Goodbye Fear…Hello Fun!

I’ve tried all sorts of tricks to overcome my fear of public speaking. I sit at the decorated banquet table with clammy hands, a dry mouth, and try to think of something cute to say. I take deep breaths to slow my racing heart. Which never works. I shake so much I can’t eat my plate of lady food.  I pretend I’m not the speaker until I have to walk on stage.

But y’all….

Something happened this weekend. I led a ladies retreat about my one word for the year. Surrender.

I talked to God on the way to South Carolina. “Will You take the fear this time? Pleeeeeeeease? If I didn’t have to be afraid I could have fun.”


“I am. I’m going.”

Surrender your pride. Care more about the ladies than what they think of you.

The gentle thought wrapped around my heart.

When I drove up to the gorgeous green house on the lake, I didn’t want to leave the safe bubble of my car.


I grabbed my suitcase and sweet Shari welcomed me. She lives here, where the retreat would take place. The back porch reminded me of the love I felt at my grandmother’s house.

Here’s my bedroom–a comfy twin bed covered in a quilt and pillows. Someone had printed my name on a little card to welcome me. 🙂



After dinner, we gathered in the cozy den. Time for the first session.



I glanced at the smiling faces and something amazing happened.

Such love for each lady welled up, there was no room for fear.

I forgot my proud self.

No trembling hands. No dry throat. Absolutely no FEAR! Zero!

“Y’all,” I said. “For the first time in ten years of speaking, I’m not afraid.”

Applause! Laughter!

Here’s a one minute video of the end of the retreat.

The path to Surrender isn’t fun, but when I finally let go … and keep letting go, wow.

What an exhilarating way to live.

And love!

“Perfect love casts out all fear.” 1 John 4:18






  1. Love it when God answers exactly like we want Him to!!!
    I love your one-word and all you’ve learned/are learning this year…thanking God for your weekend and all your new friends!

    • And thank you, Robin. You started my one-word kind of thinking–which is leading me to so many FUN places. 🙂


  2. Tom says:

    How wonderful Julie! “Care more about the ladies than what they think of you.” Wow, I need to be reminded to care for others more than caring what they think of me! “Such love for each lady welled up, there was no room for fear.” How wonderful to know love can remove all other things as we surrender to Him. Blessings my friend and I am thankful for God using you!

    • I know, Tom~and only as I competely surrender does the fear leave! So powerful! Thanks for your encouragement.

      Keep writing!

  3. Sharon Mangas says:

    Way to go, Julie! Wish I had been one of the ladies feeling the love! You have a gift for writing. Part of that gift is speaking the words you write to uplift others. Yep, surrender. XO

  4. Yep, Sharon. Surrender. No other way!! Thank you, my friend.


  5. Beautiful…inside, outside…the grounds, the lake, the bedroom, the den, the ladies, you, and of course, surrender. Love that you feel so good about it. Love that you are shining in your love for others. Love that you put yourself out there and God met you right there. : o )

  6. Exactly, B.J. God met me at the point of my Surrender. He was so much more than enough. Love you, my friend. Thank you. You always know just what to say.

  7. Surrender, so powerful. Thank you for sharing your victory, Julie, it is inspiring!

  8. This was beautiful, Julie. I could feel the love you had for the ladies and your own joy at letting go of your fear. LOVED the video!

  9. Thank you, Carla~ The love covered me. Literally. Left not an inch of room for fear.

    Love you, my precious friend.

  10. “Perfect love casts out fear” – and isn’t that just the how of it Miss Julie. Thank you friend for sharing so honestly here.

  11. Sandra Walker says:

    Your post fit with all God has been saying this week again!!!

  12. Love it when the Lord does that, Sandra! You are such a blessing to me.



  1. […] Here’s my blog about the Ladies Surrender Retreat in South Carolina. […]

  2. […] called to tell her I’d be leading a women’s Surrender Retreat at New Colony Baptist Church in Billerica, […]

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