Shannon O’Hare

Even in the deepest waters, we are not alone

Anxiety has tried to hold Shannon O’Hare back for years. But through the strength of God’s Word, she is able to preach and teach.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve suffered from quite severe anxiety which has stopped me from doing the things most people do easily. Today, I’m thankful that I have one very patient and loving fiancé, and one even more patient and loving God in my life!

Before I knew God, anxiety always took over. It wasn’t until I had faith in God that I was able, at times, to take huge leaps of faith which helped me conquer my fears. I remember when I first started leading our youth group, I would tremble when speaking. I was so nervous I would often mess up my talk that night and say to my fiancé, “That’s it! I’m never going to speak at youth again!”

It’s incredible to think how God has grown confidence in me in this last year; being able to share God’s Word with our young people is one of my favourite things to do! It is such an honour to have the opportunity to do that every week.

In March, I was privileged to share on Aspire’s Fierce Conference Panel – something I never thought I’d be able to do. After every triumph I am able to do more and more through Christ who strengthens me!

Not only has God grown confidence in me overcoming fears, but also in who he has called me to be. Sometimes being a Christian means being different from the world, and that causes us to have fear about what people might think of us – I know I do!

But when we have a fear of man, we limit ourselves from all that God has for us. I think God needs us to be confident in who we are in him so that we can be the light to those around us.

We can be confident despite fear of man because the power of God living within us can do more than our most unbelievable dreams, as it says in Ephesians 3:20. Imagine the impact we could have on our friends and family who don’t know Jesus if we boldly and courageously lived every moment being who God has called us to be, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Some Scripture which I really felt God brought to my attention recently is Isaiah 43 verse 2: “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.”

Fear still comes knocking at my door, but even in the deepest waters, we are not alone. When we feel the heat from living in a world of disparity, we won’t be burned. When it’s time to face our fears, we won’t be consumed.

How great is it to know that our King stands in the storm with us, nothing can overcome us because he has overcome! Take a leap of faith and trust who’s on the boat.

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