If You Weren’t Afraid, What Would You Do?

​​What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Go ahead, give it a shot; I’ll stand by while you jot down your answer. When I heard Ian Morgan Cron ask this question a couple years ago on his Typology podcast, I imagined he had in mind great feats like

  • Climbing Mt. Everest, 
  • Moving across country, 
  • Starting that business.

But when I faced his question head-on a couple years ago, it was the “simple” tasks that came to mind:

  • Picking up a paintbrush and repainting that room,
  • Figuring out why the video isn’t working on my computer,
  • Hanging a picture frame on a wall. 

It took marrying Trevor to see just how dependent and helpless I’d become over the years. Can you relate? Have you adopted a posture of helplessness and dependence over the years? 

A Reason You Might Feel So Helpless

It wasn’t until this summer that I caught a glimpse of why I’d embraced the role of helpless damsel. This sentence in chapter two of Unseduced and Unshaken gripped me: 

“If a woman feels silenced, she is also likely to choose a posture of learned helplessness and dependence.” 

Silenced. Have you ever felt that way? 

Me too.

Thankfully I now have a husband who’s committed to drawing out the depths of me, but it’s a process. 

Can you relate? How have you felt silenced in your family, in the church, in your workplace? I’d feel so honored to hear your story. 

If you, too, have learned to operate from a sense of helplessness and fearful dependence on others, please know this: 

The world needs what you uniquely have to offer: your voice, your gifts, your presence. I pray God unlocks your emotions, your voice, your courage so you can live fully, to the hilt. 

May He send kind, compassionate people into your life who draw you out, who show you the value you offer by leaning in close and listening to your stories. 

Finally, in your helplessness, may you depend on God, your ever-present Help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). 

Rooting for you, 


PS: I’d love to hear your answer to this question in the comment sesction below. I’m all about real connection outside of our screens, though, so bonus points for you if you do this: Ask someone, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” Then, really listen.  

PPS: If you’d like to read more about finding your voice in chapter two–plus a whole lotta other good content–grab a copy of Unseduced and Unshaken here. (I’ll make a few pennies through Amazon Affiliates if you do.) 


Paula (Hendricks) Marsteller is a compassionate, bold Christian communicator offering you gospel hope, thought-provoking questions, and practical help along the way.

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