for being gone so long! Life has been busy, and I have missed my fellow fear fighters! But I’m back. And although this particular post is a little outdated, it’s still important. And, after all, I did spend time writing it, so I might as well post it. Expect a more recent update soon.)

So, that goal I’ve been chasing since the start of this year? That one about driving three days a week? Last week I accomplished it! I went driving Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday of last week.*

I still have a long way to go, but as pitiful as it is, that is the most I have ever gone driving in a single week. Now to keep it up! Hopefully I can keep up my three-days-a-week-driving-streak  as I did the two-days-a-week. As I look at how everything’s been going so far, I’m relatively satisfied with my progress. Do I love driving? No. These days it’s a whole lot of gritting my teeth and just doing it even when I don’t want to. But am I scared of driving? Not as much. I’m getting more confident and not feeling nearly as frightened as I used to. I’m certainly driving more than I used to.

Still, I am a little frustrated. Now that I’ve gotten over the initial hurdle, I just want to be done with this already. I want to have my license, like, yesterday. I wish I was completely, 100% healed and not still struggling with some remnants of anxiety. I wish I was driving every day, felt confident enough to drive alone, and could cruise away like all this was some bad memory.

But stuff like that doesn’t just “happen.” It takes work. It just seems like a lot of work without much to show for it, and I wish I was further than I am. Sometimes I wish I was like C.S. Lewis and had enough money to just hire a chauffer and never learn to drive. (True story. I read about it in a biography about his life.) Maybe it’s a writer thing, this not wanting to drive.

Or a really good excuse.

But, once again, I’ll follow my advice from last week: Instead of looking at how far I have to go, I’ll look at how far I’ve come.

In the spirit of that, here’s a quick look at how I’ve improved with six weeks of consistent driving under my belt:

    • I’m driving every week
    • I know my way around my car
    • I’m not as scared as I used to be
    • I had a dream about not crashing a car (Hold your horses. I’m gettin’ there.

I know you’re dying to know about that last one. Well, since I was little I’ve only experienced one nightmare: crashing a car. The circumstances were always different, but it always involved me crashing a car in some way. Why? I have no idea. I was a misunderstood child or something tragic like that. Anyway, guess what happened in this latest dream? I was driving a car, and I didn’t crash it! I

parked  it. Hold the applause. Yes, I, Lizzie, parked my car. I did not total it, I did not wreck it. I parked it. In my dream.

Um… Yeah. I may be  more excited over that than I should be.

Seriously though, I think it’s a mental turning point. A lot of times dreams are the subconscious telling us something, and I think my subconscious is feeling more confident and in control with automobile, uh, driving. The fact that I purposely took steps and saw myself putting them into motion rather than frantically searching for a brake pedal as I careened out of control says a lot, I think. Of course, I would probably have more reason to be proud if I’d actually been driving in the dream. Not parking. 

I wonder what my subconscious is saying about that… Maybe that I’m feeling more comfortable in a car, but content to stay where it feels safe? I guess that’s the next dream to be on the lookout for. The day I dream of cruising the streets, calm and carefree, is the day I have conquered my fear!

…Then again, it’s just a dream.

Fear Tip: Don’t listen to me. I am nuttier than a pecan pie. I just come up with this stuff as I go along.

P.S. Leave a comment so I can catch up with you! What have you been doing these past couple of weeks?

*Whenever that was. I’m afraid I don’t remember now.

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First off: sorry guys! It’s been a while since I last updated you on how my fear of driving is going. I’m so behind I don’t even know where to begin!

Let’s see… the week before last I went driving twice again, which marked a total of five weeks I have been driving regularly! It’s such a small accomplishment, but boy, it feels good. It’s not a lot of driving, but for me it is. I don’t know if I ever thought that was possible-five weeks! That’s more than a month of driving! It’s kind of like a milestone for me-a way of being able to see progress.

Even better, my dad says I’ve made a lot of progress. On one of our drives, my dad took me to an empty parking lot where I practiced driving in reverse. I had to make figure eights around two islands. It was a little frustrating at first, but now I feel like I know a little bit more about what the back end of my car is doing and how it works.

My dad and I did the same “driving drill” once before, and as we were driving home my dad said I’d remarkably improved since then. Whereas before I was a two, my dad said, I had now moved up to a five on a scale of one-to-ten. That was really encouraging for me to hear because it’s so hard to know if I’m making any progress at all. I’m driving more, sure; but am I getting any better at it? My dad assured me I was.

I also drove my little sister to a friend’s house. Of course, she had no idea where that friend lived exactly, so I had a lot of fast stops and quick decisions to make, which my dad said I did very well on. Later my sister even came up to me and complimented me on how I’d done. I was very shocked. I must have done well, because it’s not like my sister to just randomly say something like that. (You know, sibling rivalry and all that. It goes against the rules to compliment your sibling, people.)

