Fear can be paralyzing. What starts out as a simple thought can sometimes cause us not to make certain decisions. Lisa Bevere is a speaker and best-selling author. But after losing her eye to cancer and having a glass one put in at just five years old, Bevere would never have thought she would have a career on the public stage as an international speaker.We interviewed Bevere in 2016 and asked her how her sense of fearlessness was developed in her and why she is passionate about equipping women.
Bevere reflects on how having an artificial eye at a young age due to cancer developed a sense of fearlessness in her.
I had retinoblastoma, so I’m a cancer survivor and doctors took my eye out. I was checked every six months until I was about 18 years old. It’s interesting, because my friends will say, “You talk about your eye like it just fell out on the floor. You talk about it really casually and it must’ve been traumatic for a five-year-old to have their eye taken out and given six months to live.” So, recently I have been thinking about this and I actually found this picture of me going off a high dive right before I was diagnosed. I didn’t even really know how to swim, but I was fearless. I jumped off a ten-foot high diving board, with an inner tube, because I was so excited about jumping. I think there was something about that experience that awoke something fearless in me. I went through having my eye removed within a month of that time, and because of it, [the high dive jump] I had already experienced the thrill of being fearless. I remember when I got to the end of the board and I looked down, it looked so much higher. I started to back off and a college student came up and said, “You can’t climb back down, it’s too dangerous. You are seeing through the water. Don’t be afraid, just jump off.” I ran off the end, and then of course he jumped in after me to make sure I didn’t drown. I think God loves to position people to face what they fear, because then it awakens that joy and power of [being] fearless.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” 2 Timothy 1:7-9
Bevere shares how women have a choice to be the hero and why she is passionate about equipping other women.
Seriously, I had no interest in women and I was super excited when I had all boys. But here is what happened, God told me how much He loved women. Every time I birthed a boy I was so happy that I wouldn’t have to deal with female drama. I felt like God called me to minister to women and I said, “No, anybody but women. I don’t think like one, I don’t act like one, yes, I look like one, but that is really as far as it goes.” [Laughter] The pushback was constant. I tried making deals with God like, “If you want me to minister to women, then You are going to have to send me a mentor.” God said nothing.
Eight years into my marriage, I am still looking for a female mentor to put me under her wing and tell me how to be a wife, and how to be a mother, and no one was appearing. I was pregnant with my Alec [third child] and I heard God say, “I want you to minister to women. Are you going to obey me?” I said, “You never sent me a mentor. This is not the deal.” And He said, “I want you to be that woman.” I said, “What?! I don’t know how to be that woman.” He said, “Yes you do. Everything you wish another woman would have been to you, you begin to be – work it backwards. I’m not interested in mentors; I’m interested in mothers. Mothers will lay down life to bring forth life. Mothers want more for their children than they ever had for themselves.” I sat down and I wrote out this woman. I drew her in words. I wrote that when I saw her. She would believe the best in me, she would say, enjoy this. She would teach me how to laugh at my future. She would teach me how to love my husband, she would teach me how to train my children – I sat down and just worked it backwards. I think God said, “Lisa, you don’t like women, but what you don’t like about women is never what I authored women to be. So go ahead and write the story of My daughters.”
Jump in! God might be calling you to take a step of faith or do something you might not be comfortable doing. Ask Him to give you the courage and strength that you need to be obedient to His calling. If you know someone who has taken a similar step of faith, ask them what encouraged them. You can also ask them to pray for you and to hold you accountable.
Invest in others. God has placed men and women in your life that He wants you to share your life with. You don’t have to be perfect or have it “all together.” Instead, be willing to share what God is teaching you. Be willing to challenge them in their walk with the Lord. Answer their questions they have about the faith. Invite them to go to small group or events at church with you that will deepen their faith.
Do not fear. It can be hard to not be anxious about a decision. Have faith and trust God. If you are having difficulty trusting Him, take time and pray. Ask Him to reveal His truth about the situation. Read through the Bible and try to find situations that are similar to yours and observe how the characters responded, the prayers that they prayed, and how God worked in the situation.
To read our entire interview with Lisa Bevere, click here.