God searches the heart and exposes what is hidden deep within.
And this is part of the healing process. But for so long, I’ve focused on the symptoms of my anxiety rather than the root of it… the hidden part.
The trembling voice, racing heartbeat, sweaty palms, and disjointed speech pattern all have caused me great pains while standing in front of an audience. Even amongst friends and close family.
And not long ago, it happened again. I had to give an impromptu praise report and as usual, my anxiety returned in full force while my listeners responded with sympathetic smiles and nods.
Submitting To Change
That’s how my life with anxiety has been. It began in childhood, when my self-worth became defined by what I did instead of who I am in Christ.
It left me empty inside, always searching to fill the holes in my soul. And the addiction to fill them has led me down a dark road, with the only answer being God to pull me out of the pit I dug myself into.
When He rescued me in my darkest hour, He slowly and gently revealed more of Himself overtime. But six years later, my extreme fear still eclipses the progress I’ve made.
The damage from my past was too great, I thought. But as I looked out at my fellow classmates, I became fed up.
I was tired of the compassionate looks. I was tired of being parked in the same spot I’ve been for years, believing I can’t get past this wilderness because of fear.
So I asked God for help, and He led me to Psalm 52. He said, “You haven’t been making Me your refuge. You’ve been relying on your own abundance to get past your anxiety.”
What abundance? The more I reflected, the more my pride became the obvious answer.
When I speak in front of others, I try to overcompensate for my embarrassing symptoms by speaking longer. As if the words will smooth out, my fear will disappear, and I will be able to communicate the message I had on my heart.
Instead, my efforts said, “Wait, Lord, I can recover myself! I can redeem my message and credibility!” But in so doing, I sought to edify myself and others through my own abilities rather than God’s.
I was supposed to be glorifying God and sharing a testimony of hope. But in truth, I forgot why I was praising God in the first place because I focused on the Goliath standing before me instead of the powerful God standing beside me!
Friends, Jesus has a way of showing us what we take pride in and the places we rely on ourselves to defeat giants instead of on Him. All my life, I desired to portray a confident and self-sufficient image that I failed to see the God who is fighting for me and what He wants to do through me.
So now I seek refuge in Him, allowing Him to fight my battles for me. Because when I do, the desire to impress dissipates, my fears lessen, and only He becomes my pride and joy.
Psalm 52:8,9 Printable
So I ask you, dear reader, do you take refuge in Christ or yourself? If you seek to be your own refuge, then ask for His forgiveness and ask for His unfailing strength and love to unlock the confident and amazing person you are meant to be in Christ!
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