On our life journey we gather wounds that remain raw and patterns of relating that can keep causing problems. At least I have!
Thankfully, God helps us find release from that which binds and hinders us. A class begins this week at Trissels (Tues. evenings at 7pm), exploring ways God does this. I’ll recount one way I experienced this.
I’m by nature anxious and slow at forming words. In junior high a speaking phobia arose out of that: as a sentence was shaping in my mind, if it struck me that I may not be able to say one of the words then I literally could not vocalize it. This lessened as I became a young adult. Then as my first church loved me, and especially as Karen loved me, my anxiety and the phobia further calmed.
Then I was chosen to represent a group of churches at a denominational meeting in Denver, and my anxiety level began to surge again. Would I function well and be effective? In my devotional time the week before the meeting I came upon Paul’s account of his “thorn.” God’s message to him became an incredible promise to me: God could do whatever needed to be done even if I was weak and inarticulate. Somehow God’s power even becomes more perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12). I memorized the passage and would say it whenever anxiety hit. And I was pretty well anxiety-free the whole time of the meeting — you don’t worry about something if it doesn’t matter if you have it or not!
I realized that all my life as I was, on the conscious level, telling myself to relax and trust God, I was on the subconscious level telling myself the exact opposite: “You better not relax since you need to pull off some impressive articulate speech in this situation.” And I knew I might fail, so fear mushroomed. But then, hallelujah, the truth of God’s Word freed me from the lie that was fueling my phobia: if I’m not articulate and intelligent enough to do something, that’s God’s problem–I can only do what I can!