“I am brave, I am brave, I am brave!” I just kept repeating it to myself so the anxious thoughts might not move back in and set up camp.
When I was younger I lived life fearlessly, probably to a fault if I’m honest. I was ten foot tall and bulletproof, or so I thought. If there was an adventure of any kind out there, I was first in line to jump in. I have the scars and broken bones to show for it too unfortunately.
Over the years, my adventurous spirit was starting to be drowned out by pops and creaks of the pains of a wild youth. I knew how hard a person could fall as I’d taken that trip down way too many times in the past.
God had placed this new adventure right in my lap and I knew He wanted me to move forward. The truth is though, it was WAY outside of my current comfort zone.
It wasn’t scary to write and follow the Lord’s call from the safety of my little home way out in the middle of the sticks. I mean come on, I’m the Hicks from the Sticks! Doesn’t that mean I should STAY in the sticks. That’s where I’m comfortable. This is my sweet spot. “Lord, I am happy to sit right here in my comfy office chair and type the words You want me to share with the world. Just don’t ask me to go out into it!”
Don’t take this wrong, I genuinely love people and have no issues driving the 30 miles it takes me to get to our little town of 1200 people. I love one on one conversations, small study groups or even our “big” events in town.
On the other hand, large crowds truly overwhelm me. So, when God said to jump on a plane, by myself nonetheless, and fly across the country to a conference with 800 or so people, I was slightly freaked out.
I prayed repeatedly to see if God was sure this is what He wanted me to do. I knew the truth, there was really no fighting it. So, I committed. That should have been the end of any anxious thoughts, right? Nope! I came so close to wimping out over and over again.
I crammed it to the back of my mind when there were still a lot of calendar days before my flight would leave. So typical of me. Just don’t deal with it until I absolutely have to.
As the days grew warmer and the time got closer, I felt a sense of fear starting to sneak in little by little. I tried to think of it as a great adventure but my anxious thoughts just kept fogging up my mind.
Then God whispered some reassuring words in my ear. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)
I was still trying to follow God’s plan for my life under my own power. Ugh, SO frustrating. I felt a good spiritual kick to the pants. I cried out to God, humbled myself and asked for His forgiveness. I wish I could tell you that meant it was easy sailing from there on out. There were still moments of doubt. I’m human!
But...I would literally picture myself casting my anxious thoughts at the foot of the cross any time they popped into my head. It really did get easier each time. Not easy but easier.
I’m learning to do the work God asks ME to do and then just show up and trust Him to take care of the rest. He is faithful.
God is so awesome and what an adventure it is when we follow Him!