I couldn’t sleep last night.

I knew I had to be up at five-thirty for work but I just couldn’t sleep. Anxiety overwhelmed me to the point of panic. I had so much work to do on my book before sending it off to the editor, before pitching it at the conference. I had so much work to do and what had I been doing? I’d been putting it off. I’d go through spurts of crazy, hard work then I’d quit. The saying that fear can paralyze you is right on.


I couldn’t sleep so I got up and walked around. I pulled up my book on my computer and stared unseeing at the screen. I was letting everyone down, including myself. I totally deserved to fail, didn’t I?  I mean I hadn’t been faithful to the task God had called me to. I was afraid and I was letting that fear completely overwhelm me.

In the four years that I studied with the Christian Writers Guild, I was late for two assignments and one of those was because of a family emergency. I met every deadline, no matter what it took. If I had twenty-three plus pages of homework due, I got it done. Sometimes I got it done early.

But now, things are real. All my hard work of studying and preparing to write is meeting the reality of an important deadline. But what if I can’t do this? What if I worked so hard, for so many years, for nothing?

A little voice inside my head says, you’ll never be able to finish. You’ve never been able to really finish anything. (Something that’s not entirely true.) Listening to that voice only makes things worse. Now I don’t want to write at all. I want to hide.

And yet, I can’t quit.

“The Christian should work as if all depended upon him, and pray as if it all depended upon God.” Charles Spurgeon

In the midst of my frantic thoughts, I started to pray. I prayed for help. I prayed for guidance. I prayed for hope. I even prayed for a little sleep. 🙂

I left for work with one hour of sleep under my belt. I felt better than I had but still worried. I texted my parents and asked them to pray too.

Several things happened today:

1.) I got into the word and was encouraged by what I read.

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

2.) An article on Desiring God spoke to my situation almost word for word. I don’t think that was a coincidence.

3.) My dad reminded me of Moses’ time of preparation before his ministry. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t short but it was something he needed. Don’t be afraid of the journey.

Today I felt God’s comforting arm around me. Today I felt hope and the courage to keep moving forward.

Will fear creep back in? Probably. But I know Who to run to when it does.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Have you ever felt totally paralyzed by fear? How has God helped you to overcome your fears and trust Him?

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24

Thanks for letting me share. I hope you guys are having a great week. Fighting!




About Brittany Valentine

Saved by grace, sibling one of eight, part-timer by day, speculative fiction writer by night. Working on a series called The Chronicles of Aura.

4 comments on “Paralyzed

  1. Thanks for this inspiring post, Brittany! This really spoke to me, as I feel like I’m in a similar place trying to prepare for Realm Makers. I’ve been putting off editing my manuscript a lot lately, and I think you’re spot on with the reason: fear. I’ve been keeping myself busy with other things, like creating a website and query letter, all while knowing that none of that matters if I never have a polished manuscript. I’m so glad you were able to find comfort and encouragement in prayer – I’ll keep you in my prayers as well! We can do this! I hope you’re able to get some sleep 🙂

    • Thank you!
      I’ll be praying for you too!
      It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who struggles in this area. We got this!
      I did get some more sleep last night.:) After two cups of coffee this morning I’m almost human.
      Really looking forward to meeting you at Realm Makers. 🙂

  2. Praying for you, and thank you for your transparency.

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