(This was not a planned post, this post was written on the way to my first college audition this past week.)
I need to be real with y’all. I hide behind my blog. I post happy and uplifting posts, but sometimes I’m not happy when I type them. Just because y’all don’t know me in life, I feel like I can fake it and I feel safe. And even the few who actually know me, I hide from y’all. When I’m blogging and people like my post, comment, or follow me I feel confident, strong and brave. But y’all don’t see the real me, the me the struggles. I’m not confident. In fact, I lack self confidence. I’m not strong in my faith, and I am definitely NOT BRAVE.
I’m afraid. But what am I afraid of? Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of being rejected. Afraid of failing. Afraid of being judged. Afraid of the future. Maybe even afraid of fear itself. I don’t want to be afraid! Some of my favorite songs are songs about letting go of fear or trusting God in every situation, but I still fear. I sing about being free, but I’m not. I’m held captive by fear. As I start flipping the pages to start a new chapter in my life, I fear. I fear people laughing at me, or worse…doubting me. I fear that my plans won’t be His plans. I fear going with the flow. I WANT to stand out in the crowd, I want to stand out for Jesus.
I don’t want to hide any more. I don’t want to hide behind my blog, but I don’t want to hide in life either. I’ve gotten so good at hiding it’s like I don’t realize I’m hiding. I don’t know what it’s like NOT to hide. I hold all my struggles and emotions inside to make others happy, to not weigh down on them. But I’m not happy, I’M weighed down. Why do I always feel like running when I can’t see what’s ahead. My heart tells me to stay, but my mind tells me to run. It’s a constant battle. I know we’ve all dealt with fear and hiding from something, then why do I feel like no one understands? When everyone says “you’ll do great”, or “you’ll do fine”, I’m over here shaking in my boots!
I know His Word is filled with many truths and verses about trusting Him and that I ‘m not alone. (Joshua 1:9) I know He is with me, but the fear still remains. I yell at my fear and my doubts, but they never seem to go away. I think to myself, “it’s hopeless, I will always be afraid”, those words haunt me day and night. They say I’ll be fine, but they don’t see what’s inside. All the fear, anxiety, and doubts all bottled up inside waiting to burst out. I’m ready to explode! I say I’m okay, but I’m not. My stomach is tied up in knots. Everyone believes in me except me…
I know what I need. I need peace. Not just any peace though, the peace that can only be found in Jesus. Because Jesus is peace. He tells us not to be afraid, and He leaves us His peace. (John 14:25-27) Then why am I still afraid, and why do I not have peace? I’ve felt this peace before. I remember the moment I found this peace. Beach trip waking up early in the morning, sitting outside on the deck, talking with God. Out in the cold, my mind racing, my heart stressed and weak, longing for peace and comfort. I opened the Word and found peace. A peace that comforts and calms.
I open the Word now and I can’t find peace for my soul. Was it the environment? Or is it me? Is it my heart? This stubborn hardened heart? But I’m willing and I’m crying out for peace Lord! Do you hear me? I ask. My fears, my nerves, they overwhelm my peace and my strength. You say to trust you Lord, and I try but fear surrounds my soul. It overtakes me. It swallows me whole. Everywhere I go, there it is. I try to be confident in You, but sometimes I just can’t find the strength to do it. I cower when I should stand up and shout. I need Your strength so I can fulfill what You have in store for me. (Philippians 4:13; Psalm 119:28)
While saying all this song comes to mind. “I have confidence” from The Sound of Music, I would change this to I DON’T have confidence. Here’s what it says, with me editing it:
I (DON’T) have confidence in the sunshine,
I (DON’T) have confidence in the rain,
I (DON’T) have confidence that the spring will come again!
Besides what you see I (DON’T) have confidence in me.
I’m supposed to have confidence. Confidence in Christ. But I fear, I worry, I lack self confidence, I lack true strength. God’s Word has answers for all of these. Fear not! He says in His Word. (Deuteronomy 31:6) Do not worry about anything. (Matthew 6:34) He tells us to be confident in Him (Jeremiah 17:7) He will give you true strength (Psalm 46:1) We are supposed to rejoice in every situation, but sometimes I don’t feel like rejoicing. In His Word this is what God says in Philippians 4:4-9:
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned from Me, or seen in Me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.’
What does this mean? Does it mean we can just fake it all the time and act happy? NO! It means SO much more than that. (This is my understanding of this set of verses. It could mean something completely different to y’all) To me this verse means that everything I just wrote down means nothing. NOTHING. I’m free because Jesus died for me. I don’t need to worry my brains out about what will happen. If I do start to worry (which I will still do because I am human) I need to pray and bring my fears to God. He will give me peace. The peace that calms, comforts, and restores. Even more, I need to guard my heart and mind from all evil things. Finally, I need to put all of this into practice, but not just what this verse says, what the whole Bible says.
Once I put all of this into practice, with God’s help, I will be FEARLESS, CONFIDENT, STRONG, FREE.
Afraid by Tenth Avenue North: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WohcTuNRBFE
No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8TkUMJtK5k
This one is now my life song. It reminds me that I can be Fearless with God by my side. Fearless by Jasmine Murray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h-kQkcrOok
(I own none of this music! All rights go to the artists and producers)