Today I was Scared

Posted: October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s what I’ve been wanting. I got what I asked for and then some. So why do I feel so afraid? Why does my stomach hurt and my heart feel fluttery? I don’t get anxious…normally. That’s what I was thinking today.


Today I was scared.

I woke up feeling under qualified.



But that didn’t carry through my day. Sure, I am under qualified, under educated, and under prepared for the role I stepped into today, but that’s okay. My qualifications had nothing to do with getting me where I am right now.

I’m in jail.

Don’t worry, I’ll be out before you read this, but as I write this I’m in jail as a chaplain. Before I came in this morning I spent an hour praying with the Recovery Team. As I listened to their prayers for me tears came to my eyes as the fear and unworthiness melted away. Oh, I was still nervous, but very much reminded that God didn’t need my experience and qualifications. He needed me to go. To trust Him. To have an open and willing heart. And ears to hear. He just needed me to obey. So I did.

My heart fluttered all over again as I sat in the chaplain office…my office…alone. I reached for the phone to call down an inmate. We have such a fear of the unknown. But when she came I just got to hear her story. I wished I could offer her tea or coffee cause it felt like a normal coffee shop conversation I would’ve had with anybody on any given day. Sure, there are things to watch out for, there are issues that will come up, but when I walk in there I just pray that God will use me to do His thing. Please join me in prayer as I will be going in weekly to meet with these women.

*I wrote this in jail, but now am out with access to the internet in order to post it. So for any of you worriers out there, I’m fine. =)

  1. Dan says:

    So. So good Shelby!

  2. Sue Shaffner says:

    Are you allowed to have a coffee maker in your jail office?

  3. jen4him says:

    May that feeling be ever present so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of man. 2cor 4.7 Jen

  4. Your willingness to deny yourself and follow God’s call on your heart never ceases to amaze me! I am praying daily and often into the night for you

  5. Might I point out that a “Chaplain” is not a “missionary”? Chaplains are present in various contexts to assist anyone and everyone with a listening ear, kind acceptance, inclusiveness and a willingness to learn from all. If you are an evangelist seeking souls, that would not be a Chaplain.

    • Hey Chris, thanks for your thoughts! I think the confusing piece here is that I work as an American missionary for my job in State College, but I am (as of yesterday) a volunteer chaplain in the jail. So I get what you’re saying about it being for everyone…there are things like rosary beads and Qurans which I don’t personally use or believe in, but they are in my office to give to anyone who would like one when they come to meet with me. While I do believe in Jesus as my Savior and would love everyone else to I won’t push Him on people, don’t worry. I’m just there as the chaplain. =)

      • Good to hear, Shelby. One can have a tradition without pushing it on all other traditions and those without. Nothing like open-minded chaplaincy to. . .well, open the mind! All the best.

  6. Sue says:

    Thanks Shelby. You are a great missionary–because you go in trust.

  7. This is awesome Shelby. Praise be to God for the courage and willingness you have.

    How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”

    (I fought the temptation to make a pun about you now having a captive audience.)

    God bless.

    • Hahaha…way to resist the temptation…trust me there are more jokes going around about that and me going to jail here than I know what to do with 🙂 I hope you’re doing well Matty!

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