Courageous

Joshua 1:9:
“Be strong and courageous
Do not be afraid or discouraged.
For the Lord Your God is with you
wherever you go.”

While eating lunch with a friend yesterday… she said “Brittany I remember you talking about how much your anxiety affects your every day life. In Sunday School this year we’ve been talking about having courage. You came to mind.” Then she proceeded to ask me to come speak to her Sunday School girls about courage.

I was taken by surprise. Courageous is probably the last word I would use to describe myself. Before I was diagnosed and treated for my anxiety disorder I had no idea anything like that existed. I went through my life thinking that something was desperately wrong with me, but too afraid to share it.

I’d always volunteer to lead things and immediately find myself beating myself up internally for it.

One day, I stopped eating. Not by choice… it was like I was so in dread of everything that lay ahead that food made me sick. I tried to eat, but I was so overwhelmed the food would get stuck and try to come back up. My stomach and my brain stopped talking to each other because my brain was too busy dreading conducting our choir on tour, my senior vocal recital, graduation, my upcoming wedding, my beloved girls I was placed to take care of in the dorms, my senior internship.

I finally went to a doctor and they diagnosed me. They tried out some anxiety medications to manage the fear and I was told to stop talking about work, classes or having business meetings anywhere near food.

I was so embarrassed on choir tour when my host-home mates started taking notice that I hadn’t eaten. I would hold my one slice of un-eaten pizza and watch my friends eat, laugh and carry on… they would grab that second slice while my hand was shaking with my one slice. Paralyzed. My brain was in another place. Thoughts of that next congregation watching my little arms wave as I tried to keep everyone together- when I was falling apart.

But today; I think about how God has given me passion and joy. How he has transformed my fear into an absolute LOVE for what I do. I think about how my confidence has grown as the Holy Spirit picks me up and carries me on my journey so I don’t have to. Today; my feet don’t touch the ground.

Today, He has replaced my fear of the congregations I serve for a genuine love for HIS Church. He replaced my inner-thoughts of hate for myself and lies from the devil with whispers of His voice. Today; my every move and word is already planned for me.

Instead of the most terrifying hour of the week, leading the Church in worship is my most precious and life-giving time of the week. I live for it, thanks to Jesus Christ! Click to tweet.

I think about that lunch with my friend yesterday and I realize something. She is seeing “me” farther down the road in my journey than I was. A prettier picture now vs. then, for sure.

I realize that I have courage because God fights for me. Like He told Joshua after his mentor Moses died and all seemed terrifying:

“Be strong and courageous
Do not be afraid or discouraged.
For the Lord Your God is with you
wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

God doesn’t tell us to “just be strong and fearless” on our own, though.

He says: “I will be strong for you. I’ll back you up when you step out in courageous faith. You don’t have to be afraid OR discouraged**… BECAUSE:
I am – I AM who I AM – YHWH is with you wherever you go.”
**(see that pairing? “Don’t be afraid or discouraged”… God knows that often anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand. Nothing gets by Him.)

 

So go- be courageous, my friend.

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5 thoughts on “Courageous

  1. Our stories are powerful! YOUR story is powerful! Thank you for sharing it! This was courageous of you. 🙂 And an encouragement to me. ❤

  2. I was truly ministered to by your post especially when you said,

    “He says: “I will be strong for you. I’ll back you up when you step out in courageous faith.”

    Thanks for sharing!

    Rolain

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