So all that made for a really encouraging week. I only went driving once last week, however.

It’s a little distressing because it feels like a step back, but I’m going to follow the advice I’m about give and not let it stress me out too much. I’ll just go driving three days this week to make up for it!

Ready for that advice? Here ya go:

Fear Tip: Have you ever noticed the slogan here? “Facing my fears, one day at a time”? Or have you ever noticed that when I blog about facing something on my list I always mention what day I’m on? Have you wondered why that is? It’s because the only realistic way to reach goals is to take it in small increments. You’ll never accomplish your goal if you go for it all at once. You’ll get overwhelmed quickly and defeated just as fast. Instead, take it one day at a time. Make your goal big enough to challenge you, but small enough to reach. Then, when you’re ready for it, make your goal a little bigger.

For instance, right now I’m driving two days a week. At first my goal was to just get behind the wheel. As I grew and accomplished that goal, my new goal became to drive two days a week. Now I’m feeling like I could realistically change my goal and make it three. I could have begun by saying, “I’m going to learn how to drive, and drive five days a week.” However, if I had done that, I know I would have gotten burned out and given up. Instead, I’m making sure I can realistically reach my goals until I get to being 100% comfortable driving and can get my license.

So set up realistic goals, and celebrate each accomplishment. It may be small, but every small step takes you closer to that end result. And if you miss a day like I did last week, don’t let it defeat you. Just pick it back up again tomorrow. Instead of looking at how far you have to go, look instead at how far you’ve come.

You can do it, friend. I believe in you.

P.S. Don’t forget to submit your entries for POW Competition II! The competition ends tomorrow night, Tuesday, June 28th. If you have a funny line for Philemaphobia: the fear of kissing, send it in! Check the post below this for more details.

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On Friday of last week, I was getting ready to drive but feeling really unmotivated. I just wasn’t looking forward to driving and was really dragging my feet. I was dreading getting out there. A little while before we headed out, I received a package. The address looked unfamiliar to me, so I couldn’t imagine what it was or who it was from. Upon opening it, I realized it was from a dear friend of mine.

This image came from etsy.com

Inside was a little golden box. Curious, I carefully lifted the lid. Inside, I was surprised to find a beautiful key chain my friend had sent to encourage me.

Fingering each little charm on the key chain, the tears came to my eyes. A cross. An antique key and spoon. A bead angel complete with halo. The words “wonderful” and “beautiful.”

Could she have sent it at a better time? My heart warmed at the thoughtfulness my friend had shown me. She’d taken time out of her day just to think of something to encourage me. And what a perfect gift! Something I could take with me on drives and remember I was not alone. I had God and my friend on my side.

It was amazing what one little gift of kindness like that could do. After receiving the key chain, I couldn’t wait to go driving! I felt re-energized and ready to face the roads. I had the new key chain to try out, after all! More than that, the key chain was visible proof someone out there was pulling for me and wanting me to succeed. I wasn’t alone in my fear. Knowing that, I felt strengthened.

The drive was all town driving and went really well. It seemed like everyone and their mother was out, but when I started getting stressed, I just glanced at my new key chain for a quick dose of courage.

That same week, I also received a really encouraging card from another friend. She’d even included two little pull-out cards with comforting Bible verses on them. Once more, I found myself touched beyond words. Who am I to be blessed with such friends?

I’m still not sure I can answer that.

It’s been a trying journey sometimes, facing my fears. Hard at times. Rewarding at others. Always scary. But there’s something I’m beginning to realize: I am never alone in my fear. Never once has my God abandoned me or left me in my fear. He’s always been with me in the fire, and will always be present to deliver me:

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.'” (Isaiah 43:1-2.)

He’s also blessed me with friends who love and care for me-who aren’t interested in judging me, but in simply being there for me. That’s a gift I do not take lightly.

For all of my readers, for every one of you who have prayed for me or left behind your encouraging comments, I thank you. With your love and support behind me and pushing me forward, it’s not hard for me to believe I can win this. Your love and friendship continually strengthens me.

Today, I don’t look at what I don’t have, but what I do. And what I have is you.

Fear Tip: Proverbs 11:25 says, “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed,” and Proverbs 16:24 says, “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” In need of refreshment? Try encouraging someone else today. Something as simple as a kind word or a small gift can mean the world to someone. When you’re thinking about someone else’s problem, it’s hard to think about your own.

P.S. How can I be a friend to you today? Is there anything I can pray about for you or any way I can encourage you?

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